Master Card SecureCode

Cloud hosting providers are popping up everyday that it’s almost difficult to keep up.

The upside is that competition will be fierce, which is always good news for (cloud) hosting consumers like moi.

Good news translates into cheaper cloud instances and free features that one would normally pay for. I’ve recently written about these cloud hosting providers in The most affordable FreeBSD-supported Cloud/VPS hosting providers and Vultr lets you run an operating system using your own ISO image.

This article takes a look at another hosting provider called Scaleway, and why I never completed signing up for an account.

Unlike other hosting providers that I’ve written about, Scaleway offers ARM-based, bare metal SSD cloud servers, which I think is a first in the industry. However, I won’t be surprised if there’s another hosting provider that offers the same.

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Scaleway ARM-based, SSD servers

According to the company’s promotional material, each server comes with 4 dedicated ARM cores, 2 GB of RAM, and 50 GB SSD storage. And all that for just €9.99 per month, or $11.25 USD. Aside from bare metal SSD servers, Scaleway also offers the usual choice of popular Linux distributions, and, as the company claims, the “first cloud provider worldwide to offer Docker on ARM”. What’s not to like about being able to run containerized applications on ARM servers?

Unfortunately, I could not try all those technologies first hand because I never bothered to complete the account signup process.

Why?

Well, for one, Scaleway does not accept Paypal or other online payment providers. Only credit/debit cards. That in itself would not normally be a show-stopper for me, but while attempting to use my MasterCard, I was required to create a SecureCode, something I’ve never had to do when using a credit/debit card online. The idea of creating yet another authentication token just to use something that I already have a password for just didn’t feel like something I wanted to do.

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Master Card SecureCode

Scaleway is based in France, so the SecureCode is probably a requirement in Europe, but the company needs to seriously consider supporting a payment method other than a credit/debit card. Until then, I’ll hold off for now, but keep the company under my radar. A cloud server with 4 dedicated ARM cores, 2 GB of RAM, and 50 GB SSD storage for $11.25 USD per month is worth watching.

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4 Responses

  1. What default value does ubuntu use for ptrace_scope? If it’s only “1” then it looks like it could easily be circumvented by having the tracer get itself into a position where it can be the parent of the tracee (perhaps by changing the executable in the browsers application desktop file under ~/.local/share/applications)

    Higher values of ptrace_scope look like they would still protect against this unless root was compromised, but unless you want to disable ptrace completely system-wide then it looks like the only reliable way to prevent a process being traced at all is for it to call prctl(PR_SET_DUMPABLE, 0) to disable any attachment to the process. Perhaps this is something all the web browsers should do unless their built with something like –enable-debug.

    Anyway, interesting blog-post and something I wasn’t aware of, so thanks for posting.

      1. Remember the good old days of peek and poke instructions. Anyway back on topic. I’m kind of also wondering why SELinux could not stop the trojan from operating.

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