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Cloud services such as Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and IBM's SmartCloud are quickly changing the way organizations are dealing with IT infrastructures and are providing online services. Today, if an organization needs computing power, it can simply buy it online by instantiating a virtual server image on the cloud. Servers can be quickly launched and shut down via application programming interfaces, offering the user a greater flexibility compared to traditional server rooms. This paper explores the general security risks associated with using virtual server images from the public catalogs of cloud service providers.
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