Friday, September 7, 2012

Freaky Friday News

Homeland Security is using the threat of a zombie
apocalypse to spread information on how to
prepare for disasters.  Read the full story here.
When I began to write today's post, I realized that several bizarre news stories broke this week.  I tried to pick one that I liked or disliked the most to investigate and write about; then I decided I would tell you about all of them and let you pick which ones you want to learn more about.

First up is the worst way to propose marriage that I've ever hear of.  Alexey Bykov wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Irena Kolokov, but he also wanted to be sure she loved him.  So Alexey hired a film director, stunt men, a make-up artist, and other people, then he staged his own death.  Irena showed up to meet Alexey only to find a supposedly horrible car accident that killed her boyfriend.  Upon seeing his "dead" body, Irena burst into tears.  That's when Alexey recovered and proposed marriage.  Irena, first angry, actually agreed to marry Alexey.

The worst part?  Alexey told Orange News, "I wanted her to realise how empty her life would be without me and how life would have no meaning without me."

Can you say, "Narcissistic sociopathic control freak"?

The second story rates as bizarre to me, partly because I live in the U.S. and not in Turkey, where women's rights basically don't exist.  A young woman, Nevin Yildirim, shot, killed, and beheaded an older man who raped and impregnated her.  This man, Nurettin Gider, was the 35 year-old husband to her husband's aunt.  You can read the details about the case here, because thinking about what Gider did makes my blood boil.  The reaction of the Turkish government also angers me; instead of giving this woman a medal and allowing her to abort the unwanted child, they put her in jail and are making her carry the baby to term.  But the government and societal norms are the reason this man got away with raping her for months; in Turkey, a rape victim is considered to be dishonorable, not the rapist.  If Nevin reported the rapist, chances are high that her family would stone her to death to restore honor to the family name.  And no one would punish Gider.

There are truly no words to describe how just messed up that situation is.

Moving on, the third story today is about conspiracies, the government, and hacking groups.  On September 3rd, the hackers AntiSec released a statement in which they attached a list of one million Apple UDIDs (unique device identifiers), stating that they got the information off an FBI laptop. Here's the original text:

  1. During the second week of March 2012, a Dell Vostro notebook, used by
  2. Supervisor Special Agent Christopher K. Stangl from FBI Regional Cyber Action
  3. Team and New York FBI Office Evidence Response Team was breached using the
  4. AtomicReferenceArray vulnerability on Java, during the shell session some files
  5. were downloaded from his Desktop folder one of them with the name of
  6. "NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv" turned to be a list of 12,367,232 Apple iOS
  7. devices including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, name of device,
  8. type of device, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, zipcodes, cellphone
  9. numbers, addresses, etc. the personal details fields referring to people
  10. appears many times empty leaving the whole list incompleted on many parts. no
  11. other file on the same folder makes mention about this list or its purpose.
Proving not to be anti-social, the hackers removed the personal information before distributing their version of the list, because they merely wanted to let people know that the government was collecting data.  Today, the FBI released a statement denying any knowledge of the theft, an action that AntiSec predicted would happen.

Who do you believe?

This story segues in the fourth story today.  AntiSec used a well-known Java security hole to access the FBI laptop; in fact, there are several well-known security holes in Java and several well-known programs that use these security holes to access and/or control people's computers.  Let's be honest, Oracle has been battling security holes for a long time.  Last year, they released a patch that fixed 21 security holes, that would be almost two dozen; a behavior that they repeated last week to fix day 0 security holes with Java 7.  You can read the current story of this saga at ZDNet, but security experts are advised people to disable Java in their web browsers.

The last story is either funnier or scarier, it depends on how much pancakes mean to you.  Last week, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FQMSP) announced that over 5,000 tons of maple syrup have been stolen from their warehouses.  The FQMSP fears that the thief or thieves took the syrup to sell, because the U.S. maple syrup industry had a bad year.

Holey syrup, Batman!  What a sticky situation!

That's all for now. Have a great weekend, and I'll be back on Monday with a post about a Chrome extension that makes password management easy.

1 comment:

  1. That's quite the round-up of freaky articles. I can only shake my head at the weirdness of the world. Not even sure why there are fiction books out there because truth is, indeed, much stranger.

    It boils my blood to read stories about the oppression of women in other countries. It's often bad enough in North America, but so much worse in other places. :(


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