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Burglary Ring Used Facebook Places To Find Targets

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the my-younger-cousins-like-this-and-3-other-pages dept.

Crime 152

Kilrah_il writes "A burglary ring was caught in Nashua, NH due to the vigilance of an off-duty police officer. The group is credited with 50 acts of burglary, the targets chosen because they posted their absence from home on the Internet. '"Be careful of what you post on these social networking sites," said Capt. Ron Dickerson. "We know for a fact that some of these players, some of these criminals, were looking on these sites and identifying their targets through these social networking sites."' Well, I guess the prophecies came true."

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152 comments

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Nothing new (4, Informative)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555552)

There was a group or person that was using twitter, to find targets

Re:Nothing new (4, Interesting)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555624)

And Google Street View's a gift for casing the joint - checking houses without burglar alarms, or with old/cheap ones, checking access and escape routes, etc - with no suspicion whatsoever, and no chance of a neighbour being able to remember someone acting a bit strangely a few days before a burglary took place.

Re:Nothing new (4, Funny)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555664)

Obligatory Futurama quote: Professor: Amy, technology isn't intrinsically good or evil. It's how it's used. Like the Death Ray.

Re:Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557422)

Eddie Izzard: What is this? The Death Star! What does it do? It does death!

Re:Nothing new (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555830)

And Google Street View's a gift for casing the joint - checking houses without burglar alarms, or with old/cheap ones

Yeah because you can totally see a burglar alarm from the street -- with google's resolution you can't even see if they have a sticker in the window.

Re:Nothing new (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33555946)

Aren't burglar alarms housed in big red/blue boxes on the outside of houses? I'm sure you could spot one of those from the street ...

Re:Nothing new (2, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556078)

Aren't burglar alarms housed in big red/blue boxes on the outside of houses?

Yeah, they even have labels on them that say "burglar alarm - do not tamper under penalty of law!"

Re:Nothing new (1, Flamebait)

Algorithmn (1601909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556792)

I thought the box near my garbage can that said "Mossberg" on it and the 3 empty 50lb bags of dog food were enough? Is my "NRA Inside means you stay out" sticker on my window just for good measure? Stupid crooks like these guys think they're smarter then they are typically die whimpering.. alone.. on my kitchen floor.. and if they don't die fast enough I'll smother them with the book of Job for good measure. If that doesn't work I think Monday Night Redemption is OK too... Long live the Castle Doctrine!!

Re:Nothing new (5, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557028)

Please stop eating dog food. I think it's affecting your hormonal levels.

Re:Nothing new (1)

frehe (6916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557902)

You can have my guns when I get to lick the dog food from your cold dead fingers!

Re:Nothing new (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557196)

Thats great... Until your facebooks says you are at the vet.

Re:Nothing new (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558916)

Until your facebooks says you are at the vet.

With all his dogs? I'm sure when he takes his chihuahua to the vet, the pit bull and the rottweiler still stay home :-)

Re:Nothing new (-1, Troll)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557652)

All the NRA sticker means is that you have easy to pawn manhood enhancement in the closet, and Viagra in the bathroom medicine cabinet.

Re:Nothing new (0, Flamebait)

Loualbano2 (98133) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558772)

This is 'insightful'? It's 'insightful' to stereotype and emasculate now?

Why is it that anytime anyone around here talks about guns or fast/expensive/nice/old automobiles someone trots out the old 'penis enhancement' crap?

This bullshit is right up there with 'No girls on the internet' and 'virgin nerd in mom's basement' things that people USED TO say in a semi-serious manner. Now these things are used as jokes simply because they are so dumb.

The medicine cabinet full of Viagra is fairly new though. So not only does this person have a little penis it doesn't even work properly? All because he has a shotgun?

Hell, this crap is even spouted when people talk about spending money on a fast computer. One would think that talking about building a fast machine would be safe here on this site, but nope, someone usually talks shit about someone's dick.

Here's a clue to you and everyone like you. It is possible, and probable, to like things based on factors having NOTHING to do with anyone's penis. I understand that the concept of liking shit without penile influence is pure insanity, but believe me, it happens.

I submit that the people who perpetuate this crap are the people with the small dick. Or maybe they just ARE dicks. I don't know, I can't keep it straight. I will just assume both.

Ha ha, "I can't keep it straight". Perhaps the GP will let me have some of those boner pills?

Since I disagree with you, it is probable that I have a small dick as well. I probably like stuff that you probably don't care for so there's another indicator. Even worse, I like big guns and tough cars, so the likelihood of even detecting my dick is sparse. Since I am being an ass in this comment one can also assume that not even Viagra works for my useless pecker. My penis is fucking hopeless.

TL;DR

Fuck you and fuck your object based stereotyping and emasculation.

Re:Nothing new (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558840)

All the NRA sticker means is that you have easy to pawn manhood enhancement in the closet, and Viagra in the bathroom medicine cabinet.

That's not enough to discourage you from breaking and entering?!

Re:Nothing new (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555834)

The problem is, the media jumps on all this stuff like its brand new, thieves did the same thing ages ago. Just drive around a neighborhood where someone said at the bar they were going out of town and break in with a car with cheap magnetic decals of a cable company/telephone company/whatever.

Re:Nothing new (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33555938)

The problem is, the media jumps on all this stuff like its brand new

That's usually the case with any form of Darwinism. Hey stupid, don't post your whereabouts and habits on the public Internet unless you want *everybody* to know about them including some very unsavory people. How hard is this to understand? Anybody who doesn't comprehend that doesn't want to. A little cause and effect is just the cure.

Hey America I hate to break it to you, but being completely oblivious about the potential consequences of your decisions isn't such a great idea. True for everything from this subject on the personal level all the way up to the politics of "if we just give them a little more power they'll keep us safe, honest!"

Re:Nothing new (2, Funny)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556838)

I'd love them to break into my home. It's on Starbase 963, Deck 35, Corridor J in the Beta Quadrant because if anyone is able to successfully break in, then I want access to their ship so I can get home.

Re:Nothing new (3, Funny)

mickwd (196449) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555986)

Ah yes, the old "hang around in a bar until someone shouts out their address, and that they're going out of town for a while, then pull up outside their house in a car with cheap magnetic decals of a cable company" trick.

Funny how the cops never seem to think of going to the local magnetic-decals-of-cable-companies shop and asking questions, isn't it?

Re:Nothing new (3, Funny)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557980)

"Funny how the cops never seem to think of going to the local magnetic-decals-of-cable-companies shop and asking questions, isn't it?"

It's a conspiracy.

Re:Nothing new (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558900)

No, it's just the cops who showed up had magnetic decals to make their regular car look like a cop car. They're accomplices.

Hey, I suppose you're right...

Re:Nothing new (5, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557188)

Funeral notices are the classic... what close family members don't go to the funeral?

Re:Nothing new (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557542)

rob someone's house while they are at a funeral?

Never underestimate what some sick fuck will stoop to when he needs some cash.

Re:Nothing new (3, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557608)

If you don't go to their funerals, then they will not come to yours.

Re:Nothing new (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557804)

Funeral notices are the classic... what close family members don't go to the funeral?

Clearly you've never met my family.

Re:Nothing new (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558580)

"She ain't comin' to mine, I ain't goin' t' hers."

Re:Nothing new (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558926)

Weddings too.

Re:Nothing new (1)

Bungie (192858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558436)

Yeah maybe that happened in the 80's but this is 2010. In my area (of s major Canadian city) theives don't ever bother with such elaborate plans involving magnetic decals or finding when people are out. It's pretty common for them just kick in the door. If anyone is home they hold them at gunpoint or lock them in a room. Then they just take what they want from the house and load it into a stolen truck. It seriously happens more than you'd believe.

Re:Nothing new (1)

hex0D (1890162) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556114)

No, it's really not. Whether people are noticing what your doing or not is the most important factor in getting away with a crime. Casing a joint in person remains the only real way to determine this, AFAIK, and all the other things you mention are much better evaluated by a visit as well. Street View isn't really going to show you that the neighbor typically sits looking out on where you want to enter, and it's much less a big deal being caught acting suspiciously than it is red handed in a criminal act.

IANAB (I Am Not A Burglar), but if I was I'd like to think I'd be good one.

Re:Nothing new (1)

HawaiianToast (618430) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557370)

Crowbars, ski masks and sneakers are gifts for burgling too... I think this point is baloney. It's merely a convenience, burglar or not.

Re:Nothing new (1)

frehe (6916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557928)

Crowbars, ski masks and sneakers are gifts for burgling too...

Don't forget to bring the black and white striped shirt, and the sack marked "SWAG".

Re:Nothing new (3, Informative)

hex0D (1890162) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555916)

It's no different from people letting their mail / newspapers stack up, leaving conspicuously vacant garages / parking spots, all the house lights off or any number of obvious "I'm not home! Good time to rob me!" signs.

Headline might as well be 'Bad Things Happen To Those Who Make Dumb Choices'

Re:Nothing new (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556126)

Headline might as well be 'Bad Things Happen To Those Who Make Dumb Choices'

I think this is another "but somehow it's different because a computer was involved!" type of issue.

Re:Nothing new (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557320)

It is different. A postal mailbox doesn't have a button hidden behind the hinge of the front door which, unless you press it, will publish the fronts of your envelopes (but only the fronts, anything more would be invasive y'see) and summary statistics on mail received, in the Orangeville Residents' Bulletin and Book of Faces.

OK it's not a perfect analogy, and maybe it's not fundamentally different, but online life has more gotchas than what meets the eye. Privacy and forgetting have to be engineered in; there aren't physical limitations.

Re:Nothing new (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557402)

It is different. A postal mailbox doesn't have a button hidden behind the hinge of the front door which, unless you press it, will publish the fronts of your envelopes (but only the fronts, anything more would be invasive y'see) and summary statistics on mail received, in the Orangeville Residents' Bulletin and Book of Faces.

OK it's not a perfect analogy, and maybe it's not fundamentally different, but online life has more gotchas than what meets the eye. Privacy and forgetting have to be engineered in; there aren't physical limitations.

The only thing there is to assume is that the Internet is a public resource and anything you publish there is fully public unless you have a very good, verifiable, evidence-based reason to believe otherwise. It's that simple.

Re:Nothing new (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557516)

A good point, and if we're talking about Facebook, Twitter, and other forums for broadcasting one's own vanity or stupidity, that's one thing. Stuff like Streetview is not exactly voluntary, though. Neither is the publication of volumes of government records about individuals, which were nice and relatively harmless locked up in filing cabintes or on microfilm due to difficulty of access, but which provide a treasure trove of information when published online. It's not just about what people choose to publish online, otherwise I'd say let the stupid be stupid. However, you CAN be targeted by online searches these days without doing anything, and in fact without ever having used the Internet at all. Old news to be sure, but sometimes it takes a while for chickens to come home to roost.

Re:Nothing new (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558852)

I think this is another "but somehow it's different because a computer was involved!" type of issue.

I'll take it. Anything that gets people to raise the awareness of what they post on sites like Facebook. I'm just waiting for the day one of my family members publicly posts their address or phone number without thinking.

Re:Nothing new (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558570)

Wrong analogy.

It is no different from your kid saying that he is going somewhere in the schoolyard. My neighbour two houses down the street from me had that one happen to him a couple of months back. His kid was overly talkative about their vacation plans.

Re:Nothing new (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557348)

"There was a group or person that was using twitter, to find targets"

Rob me now [robmenow.com]

Re:Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33558504)

This was foretold years ago!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TM8ol1qkqQ

Hang on.. (0)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555582)

Didn't someone already create a webpage called PleaseRobMe or something like that
using people's social networking locations?

Re:Hang on.. (2, Funny)

blai (1380673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555602)

But PleaseRobMe is down...

Re:Hang on.. (2, Informative)

krray (605395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556312)

http://youropenbook.org/ [youropenbook.org] is still very much up. Look up "vacation" and be amazed. Found a guy on there the other day letting everyone know he was going to Disney World for the next 11 days. He lived in NH and had a listed phone number...

Re:Hang on.. (4, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555648)

The burglary ring were captured after being identified using fireworks they had previously stolen from a property. Police were reported to say "We blew open the case after an explosion of similar burglaries. One suspect was let off"

Re:Hang on.. (3, Funny)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558098)

A friend and I went to a fancy dress party - I was dressed as a firework, my friend as a battery. On the way we were stopped by the police - they let me off, but my friend was charged.

Re:Hang on.. (1)

a_hanso (1891616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558146)

was he charged with battery?

Not Places (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33555608)

They looked for status messages saying people were on vacation. A bit different from using Places.

Re:Not Places (1)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555948)

But now, thanks to Places and the idiots that use it, burgling is easier than ever!

Silver Lining (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556162)

But now, thanks to Places and the idiots that use it, burgling is easier than ever!

There is a silver lining to that cloud. The more criminals are tempted to go after those who actively make themselves an easy target, the more likely it is that those with a bit of sense will be left alone. This means you now have more control than ever over whether this will happen to you. Choice is good.

Re:Silver Lining (3, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557398)

It also makes it very easy to set criminals up for a little 'self defence'. Smart law enforcement could also be doing the same sort of thing as they do with 'bait' cars in high car theft areas.

Always change your privacy settings (1)

lavagolemking (1352431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555964)

How much do you want to bet that the victims were using Facebook's default privacy settings...

Re:Always change your privacy settings (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556294)

How much do you want to bet that the victims were using Facebook's default privacy settings...

My default privacy settings are the best available because I don't use Facebook.

Re:Always change your privacy settings (2, Informative)

lavagolemking (1352431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556346)

Neither do I, but I hear only the worst things about Facebook's default privacy settings.

Re:Always change your privacy settings (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33556660)

So you're trashing something you don't use or understand. Nice. Very Slashdot. You and causality should suck each other off in congratulations over being too cool to use Facebook, btw.

Re:Always change your privacy settings (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556796)

So you're trashing something you don't use or understand.

Actually I don't use it because I understand it. Maybe you don't know this, but you can look before you leap, you can read up on something and learn something about it before deciding whether you will engage in it.

By your false logic, every non-smoker on the planet was once a smoker since they would never know why tobacco use is detrimental to health until after trying it and experiencing worse health. There's this thing called foresight that makes that unnecessary.

Incidentally "trashing" is a very strange term to describe calmly and honestly discussing its disadvantages. I think you have a sore point. Apparently the idea that others might have good reasons for not doing something that you have your reasons for doing is inflammatory and offensive to you. Most of the problems in the world are caused by an inability to live and let live, which in turn is rooted in mentalities like yours. You deserve every last bit of misery it causes you.

Dispute me on that if you think you can, though at this point the prudent thing for you would be to silently disappear and pretend you didn't notice my reply.

Re:Always change your privacy settings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33556814)

Oops. We've made fun of someone's religion.

Here's a clue for you - I've never shot myself in the foot. But I know enough about firearms and trauma to have a good idea what would happen if I tried it.

enough of this! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33555650)

It's the chavs and the immigrants!

hmm (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555680)

Or, alternately, don't add burglars as facebook friends.

Re:hmm (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33555788)

and mind your privacy settings regarding "Everyone."

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556300)

Yeah, because that is so easy to predict.

Here's the thing, when you have kids, you end up friending a ton of people you know marginally. You also find out a lot of things that you can have talks with your kids about (not mentioning any names in those talks, just bring up the topic in general... "hey, what would you do if you found out some of your friends did such and such?").

My kids don't have Facebook accounts, but most of their IRL friends at school and church do.

But I think this shows that you shouldn't put anything online that you don't want to put right in front of your house. Don't put up a flier "gone out of town 3 weeks" on your front door and don't put it on Facebook either. Share the photos when you get back.

Sounds like a good topic for me and my family to talk about at dinner tonight.

Re:hmm (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557332)

Yeah, because that is so easy to predict.

Here's the thing, when you have kids, you end up friending a ton of people you know marginally. You also find out a lot of things that you can have talks with your kids about (not mentioning any names in those talks, just bring up the topic in general... "hey, what would you do if you found out some of your friends did such and such?").

My kids don't have Facebook accounts, but most of their IRL friends at school and church do.

But I think this shows that you shouldn't put anything online that you don't want to put right in front of your house. Don't put up a flier "gone out of town 3 weeks" on your front door and don't put it on Facebook either. Share the photos when you get back.

Sounds like a good topic for me and my family to talk about at dinner tonight.

If you have been a good model and example to your family of common sense and instilled the same virtue in them, gently and patiently but unambiguously correcting any failures to apply it, then any specific talk about this particular subject would be redundant.

If you've failed to uphold that standard then the very best you could do is a list of "dos and dont's". That list might or might not include potential perils of using Facebook but anything you leave out of that list would remain a vulnerability from a security standpoint.

Better to be acquainted with the true principle than worry about the infinite variations of possible instances of it.

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558694)

It's not anywhere near as straight-forward as that. Furthermore, peer pressure is difficult even with the best parenting.

Re:hmm (1)

Spacezilla (972723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558756)

Here's the thing, when you have kids, you end up friending a ton of people you know marginally.

I have a six year old son myself and my friends on facebook are still, well, my friends. I believe that's why they call it "friends", not "people you kinda met once, but don't really know". I can honestly say that I don't have a single friend on facebook that I wouldn't trust with a key to my apartment, so I certainly don't mind any of them knowing if I'm going on vacation. Then again, I only have like 10 friends on facebook, including my closest family (mother, father and sister).

Re:hmm (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558832)

How about this, don't friend people you don't really know then. QED.

Alternatively, use Facebook's filtering, and stop being a pithy twit giving up info about yourself; whatever happens, it's self-inflicted. Most robberies are by people you know.

story summary is horseshit... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33555724)

...No where in TFA was Facebook Places mentioned, just idiots who announced that they would not be at home. Looks like the submitter has an axe to grind with Places.

Re:story summary is horseshit... (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556454)

It's not entirely horseshit: Burglars didn't use the places okay. Though there is no denying that it could be used for this means. It may even be more effective of a tool than simple status searches. The original submitter has good intentions. Your's are blinded by the hype job that is location based services right now. They are in no way a benefit to consumers, only marketers.

This specific situation may not be tied to FB:Places; However, the story is a great example of how burglars today are colluding their plans using social networks. We can't pretend that FB:Places won't encourage this kind of operation in the future. Awareness of the dangers to the general public must be demonstrated immediately and effectively. If this is done through a little bit of sensationalism, then so be it. There's nothing inherently evil about a hyperbole.

Reminds me... (4, Informative)

magsol (1406749) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555876)

of this app [pleaserobme.com] .

Did anyone else see this? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33555880)

Burger King used facebook places to find targets

Terrifying stuff.

Security through obscurity (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33555974)

Regarding online safety, security through obscurity should not be overlooked. It's crap like this (and stuff in the work place) as to why I don't blab on about intimate details of my life to strangers.

Re:Security through obscurity (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556342)

Regarding online safety, security through obscurity should not be overlooked.

As I've been saying here on Slashdot for years; the mantra so often chanted here ("security through obscurity is no security at all"), is dead wrong. Security professionals well know that obscurity is a valuable part of their arsenal - because an intruder or attacker cannot prepare in advance for a defensive or security measure he does not know is there.

Re:Security through obscurity (4, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557566)

Security through obscurity is worthless. I think what you mean is "security WITH obscurity," which is one of the levels of layered security everyone should use.

Re:Security through obscurity (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557576)

"security through obscurity" is NOT "I have a hidden silent alarm and once they get inside there is a guard dog even though there are no signs"

"security through obscurity" is "I can leave my doors unlocked because I live in the middle of nowhere" or "My house is unremarkable and small, nobody will think to rob me. I'll leave my doors unlocked." It's relying on the fact that your operating system or application software is nonstandard, so there are no pre-made rootkits for it. And relying on ONLY that for your security without making sure that your nonstandard software is actually secure, not just obscure.

Those two are not quite the same thing. Of course hiding some of your defensive and security measures is a good idea. That's not what is meant by "security through obscurity is no security at all".

Re:Security through obscurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33558382)

You may be right, but this is Slashdot and Slashdot won't ever agree that closed source may have a few advantages which open source doesn't.

Re:Security through obscurity (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558684)

Yep. When you can't plan for it, risk goes through the roof. That's why, say, the Secret Service keeps presidential protection details a secret. It isn't because the protection is extremely weak, far from it, it is some of if not the best in the world. However it is just that much harder to get through if you don't know what all is there. Where are all the agents station? How are the armed? Who is under cover? What kind of backup do they have? What are the escape routes? If all this is known, it is easier to plan for something, even with extremely good security. However when it is all secret, well then it is pretty much impossible. Not only do you not know what to plan for, you can't even set reasonable margins of error since you just don't know what the hell you are up against.

Privacy vs. Anonymity vs. Stupidity (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556070)

We HAVE a right to privacy - things done in private should stay there.

We THINK we have a right to anonymity - that somehow, things done in a public place or forum will not be connected with our identity.

People ACT with stupidity, when they post private information on a public forum with their identity specifically attached.

Society needs to read some Niven and Pournelle and learn what "Evolution in action means."

Facebook / Twitter location services (3, Interesting)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556082)

This isn't surprising to me because Facebook and Twitter apps on mobile (iPhone and android) have a "location" feature in them that always really scared me. Basically it posts your position along with your post, and people can track you..

I guess that's not directly related to this particular burglary ring, but it could be used in the same way.. or just to rob people of their phone. "Person A is at the starbucks and they clearly have an iPhone since Facebook says 'posted from my iPhone'.."

Re:Facebook / Twitter location services (2, Insightful)

c_forq (924234) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556340)

I don't understand this fear. Anyone that knows me, or follows me for even a single day, will know I'm at work 9-5 on Monday through Friday. How does posting with my location during this time change anything?

Re:Facebook / Twitter location services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557164)

It's the compilation of detail rather that /a/ detail, and it's combining these details in a way that's easy for anyone to view as much as they like, as deeply as they, without trace.

Say for whatever reason you've come to someone's attention. They don't even have to expose themselves by following you as single day to know your working hours, where you live, you pattern of transport, and your typical hangouts. Add facebook-type social blab and they've got a quick idea of who else is in the house, including pets. And they can scope the house and neighbourhood through googlemaps.

And most importantly, it's trivial to do a bunch of people this way, to look for the easiest pickings. You can have a kid do it for pocket-money.

So how crime is carried out has shifted -- we need to acknowledge that. To be the least attractive target we've got to be aware and shift ourselves too. I already lock doors and windows when I go out, and I lock my car when I park it. (Didn't need to do either when & where I was a kid.) I put my wallet in a deep pocket with a buttoned top when I'm downtown in crowds. I'm careful with how I expose my credit & debit card info, and how I handle PIN and passwords. This isn't living in fear -- these are just boring basic precautions that are picked up and lived with easily. Similarly we need to shift to be less exposed to the network broadcast of our details.

practicalities (4, Insightful)

merry-v (1160825) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556092)

i don't understand how the burglars were able to quickly trawl facebook to find :

a) the street addresses of the people who were on holiday, not normally stored in facebook?
b) who did not co-habit with people who were not on holiday
c) who had stuff worth stealing
d) living within easy driving distance of the burglar
e) no alarm, neighborhood watch, alert neighbours etc
f) the exact days of leaving and arriving back

burglars already have lots of ways to find a target house without data mining social networking sites, e.g. pushing flyers half-way into letter boxes then coming back in two days to see if any are still untouched, driving buy in the evening to see if lights are off etc etc.

is it possible that some of those got burgled who had posted about their holiday, and told the police "that must be the reason" ? I know TFA asserts that the police know the gang used facebook, but something does not add up here. seems like BS to me.

Re:practicalities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33556264)

For the street address, if people use their full name in facebook and list their town, there's a good chance that you can get a correct address from the white pages. As for whether other people will be home, if they say "family vacation", that gives a good probability that every one in the house will be gone. As to the other things you pointed out (alarm, neighborhood watch, whether they have stuff worth stealing), you're correct. They probably have to case the joint in person to get that info. But at least they know they're casing a place that will be vacant on a particular day. Someone might case my house and determine I'm an excellent prospect, but if I don't go on vacation for a year then they haven't got anything.

People just don't think it through (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557204)

I wish I had mod points to mod you up.

What many people seem to fail to see is that every single datapoint one gives out can be combined with others to often paint a far clearer picture of your life and it's details than one might think. It would actually be fairly trivial to put in a few weeks of work in order to build a list of targets ripe for the picking, if that.

Re:People just don't think it through (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33558778)

Just because something is possible, doesn't mean it happens (most buglaries are not planned, they're opportunistic).

Re:practicalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33558746)

Which proves the OP's point: pushing a flyer half way through a letter box is less work than what you wrote.

Re:practicalities (1)

Amlothi (207848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558344)

See, that's the problem. You aren't thinking like a criminal.

If you wanted to break into a house, what would YOU do? That's how you need to approach the problem. If I were going to do this (and I'm not, just hypothetically) I would:

Use the facebook community features. You can join a community and view other people in that same town / geographic region.

Take their name and/or phone number (yes, some people put those on their profiles) and lookup their address online.

Browse their photos to see what they might have in their home, what their car looks like, etc.

If their email address is public, use that to search for other websites / forums with information about them.

Use google maps with street view to see what the building looks like, if it's a single unit home or a multi-unit complex, etc. Also, check for proximity of neighbors houses and lines of site to the property.

Find their home phone online and call it to verify they are not home at the time you plan to rob them.

If I look at enough people and get enough data points, it will be pretty easy to find a suitable target. Remember, I'm not saying that I will have enough info on a specific person, I'm just saying if I look at enough people I can eventually find the few "easy targets" who are too trusting about what they put online.

Paranoid much? (4, Informative)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556110)

Facebook places is only for iPhone and phones that support W3 geolocation, and only available via native application or touch.facebook.com. You also actually have to explicitly 'check in' / 'check out' of places.

It amazes the ammount of paranoid people turning it off believing it tracks their location whereever they log into face book. It's not even available worldwide completely.

From TFFBFAQ: "At this time, the Places application is available to users in the United States with mobile access to the Facebook application for iPhone or touch.facebook.com"

Even with places turned off, you only need to post "going to fiji for 6 weeks w00t" and everybody knows you're not home. It amazes me the number of people, especially young females who post "I'm home alone tonight and bored" - you can be sure I'm in contact with the really quickly to tell them how dangerous that is and if I they feel unsafe I could .... wait I'm going off topic...

Re:Paranoid much? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33556374)

...especially young females who post "I'm home alone tonight and bored"

Go on...

Re:Paranoid much? (1)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558298)

why, you think they would get poked?

Re:Paranoid much? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33557934)

young females who post "I'm home alone tonight and bored"

I read something like that and I think "phone sex" or "cheap hooker" or "easy slut". The last two I equate to "I have three to six different STDs all contagious and at least one incurable".

No thanks

Re:Paranoid much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557964)

Mark Zuckerberg, is that you?

It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you, and it's not not paranoia to think that facebook will abuse/mess up location tracking.

ads for 'please rob me' finally being answered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33556156)

it gets worse (ex. ad; single mother, 3 children), but we already know that (but it must not be stuff that really matters?). just keep it on the light (fingered) side thanks.

friend fraud (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556470)

I've noticed an increase in people claiming to be old friends on facebook lately. "rofl, u remember me." un uhn. Give me a better "how you know me" answer. Even then, my friends get a fairly empty profile.

Re:friend fraud (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558308)

I got a friend request once from some generic profile, supposedly for an organization related to where I'm located. Looked at it, and I couldn't tell who they were or how they might have been related to me in any way. Did these clowns think I was going to friend them? Hell, I don't want some of the friends I already have, so I'm certainly not going to add more that I can't even identify.

Handing information to criminals (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556590)

I know of an HOA that installed security cameras- apparently the objective was not to have them monitored by a security company, but to hand out the cameras' IP so that homeowner who knew about it could do their own security. I guess it never dawned on anyone that the cameras could be used just as easily to *commit* a crime, rather than prevent it.

A pretty comprehensive writeup... (5, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33556974)

... from the Nashua Telegraph [nashuatelegraph.com] , the local newspaper for Nashua, NH. It's not yet clear how many of the burglaries were related to Facebook status updates - I've seen some news reports saying "all of them," and a few saying "only one."

I think this case could be a very good lever for getting Facebook to change default permissions to "friends only" for everything, as most of the stories are suggesting that, where there's a facebook connection, the profiles were set to the default "everybody can ready my stuff" setting.

And people wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33556986)

Why I tell nothing about myself online if I can possibly avoid it.

Hell I don't even want to tell my neighbors anything.

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557434)

Burglars used common sense to pick targets...

Di3)k (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33557554)

mistake of elrecting

lolcats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33558062)

Am I the only one that read 'Burger Rings'?

Deleted Facebook account (2, Interesting)

OBeardedOne (700849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33558806)

I recently bit the bullet and deleted my FB account - I've had concerns about privacy on there from the get go. I did however start a new account using a name that is similar but not quite the same as my real name. I figure it will be hard for most people to find me that aren't in my immediate circle of trusted friends.

So, now I am starting to re-friend everyone which also has a couple of advantages. I get to say hi to a few people I haven't been in direct contact with when I drop them a new friend request and also have an excuse for dropping a bunch of people I should not have added in the first place (very old people from school I never really liked nor wanted remain friends with anyway). Further to this I can explain to a few people that ask why I deleted my account why I did so and spread the message of FB privacy issues.

Overall, I feel that at least now with a semi anonymous name/profile I am much less likely to be faced with these major privacy issues cropping up and can enjoy FB that much more.

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