Pregnancy-tracking app was riddled with vulnerabilities, exposing extremely sensitive personal information


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/29/pregnancy-tracking-app-was-rid.html


#2

Yes. Sure. Accidentally left critical vulnerabilities in the software allowing for unlimited surveillance of extraordinarily valuable information.

I guess I’ll take the tin foil hat off another day.


#3

As for griefers, it might even be possible to force the app to tell a couple to go bareback, right when she’s ovulating.

Oh wait. Internet users aren’t that cruel and irresponsible. Never mind.


#4

Does the state of ‘apps’ make anyone else nostalgic for the good old days when computer security was a total disaster; but in sort of a lighthearted way?

Yeah, you probably had to restart your computer several times a week because OSes that ran on hardware you could afford were pretty miserable, and worms and pings of death ran wild; but there was a sense that much of the trouble was just down to incompetence, and much of the malice was just maladjusted nerds messing around.

Those days are long gone. Software quality, on the whole, is substantially improved; but there is still plenty of apathy and incompetence and the level and frequency of malice is just plain depressing. Worse, it’s not just kids messing around anymore; it’s professional criminals on the one side; and the ‘legitimate businessmen’ stabbing you in the back for a handful of personal data on the other side.


#5

#Pregnancy-tracking app

Silly me, I just used a regular old calendar and followed advice from my obstetrician.


#6

I’m wondering why the US isn’t pushing computer knowledge as hard as humanly possible? Like a sixth grade version of sex-ed, but for computers. A shitload of insecure, internet connected devices running inside a country is one hell of a great vector for doing all sorts of computerized madness. It’s essentially a huge bot farm available for the taking.


#7

Maybe its the ongoing dichotomy between secure but not so secure that the government can’t get in to it, which in fact means not very secure at all. Government doesn’t want everybody using GPG.


#8

This is the sort of Millennial shit that drives me crazy. Tech is not the answer to goddamned everything. Stop believing it will invariably make the world a better place.


#9

Say that again, please; only louder.


#10

TECH IS NOT THE ANSWER TO— wait, is this mic on? Hello? One sec, lemme adjust i—

#TECH IS NOT THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING


#11


#12

We are just going to have to get used to it. Secure software web platforms exist for a reason. Use them.

(web platforms also host APIs for handheld device apps)


#13

I believe they do, they just don’t quite understand that yet, and to their (our) peril. And speaking of dichotomy, I’ve found it interesting to see what sorts of guides are being offered up at .gov places like NIST’s cybersecurity library. The less the government is transparent and offering quality information to people, the less those people will trust government.

I read testimony given for a congressional committee (Homeland, I think) a week+ ago and the speaker was making the point that the US needs a Digital Reserve military force, like the ANG or Navy Reserve, but I’ll be damned if I can find that hearing data now…


#14

OR…

People could just do some things the old fashioned way, sometimes.

Too much tech needlessly breeds laziness and mental stagnation, IMHonestO.

If you don’t believe me, just wait until you’re at a cash register when the programming fails; the glassy-eyed panic that often sets in when the clerk realizes that he or she will have to… (gasp!) figure out the correct change due the customer on their own.

It’s really a sad thing to witness, and I say that as someone who is NO ‘mathematical genius…’


#15

Our kids are being raised on computer games. They all have a phone, a tablet, a games console. They are not going to be able to cope when the programming fails. They can’t navigate without google maps. They can’t find north. For them the augmented reality in pokemon go is as real as the planet it overlays.

Maybe there are a few kids out in the third world who still know how to handle reality, but first world kids can’t.

I am sorry. I don’t disagree with you but we have missed the boat on technology.


#16

Not mine.

I intentionally started her out on everything ‘analog.’

There’s no gaming system console in my house and never has been.

Although she now has a second hand phone and tablet, her screen time is rationed.

Additionally, ‘Girlizmatic’ is a girl scout so she knows both how to use a compass, and how to find north even if she doesn’t have one.

Don’t get me wrong:

I hear what you’re saying, loud and clear; but personally I’ve been doing my ‘due diligence’ for years - instilling in my kid a sense of self sufficiency.

In the event that the grid does fail, (and it will eventually) she’s equipped to handle life without ‘digital crutches.’


#17

Good on you. But I don’t have that degree of control over my son. I go to work and I don’t control where the money is spent. If we had no money for these things, he might have been raised in a better way.


#18

I understand; it’s not easy, by any means.


#19

Depending on who I’m talking to, I’ll give directions either in relative terms (go straight for two miles, turn left etc) or global (drive north for five miles, turn west, etc). I still don’t understand why so many have trouble with the latter. First, it’s much easier to visualize, since you’re not rotating the map around in your head. Also, knowing that you should be heading west eliminates second-guessing ('did he say turn right or left?) and is immensely helpful if you get lost or veer off-course.


#20

I once got asked why I have a compass on my keychain since I also have one on my phone. I had a hard time responding because there are so many reasons.