Greg's bite: more Stuxnet mischief/Big Brother 2011
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: more Stuxnet mischief/Big Brother 2011

By Greg Mills

My post today is loaded with a number of issues of interest to Apple High tech fans.  

° The iOS 4.2.1 Magic Disappearing Folder Trick I discovered a 0 day bug, in the iPad iOS 4.2.1, just released a few days ago, that Apple was completely unaware of.  I call it "the magic disappearing folder trick."

Here is the way it works. The proud iPad user, who has just updated the iOS on their iPad, laboriously sorts a few hundred apps into the cool new folders and drags them to the home screen or the first two or three screens and figures iPad app organization is complete. (In my case a precious 11-year-old daughter has downloaded a zillion kid apps that I have little interest in.  So I put them in new folders named Games1-7.) 

Then, sometime later, a number of app updates showed up as a red number badge on the blue App Store button. The user mashes the app button and chooses to update some apps over Wi-Fi. You sign in the iTunes store and a few minutes later, the apps have been updated sure enough, but all the folders are gone and the apps are redistributed completely at random over the 10 pages of screens on iPad, with not one folder left anywhere.  

I have had three other iPad users contact me to tell me I am not alone and this happened to them as well. If you consider that about a dozen people probably read my articles, you have to figure this is a major issue for Apple based on extrapolation of the numbers. So far, Apple hasn't gotten back to me on this issue and I will post any news in this space when I become aware of it.  

No fix is know at this time. It is possible backing up the iPad will protect the file structure, since all the lost files I am aware of were sorted first and then an update was done via Wi-Fi. The backing up of iPad via iTunes may prevent this issue from occurring.

° Stuxnet is still causing havoc in Iran. The Iranian military and nuclear weapons program is facing embarrassing and expensive screw-ups due to the Windows PC spread malware that defies eradication. It turns out the Stuxnet worm just destroyed 5,000 out of 8,000 of the centrifuges used to refine weapons-grade uranium at the Natanz facility alone, and most of the remaining sophisticated devices were badly damaged. The fresh damage occurred around the middle of November, long after Iranian computer experts announced the worm was gone and all was restored in the facilities. It will be interesting to see if the new nuclear reactor melts down when they fire it up.

Keep in mind that the Russian engineers, who are most capable of helping them, fled Iran in terror a few months ago fearing "interrogation" by blowtorch, common to Iranian investigation procedures. All this occurred while the control systems reported all was well to the Windows PCs that were monitoring the operation. Repeated attempts to purge the control systems of Stuxnet have failed. Stuxnet-infected control devices seem to have a mind of their own and devilishly work just fine until they suddenly destroy the device they are running, while lying to the humans that everything is fine and silently spreading the infection when ever possible. 

Stuxnet also has infected Iranian military computers and radar systems, it seems. Recently, during an Iranian air defense exercise an infected radar system falsely reported six enemy jets had invaded Iranian air space. The bulk of the Iranian air force was scrambled in panic to intercept and found nothing but blue sky where the radar still clearly showed six enemy jets.  The sophistication and ingenuity of the Stuxnet malware is world class. Thank the Lord that the authors of Stuxnet are on the right side.

° Homeland Security's grasp for power over the Internet. Apple's famous Mac ad showing big brother's image being shattered by a woman running down the aisle throwing a hammer is based upon the George Orwellian novel "1984."  The frightening notion that the invasive growth of an all seeing, all powerful government is inevitable, has been a concern for thinking people ever since.  

Recently, I encountered email censorship of content by the .Mac servers at Apple. An innocent story I sent my editor was blocked by the servers at least 10 times over a week. I finally confirmed it was being blocked by sending the story from one .Mac account to another and having the story blocked, while a test email went from one account to another in seconds. The story was about me scamming a well known Nigerian Bank fraud bunko artist by sending him to a certain US Embassy to approach Marines to retrieve money $110,000 sent him.  

Obviously, there was no money; the thief was told to ask the Marines if they were part of the "don't ask, don't tell" program and to wink at them. I anticipated he would end up in the hospital, which is absolutely fitting for him. That email apparently triggered a national security filtering system due to certain words that might indicate a terror threat.  I had to put the article in the form of a PDF to get it through the censor system at Apple to send it to my editor.  

This sort of intrusive monitoring of the internet is already going on but may well become more even obtrusive if legislation is passed that will codify new and sweeping power over software and Internet systems. Apple and the entire Internet and computer industry would be under their control. Imagine the folks running airport security empowered to protect us from threats on the Internet.  

Stuxnet and other cyber threats have caused some congressmen to draft a bill that would do just that. The debate is going to be serious and have long term ramifications for all of us. This is from the very people who "canned spam" for us. I am not sure all the "Change" proposed is for the good. Read the bill at http://hsc.house.gov/SiteDocuments/20101119133616-53768.pdf .

That's Greg's bite for today.

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; his email is gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a... | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to... | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Enterprise Workers Pick Technology Over Perks...
New Adobe study shows surprising attitudes about office jobs and where the future of work is heading. Adobe has released survey findings revealing that a surprising 70 percent of U.S. office workers... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: $50-$100 off 11-in...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple iMacs and M...
Take up to $150 off the price of a new iMac or Mac mini at the following Apple resellers this Memorial Day weekend: iMacs: B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more

Jobs Board

Senior *Apple* Engineer - Signature Technol...
One-year contract for an Apple consultant. The resource should be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator or get the certification within 60 days of starting Read more
Senior *Apple* Engineer - Signature Technol...
One-year contract for an Apple consultant. The resource should be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator or get the certification within 60 days of starting Read more
*Apple* Architect - AECOM (United States)
**Requisition/Vacancy No.** 132759BR **Position Title** Apple Architect **Job Category** Information Technology **Business Line** Government **Country** United Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Project Engineer - Smart Source Inc...
SmartSource is in need of an Apple Project Engineer for a 12 month contract opportunity in Pittsburg, PA. Role: Apple Project Engineer Location: Pittsburg, PA Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.