Sneaky apps

By Claire Dorsch, staff writer
Photo by Hallee Evans, staff photographer

apps photoApps are everywhere. They are on phones, tablets, and computers. They are beneficial objects to have. Some can download music. There are game apps and social media apps. Some apps are free and some apps cost a ton of money. There are some really cool perks from having apps, but there are consequences.

It is common knowledge that apps need to have access to certain aspects of phones. Apps like Skype or free-texting apps have access to people’s contacts, just like photo-editing apps have access to people’s photos.

But some apps have been peeking into places they don’t belong. Nike has access to people’s contacts.

Facebook asks for access to people’s audio and camera.

These seemingly harmless apps can access things on people’s phones, tablets, and laptops.

“That is amazing if apps could actually do that,” said Mary Barnett, 9. “The quality of the moral of the situation really depends on what side you’re on, whether you are the hacker or the victim.”

A few months ago there was a commotion about the app series called “Talking Tom & Friends.” Users speculated that the app was a front for pedophiles to track people’s phones who had the app.

According to USA Today, it was confirmed to be a false alarm and the app was taken off the app store, but the scare got people thinking. It is unknown what else these hackers can do to put our society’s children at risk.

Apps are great. They make life easier. People can pay bills and transfer money on banking apps like American Express. People can give kudos or give recognition to their friends and family on CyberProps.

“ I really like this app. It is a cool way to compliment people on a job well done without the awkwardness of face-to-face conversation,” said Makaela King, 9.

Hundreds and thousands of apps are just a few taps of a finger away, but maybe in the future people can think twice before they sign away their privacy.


Sony hack

By Geneva Pleasant, staff writer
Photo by Gunner Ferrand, staff photographer

sony hack fixedAccording to Forbes, Sony has a market capitalization of over $20.15 billion, made over $78.2 billion in 2014, and is number 80 on Forbes 2000 World’s Most Valuable Brands, but that did not help it when it was hacked on November 24, 2014.

According to CNN, Sony was hacked by a group that call themselves the Guardians of Peace, or GOP. Personal emails, social security numbers, movies, scripts, celebrity aliases, and information on upcoming movies was all released to the public. The group left the Sony messages that looked eerily similar to those left on a South Korean bank that was hacked in 2013, which was attributed to North Korean hackers.

Some experts believe the hack was done by North Korea in retaliation to Sony’s movie, “The Interview,” which was supposed to hit theaters in December. The movie, featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco, was about a journalist and his producer who were going to interview Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader. The CIA intervened and asked the duo to assassinate Kim Jong Un. The hackers warned Sony not to release the movie, or the theaters would be attacked.

“I don’t think that Sony should’ve been released into theatres because that’s dangerous and the theaters could’ve been attacked. It was risky.” Lauren Mitchell, 10, commented.

Sony recalled the movie and uploaded it to places online, such as Youtube and Google Play. They then decided to release the movie to certain theaters. According to the International Business Times, between online and theater sales, the movie made over $18 billion.

Obama recently passed new sanctions on North Korea for its suspected role in the Sony hacks. According to USA Today, three of North Korea’s entities were sanctioned; the spy agency Reconnaissance General Bureau, the arms dealer Korea Mining Development Trading Corp. and the defense research arm Korea Tangun Trading Corporation.

Then, around Christmas time, Sony’s XBox and Playstation networks were hacked. The police in the United Kingdom have arrested 22 year-old Vinnie Omari and accused him of the XBox and Playstation network hacks. He is supposedly a member of the hacking group “Lizard Squad.”

The FBI have not confirmed or denied North Korea’s involvement in the hack yet, although it is suspected that they are behind it. The hacking is still being investigated by the US government.