Rogue Stork Racks Up Huge Cell Phone Bill, Redefines Cloud Migration?

July 16, 2018Manhattan Tech Support

Cloud ServicesIT Consulting & StrategySecurity

A lot of our office help, tech services, and IT support have a certain amount of crossover with mobile devices. This is a story that teaches us to keep data secure during cloud migration (and literal migration), lest you pay a hefty price.

In Poland, there’s a stork named Kajtek. In 2017, an environmental conservation group called EkoLogiczna wished to study the migratory patterns of Kajtek, so they suited him up with a GPS tracker. Kajtek was known to travel to Africa for the winter and the group was able to monitor and gather data from more than 6,000 kilometers traveled by the stork. Something changed this past February when Kajtek diverted from his usual course back to Poland and made a two-month pit stop in Sudan. Here he would dally for two months, never really traveling farther than distances of 25 kilometers. Then, in April, his signal was lost and he went dark.

Kajtek’s tracking device used SIM technology. Later, in June, EcoLogiczna received a phone bill linked to the SIM card in Kajtek’s tracker for $2,663. Without much digging, the reason for the outrageous bill was determined quickly: “Someone quite simply removed the card from the tracker, put it in a phone and used it for 20 hours of communication,” the environmental group posted on its Facebook. Perhaps more tragic than the bill is that no one knows what happened to Kajtek. We can only hope that he’s flying through the African skies, finally free of his GPS burden.

Perhaps the two-fold lesson is that cloud migration strategies ought to be bolstered with tight security. Cloud-based platforms like Office 365 can be installed on up to 15 devices per user, which leaves a potential security threat in multiple places. The convenience of cloud technology often leaves room for careless error. Take Kajtek’s example with something as simple as SIM technology and a stork racking up a $2,600 phone bill. Scale that up to massive data breaches in cloud storage and the repercussions are much more devastating.

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