October 27, 2011
Niles Nerd

Apple Photo Stream uses Amazon AWS S3 services

- Nerds On Site As all nerds (and non-nerds) should be, I try to be security-conscious everywhere. One of the ways I stay aware on my MacBook Air is to use a little tool called Little Snitch, which I strongly recommend. Steve Jobs’ last keynote included a tour of Apple’s new Data Centre and we assumed Apple, in its usual fashion, would keep its entire ecosystem close to its chest including all of the iCloud-related services. - Nerds On Site
Well, what Little Snitch is telling me here is that Photo Stream is actually streaming the photos out to Amazon’s S3 service. In the screenshot you see that /Applications/iPhoto.app/Contents/Library/ LoginItems/PhotoStreamAgent.app/Contents/ MacOS/PhotoStreamAgent is attempting to make an https connection to someplace.amazonaws.com ( With North-American IP addresses, you can look them up at https://whois.arin.net and you can see that IP address is owned by Amazon.
While it’s a little surprising, it makes perfect sense that Apple would use the low-cost commoditized services from Amazon to host the Photo Stream data. We (Nerds On Site) certainly use Amazon’s array of services ourselves and for our clients, so this is a good thing!

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