6PR Technology roundup

Clueful app shut down by Apple but resurfaces on the web.

Clueful is a clever little i-device application that looks at the apps installed on your iphone, ipad or ipod touch and reports on how those apps access, use and transmit your data with some interesting results. It seems Apple was not happy with this and pulled the app from the Apple App store but the app has been offered for free online. Alarmingly, over 40% of the 100000 or more apps researched track your location while 20% access your addressbook and less than 60% bother to encrypt your information before sending it to their respective servers.
It is rumored that the next operating system for i-devices (iOS 6) will include a privacy control panel that will give better control over how various apps access and use our data.

Full CNET story here.

Saudi Aramco recovers from cyberattack.

On August 15, Saudi Aramco found itself under cyberattack from a hacktivist group operating under the name “Cutting Sword of Justice” and opened a new chapter in targeted, destructive malware strikes. In a statement by Saudi Aramco’s Al-Falih investors and stakeholders were reassured that the threat had been removed and did not affect critical operations as these highly sensitive productions systems were kept separate from other parts of the Saudi Aramco network. The attack targeted and sought to corrupt critical sectors of the hard drives of some 30000 computers.
This is the first publicized case of  targeted cyber attacks NOT performed by state-backed organisations and where a group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Go here for the Reuters story.

 Smartphones in space.

In a recent project, NASA has developed a small satellite that owes its ability to do its work to the smartphone at the center of its 10cm wide frame. This makes perfect sense because smartphones like the Android powered Nexus One smartphone has all the sensors, processing power, communications and flexibility needed to carry out many tasks that might be needed in such a role. The big advantage is not only the weight and size which drastically reduces the cost of launch but also the use of off-the-shelf components also means that a usable satellite can be built for around USD$3500. The first major role for this device may be photographing earth or conducting experiments for research into the Sun’s impact on Earth’s upper atmosphere.

See Geek.com for the report.