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(NPR)   Students hack into school-issued iPads and start accessing not-educational programs and websites within a week   (npr.org) divider line 150
    More: Obvious, iPads, educations, web sites, high schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, University of Rhode Island, music streaming, ipad minis  
•       •       •

7457 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Sep 2013 at 8:18 PM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-27 10:11:24 PM

MrEricSir: Big Merl: What took them so long?

Must be an exceptionally dumb class. Either that or it took a week for the teachers to notice.


Probably the latter, especially given the fact that the kids were initially allowed to take the iPads home. Actually, the kids probably had them hacked within three days, and it took the rest of the two weeks for someone to notice, report it to IT, IT to investigate and then for the school district to acknowledge the hack.
 
2013-09-27 10:11:52 PM

PrYgMMa: That's why when I was a network admin in a 9-12 charter school, I managed all filtering on the network level. All traffic was routed through a proxy via pfSense. There was MAC based authentication to allow or disallow access to any port or address. If it was on the white list it was allowed; if was disallowed they'd see a picture of  "billie the manatee" and the word 'PWN'D'.

God, they hated me... but my network was always up and the kids never saw a minute of porn. They'd say stuff like "Can't you just turn Facebook on for a little while, in the morning or at lunch?" or "All of my friends use SSL proxies, why don't those work here?"...


Pretty nice, but it sounds like these iPads were either cell enabled or allowed to hop on any available wireless network.  Students are allowed to take them home.
 
2013-09-27 10:12:39 PM
In the MacLCIII lab in my school, i was able to get around the "always-on-top" software screen and get into the real OS and play SimCity by simply rebooting and holding down the safe-mode keys or whatever and turing off that interface package, then boot back into the main OS.

The teacher asked me to teach him how to do it.
 
2013-09-27 10:13:54 PM

TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.


maybe next year's students won't appreciate the previous years' students' splooge making the home button stick?
 
2013-09-27 10:14:16 PM

TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?


Well, these are the same admins that suspend kids from school from play fighting with toy guns... at home, on their own time, and in their own yards.
 
2013-09-27 10:15:11 PM

TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.


Because if you give someone a device and they use it to do something bad like distribution of child porn, you are liable.
 
2013-09-27 10:15:55 PM
Whoever was in charge of configuring those devices should be fired on the spot.
 
2013-09-27 10:17:32 PM

TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.


The school board probably wanted to ensure that the devices were for educational use only, regardless of location, and some sales guy figured he could sell additional software to meet that requirement.
 
2013-09-27 10:17:46 PM

kwame: TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.

Because if you give someone a device and they use it to do something bad like distribution of child porn, you are liable.


That seems like a stretch.  Would the school be held liable if one of the kids beat somebody to death with a school issued textbook?  They could have the kids and parents sign something when the iPads are released releasing the school from any liability through unapproved use, or even go as far as to physically disable the cameras (scratch out the lenses or something) to prevent that if they're that worried.
 
2013-09-27 10:19:49 PM

TuteTibiImperes: kwame: TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.

Because if you give someone a device and they use it to do something bad like distribution of child porn, you are liable.

That seems like a stretch.  Would the school be held liable if one of the kids beat somebody to death with a school issued textbook?  They could have the kids and parents sign something when the iPads are released releasing the school from any liability through unapproved use, or even go as far as to physically disable the cameras (scratch out the lenses or something) to prevent that if they're that worried.


It's not about making sense. That's the fact, and this is a very litigious country, especially when kids and their parents are involved.
 
2013-09-27 10:22:30 PM

PrYgMMa: That's why when I was a network admin in a 9-12 charter school, I managed all filtering on the network level. All traffic was routed through a proxy via pfSense. There was MAC based authentication to allow or disallow access to any port or address. If it was on the white list it was allowed; if was disallowed they'd see a picture of  "billie the manatee" and the word 'PWN'D'.

God, they hated me... but my network was always up and the kids never saw a minute of porn. They'd say stuff like "Can't you just turn Facebook on for a little while, in the morning or at lunch?" or "All of my friends use SSL proxies, why don't those work here?"...



Right?  There are apparently three people on the entire planet that know how to filter and protect a network.  It's rediculous.
 
2013-09-27 10:28:06 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: One of my eighth-graders got me past the school's firewall when I needed to check my Facebook messages. God bless those kids. Then he says, "Hey Mr. ecmoRandomNumbers, can I check mine when you're done?"

"Sure."


Your a poor teacher. The correct response to that question is, "I'm not sure, but you MAY check your Facebook when I'm done."
 
2013-09-27 10:29:29 PM
*You're

*facepalm*
 
2013-09-27 10:32:44 PM

Burn_The_Plows: *You're

*facepalm*


Oops
 
2013-09-27 10:32:56 PM

skullkrusher: TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.

maybe next year's students won't appreciate the previous years' students' splooge making the home button stick?


(iPads don't have buttons)
 
2013-09-27 10:44:13 PM

Gyrfalcon: skullkrusher: TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.

maybe next year's students won't appreciate the previous years' students' splooge making the home button stick?

(iPads don't have buttons)


What in the hell do you call the square button at the bottom? Or the power button, the volume control, the lock button. . . .
 
2013-09-27 10:45:00 PM
So, is this a threepeat or a fourpeat?
 
2013-09-27 10:52:42 PM

TheMega: Tom_Slick: "They told me Friday, 'I would do it for you because you're my friend,' " she says. "They told me that!"
If you weren't a friend, the hack would cost $2

$2.00 really, I bet they could easily charge $5, fire that school's Economics teacher.

No shiat... was getting $5 for a nicely written excuse slip 20 years ago!

/now I feel old... make me a cup of tea, put some lemon in it.


I don't know... perhaps there were multiple students offering the unblock service and the competition drove the price down. Economics!
 
2013-09-27 10:56:35 PM

Fade2black: Pretty ingenious idea.  All joking aside, many argue that indoctrination starts in the schools...80% of teachers are usually left-leaning liberals, and they preach that in some form or another to their students.  Now I'm not trying to start a flamewar, but I bring up my primary point:  Very smart of Apple to get them going on ipads so early.  It brainwashes them into wanting those in the future, as opposed to the myriad of other options out there.  Clever!

/not a fanboi, but I do have an iphone.
//just an observation


Tried and true indoctrination. How do you think the Apple II made such inroads into the schools? This is just history repeating itself. They were a loss leader but the future students went Apple.
 
2013-09-27 11:03:32 PM

Peki: Gyrfalcon: skullkrusher: TuteTibiImperes: What's the big deal how they use them at home?  Trying to block sites on the device level seems like a misguided approach.  Just set up the WiFi connection at school to block the unwanted sites so that the kids can't play around in class, and let them use them for whatever reason at home.

maybe next year's students won't appreciate the previous years' students' splooge making the home button stick?

(iPads don't have buttons)

What in the hell do you call the square button at the bottom? Or the power button, the volume control, the lock button. . . .


splooge reservoirs
 
2013-09-27 11:04:53 PM

Burn_The_Plows: *You're

*facepalm*


Lulz.

I've burnt myself several times correcting the grammar of others. I know that feel.
 
2013-09-27 11:05:40 PM

Saul T. Balzac: Fade2black: 80% of teachers are usually left-leaning liberals.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x163]


In higher education, that claim is pretty much true.  http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/24/survey-finds-professors - already-liberal-have-moved-further-left

From what I've read on the politics of elementary school teachers, their politics closely matches the general population, so the above claim is not true for them.
 
2013-09-27 11:10:48 PM
We got past the Netnanny crap so easily in high school.

We went into Netscape (late 90s), File > Open > Browse, find the executable you wanted to run. Then we disabled the web proxy in the Netscape settings.

Was ridiculously easy.
 
2013-09-27 11:11:12 PM

kwame: Because if you give someone a device and they use it to do something bad like distribution of child porn, you are liable.


I see your post and call. Lay down your cards.

[citationneeded.jpg]
 
2013-09-27 11:22:51 PM
Ah yes. Breaking through the school districts "censored" crap on the computers was an old past time back in the day.

 Glad to see it's still going strong!

/but seriously if you want to teach IT in school, teach this. Not only will you discover the system weaknesses faster, but you'll make sure you actually get good IT guys.
 
2013-09-27 11:27:45 PM

sheep snorter: FTA: The students are getting around software that lets school district officials know where the iPads are, and what the students are doing with them at all times.

So when is the FBI gonna check out all the nude pics of students, just like in Pennsylvania.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/School-District-Settles-Webcam-Spy in g-Litigation-802291/

/Chicken shiat FBI didn't want to set precedence so they walked away.


Which is why the first day my step-daughter brought home her school-issued laptop, I disabled all remote access and disabled the webcam, and hooked it up to my desktop to look for back-door and spyware programs.
 
2013-09-27 11:40:44 PM
lol, weak, I used to format the c:\ drive and reinstall Windows 95/98 on computers in the tech lab back in High School. Just  had to game and their bs got in the way.
 
2013-09-27 11:42:30 PM

James10952001: I hacked the school Macs back in highschool. This was back in the 90s so security was a joke. I knew more about the computers than the "expert" teachers who administered them. Anyone else remember Foolproof on the System 7 Macs? Boot floppy would bypass it completely, or load ResEdit and delete the Foolproof extension.


They had Foolproof on the Windows machines we used, and that kind of shiat worked for a while until they wised up to it. Nothing a little format and reinstall wouldn't fix tho
 
2013-09-27 11:45:27 PM
saturn badger - I see your post and call. Lay down your cards.

I dunno about a citation, but at the school where I worked, they always gave the 8 graders (the seniors of this K-8 school) laptops. This particular year (after the advent of Myspace and Facebook), several of them started talking about how this one boy was a flaming f****t and so on, because he was a champion figure skater. When his parents (both attorneys) found out, they blamed...... THE SCHOOL! Because we were supposed to be able to control what the kids did with them while they were at home. As I understand it, the lawsuit is still on the table two years later.

So yeah, you can be held liable for stuff the kids do on anything the school gives them to use... even when they are nowhere near the darn school...
 
2013-09-27 11:52:03 PM
80% of teachers are usually left-leaning liberals


95% of idiotic statements are usually written by right-leaning right-whingers.
 
2013-09-27 11:57:55 PM
As someone who supports software on the iPad for LAUSD I'm getting a kick...

/fark you iPad for making me learn to live with Puffin.
 
2013-09-28 12:07:07 AM
See, and it goes right over people's heads why our students are failing at math, reading, and writing.
 
2013-09-28 12:20:38 AM

OgreMagi: Saul T. Balzac: Fade2black: 80% of teachers are usually left-leaning liberals.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x163]

In higher education, that claim is pretty much true.  http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/24/survey-finds-professors - already-liberal-have-moved-further-left


Sounds about right. Spend 30+ years accusing a profession of being liberal, attack their unions, slash funding, push them to teach Creationism, monitor their curriculum for 'bias', refer to students pursuing higher education as "snobs", second guess climate science, and throw a raging fit whenever a holiday is renamed something all-inclusive... and the members just might crystallize their political opposition to a party.

Seems like a bad idea to make enemies with the people whom next generation's voter base are required by law to listen to for thirty hours per week. Of course it's only a theory -- if it were true the Republicans would be facing some kind of electoral losing streak....

As for school iPads, LAUSD got them for the same reason any parent with toddlers buys one: to shut that little monster up so you can enjoy your alone time. Nevermind next year half will have cracked screens and graffiti carved in the back.
 
2013-09-28 12:24:36 AM
Meh. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and all we had were 5.25" floppies, I remember playing Thexder back in high school in the back of the class while the teacher was teaching the non-computer geek kids about Logo.
 
2013-09-28 12:26:05 AM
Here is the L.A.Times article, more like a Billion dollars

By Howard Blume
September 26, 2013, 9:23 p.m.
Los Angeles school district officials are trying to track down 71 missing iPads - including 69 from one campus - but said Thursday that new security measures are designed to frustrate future thefts.
Officials also acknowledged that student hacking of an iPad security system last week was more widespread than originally reported by the district.
The lost devices are among iPads used last year in a 13-school trial run of the Apple tablets. Since then, the L.A. Unified School District has launched a $1-billion program to equip every student in the nation's second-largest school system with the devices.
Central to the effort are security measures to keep track of the tablets, which cost nearly $700 apiece and were intended to be sent home with students.
The loss of last year's tablets is not an omen of things to come, but rather an experience that has resulted in stronger safeguards, said Lt. Jose Santome of the school district's Police Department.
"We have a very vigorous control for this rollout," Santome said. "We know what's going out and deployed on every campus."
In addition, five of the new iPads - out of about 14,000 so far distributed - disappeared, although one of those was subsequently recovered, Santome said.
The problem last year was most acute at the Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills. Administrators distributed about 1,200 iPads there last year. At the end of the year, 69 did not come back.
The district was not able to respond quickly last year for several reasons, Santome said. First, officials needed to sort through storage carts to determine whether any iPads had ended up on the wrong one, for example, or whether two of the devices were placed into a storage slot meant for one. Then the district had to tabulate serial numbers for every computer to determine which ones were missing.
Ultimately, the district was able to link missing iPads to the students to whom they had been assigned. Investigators are in the process of interviewing those students.
But that's unlikely to resolve what happened. If students claim they turned in their device, the district may have no way to prove otherwise, Santome said.
He added that the district has addressed security shortcomings. Global positioning software can now be activated for every tablet. And an electronic inventory system is supposed to register at all times who is currently responsible for a particular iPad. The district also can shut down iPads that are reported as stolen.
Last week's hacking episode involved a different sort of security breach: high school students gaining access to unauthorized websites.
In interviews, students said they had been disappointed at their inability to get to social networking and music streaming sites, and they quickly figured out how to delete safeguards. As a result, students were able to visit any website when they used the tablets off campus.
In response, L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy has temporarily banned the home use of district iPads.
L.A. Unified knew immediately which students took their iPads out of the filtering system, chief information officer Ronald Chandler said. Officials still are weighing how best to provide sufficient but secure Internet access.
When the hacking came to light Tuesday, the district announced that 185 students had been involved. The current figures are 260 students at Roosevelt High in Boyle Heights, 10 students from Angelou Community High School in South Park and 70 at Westchester High.
Early reports indicated that Valley Academy students were also involved, but a district spokeswoman was unable to confirm that Thursday.
A student government representative at Westchester said the district count for his campus still sounded too low. He said administrators reported to students that 160 of their classmates were involved. The student requested anonymity because he was afraid of getting into trouble for having taken part in the unapproved Web access.
how­ard*b­l­u­me[nospam-﹫-backwards]s­e­mital*c­om
 
2013-09-28 12:26:49 AM
Hacking? Nah, not with an iPad.

farm3.staticflickr.com
 
2013-09-28 12:32:40 AM

ZeroCorpse: This is insane. When I was in school they didn't even give us pens or paper. We had to get our own, and our parents had to pay out of pocket for it.

Other class-required things we paid for:

Uniforms
Swimsuits
Calculators
Padlocks
Lab Kits
Typing Paper
Correction Fluid
Pencils

And yet kids today get free iPads, and they take them for granted enough to fark with them.

Ungrateful little snots.


THIS.
 
2013-09-28 12:35:25 AM

Benevolent Misanthrope: What a bunch of dumbasses at the school district.


This.

Hi there-- I'm the network administrator for a school district. I didn't read the article, but I don't need to. A neighboring school district caved in to teachers screaming for iPads for the students. It's been two years and they're pulling them back and starting from scratch. Why? Because they don't know how to use them properly, they don't know how to manage them, and student grades over the two year span, overall, have dropped. Apple was using them as a model district but, well, they kinda don't talk about them any longer. It's not Apple's fault, though. But hey-- it certainly doesn't help them sell, right? (I like Apple for the most part... that's not the issue here).

We love to provide new technology to our faculty and students. But we like to do two things before we do it. First, we ask "why?"  If we don't get a good answer, we don't do it. Ask any teacher screaming for an iPad  "why" and you'll get a blank stare. Maybe they'll say something along the lines of "B..b..b..but TECHNOLOGY in the classroom!"  It's all horseshiat. But if they do give us a sound reason they want something (Google Apps for Education is a good example) we'll jump to it. The second this we do is make sure the infrastructure, security, and management is in place before anyone gets anything. The district wants BYOD to start as soon as possible. So this past summer we got all the budget money we could and we outfitted the entire district with a high-end, centrally-controlled wireless network with separate student and staff networks.

The real issue is competent folks are hard to come by when working in a municipality. A different neighboring town came to meet with us to see how we run our department because they have a total mess on their hands right now. The town IT department and the school IT department are two unique groups. The town IT director owns all the switches used at the schools because the town's WAN goes through them as well. So he has locked the school's IT group out of the switches and BILLS their department if he has to upgrade the firmware or make a settings change. Think about how ridiculous that is.

Bottom line? It's  a mess in here. We run a tight ship, but the people at the helm (Superintendent, Teacher's Union) do everything they can to steer us into the rocks simply because they don't know what they're doing when it comes to technology, and they insist that they're the ones with the final say on how the money gets spent. It is FAR, far worse than the corporate world, which I am going back to very shortly. It has its drawbacks too, I know, but salary ain't one of them.
 
2013-09-28 12:35:50 AM
The original theory behind giving the students an iPad was that it'd replace text books. However, as we see, students are a bit more creative than numbskull IT dudes working for LAUSD. Therefore, the iPads cannot be taken home now. How are the chilluns supposed to study at home now? (not that they would in the first place, but let's pretend).

Oh, and Apple is on the first 5% of loss/damage/stolen iPads, no word on what happens after that.
 
2013-09-28 12:46:13 AM

dj_bigbird: The original theory behind giving the students an iPad was that it'd replace text books. However, as we see, students are a bit more creative than numbskull IT dudes working for LAUSD. Therefore, the iPads cannot be taken home now. How are the chilluns supposed to study at home now? (not that they would in the first place, but let's pretend).

Oh, and Apple is on the first 5% of loss/damage/stolen iPads, no word on what happens after that.


If these things were supposed to replace textbooks, the kids would be given first-generation Kindles, not thousand dollar tablet entertainment centers.
 
2013-09-28 12:55:17 AM

fusillade762: All they had to do was delete their personal profile. That's hardly a hack.



Interesting. Please expand.
 
2013-09-28 12:56:00 AM

the_chief: I made the computer say Fart.


>10 PRINT "Fart! ";
>20 GOTO 10

RUN
 
2013-09-28 12:58:19 AM

HotWingAgenda: dj_bigbird: The original theory behind giving the students an iPad was that it'd replace text books. However, as we see, students are a bit more creative than numbskull IT dudes working for LAUSD. Therefore, the iPads cannot be taken home now. How are the chilluns supposed to study at home now? (not that they would in the first place, but let's pretend).

Oh, and Apple is on the first 5% of loss/damage/stolen iPads, no word on what happens after that.

If these things were supposed to replace textbooks, the kids would be given first-generation Kindles, not thousand dollar tablet entertainment centers.


they were theoretically supposed to be able to use interactive content, too.
 
2013-09-28 01:06:02 AM

dj_bigbird: HotWingAgenda: dj_bigbird: The original theory behind giving the students an iPad was that it'd replace text books. However, as we see, students are a bit more creative than numbskull IT dudes working for LAUSD. Therefore, the iPads cannot be taken home now. How are the chilluns supposed to study at home now? (not that they would in the first place, but let's pretend).

Oh, and Apple is on the first 5% of loss/damage/stolen iPads, no word on what happens after that.

If these things were supposed to replace textbooks, the kids would be given first-generation Kindles, not thousand dollar tablet entertainment centers.

they were theoretically supposed to be able to use interactive content, too.


Communism and the US Electoral College are some other examples of things that were supposed to work in theory.
 
2013-09-28 01:08:56 AM

Fade2black: Pretty ingenious idea.  All joking aside, many argue that indoctrination starts in the schools...80% of teachers are usually left-leaning liberals, and they preach that in some form or another to their students.  Now I'm not trying to start a flamewar, but I bring up my primary point:  Very smart of Apple to get them going on ipads so early.  It brainwashes them into wanting those in the future, as opposed to the myriad of other options out there.  Clever!

/not a fanboi, but I do have an iphone.
//just an observation


Back in the 80s and early 90s all of the schools only had apple computers for that very reason.
 
2013-09-28 01:10:09 AM

WordyGrrl: TheMega: Tom_Slick: "They told me Friday, 'I would do it for you because you're my friend,' " she says. "They told me that!"
If you weren't a friend, the hack would cost $2

$2.00 really, I bet they could easily charge $5, fire that school's Economics teacher.

No shiat... was getting $5 for a nicely written excuse slip 20 years ago!

/now I feel old... make me a cup of tea, put some lemon in it.

If $2 is the market rate, then hacking is not the cash cow I thought it was. Oh well. I was done with DOS commands anyway. So there.


Contrary to what Hollywood has told you, using DOS is not "hacking".
 
2013-09-28 01:14:31 AM

PrYgMMa: That's why when I was a network admin in a 9-12 charter school, I managed all filtering on the network level. All traffic was routed through a proxy via pfSense. There was MAC based authentication to allow or disallow access to any port or address. If it was on the white list it was allowed; if was disallowed they'd see a picture of  "billie the manatee" and the word 'PWN'D'.

God, they hated me... but my network was always up and the kids never saw a minute of porn. They'd say stuff like "Can't you just turn Facebook on for a little while, in the morning or at lunch?" or "All of my friends use SSL proxies, why don't those work here?"...


Ur so hardcore. A regular keyboard cowboy.
 
2013-09-28 01:18:03 AM
 
2013-09-28 01:33:04 AM

fusillade762: American Decency Association: fusillade762: All they had to do was delete their personal profile. That's hardly a hack.

Interesting. Please expand.

It's in the linked story:

Roosevelt students matter-of-factly explained their technique Tuesday outside school. The trick, they said, was to delete their personal profile information. With the profile deleted, a student was free to surf.


sorry, i missed that.  this must be a reference to the MDM app installed, as iOS has no facility for user profiles.  as mentioned above, MDM enforcement of  iOS devices is more about monitoring and less about locking things down

Many moons ago, Google translate could be used to avoid site blocking... translate english to english
 
2013-09-28 02:51:22 AM
Why are we giving students iPads?  You can't actually do any work on an iPad.  They are for entertainment purposes only.
 
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