Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Tracking Down a Cell Phone Thief

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-a-good-move dept.

Security 254

Zone-MR writes "Last Saturday, MoDaCo (the world's largest smartphone community) held a get-together for their forum members. Unfortunately the positive community spirit was soured by an individual who decided to steal one of the charity raffle prizes - a C550 mobile phone. Check out the story of how we tracked the thief down, got the phone back, and secured the thief's place in the interweb's hall-of-shame."

cancel ×

254 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

How about the bandwidth thief? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419028)

Was Slashdot just slashdotted?

yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419032)

sp!

Re:How about the bandwidth thief? (1)

ColdCoffee (664886) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419101)

Yes. What's the story Slashdot?

Re:How about the bandwidth thief? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419109)

I got 503s for an hour or two. The AP wire has been down since 8 p.m. Eastern, but it seems to have returned since about 11 p.m.

Crazy.

Interweb? (3, Funny)

MrYotsuya (27522) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419030)

Who the hell says interweb?

Re:Interweb? (4, Funny)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419033)

Yeah seriously. Everyone knows it's 'intarweb'.

Re:Interweb? (3, Informative)

otomo_1001 (22925) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419085)

Nope. Wikipedia disagrees. But mentions Intarweb as an alternate spelling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interweb [wikipedia.org]

Re:Interweb? (5, Funny)

TummyX (84871) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419240)


Nope. Wikipedia disagrees. But mentions Intarweb as an alternate spelling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interweb [wikipedia.org]


You must be fun at parties.

Re:Interweb? (1)

utnow (808790) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419120)

no no no... everybody knows that it's the World-Wide-Webaverse!

Re:Interweb? (1)

ilikejam (762039) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419132)

Wibbly Wobbly Web?

Innerwha? (2, Funny)

lullabud (679893) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419258)

Ya'll, ah ain't nevah hurdah no such thang as tha'ch'all talkin' bout... thet thar internet.

Re:Interweb? (1)

Tropaios (244000) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419047)

I do, but then again I also say internerd.

Re:Interweb? (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419266)

AFAIK, the term originated in a hilarious Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie [deadtroll.com] public service message called "Keep Your Parents Off The Internet."

Among other things, the dad says: "I want to be surfing up the email and webbed up to net pages and such."

Re:Interweb? (1)

klui (457783) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419421)

The same guy who says "forward stroke".

I stole this login (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419034)

I hope slashdot doesn't track me down.

Why would you do it? (4, Insightful)

fgl (792403) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419035)

That has to be the dumbest thing ever. Stealing something guarenteed to broadcast its presence. And from within a tech convention?

Happened to me (2, Interesting)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419136)

I was asleep in the library at my school and someone stole my backpack with my cell phone in it. I found my backpack later in another part of the library with my cell phone missing.

I went to the campus police and filed a report. They said they'll get their detective to work on it later that day. I fought it was just a waste of time at first but then I slowly realized how stupid it is to steal a cell phone. Any call from that phone can be traced by the phone company. And sure enough that evening the police called me and told me to come pick up my cell phone. They called this idiot and told him that he better return it, to make it easier on him. He claimed that he didn't steal it but bought it from someone for $30. Yeah right! Anyway he returned it and I got my phone back.

Later the police gave me a copy of the sheet he singed when he returned the stolen item and the sheet has this guy's home address, date of birth and social security. I checked his court records and he has like 10 convictions on his record for theft, drug charges and some smaller things. I thought of posting his info out on the web, for people to have some fun with, but that would be a little too evil for me.

Re:Why would you do it? (1)

SCVirus (774240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419152)

Do you really think that the person caught wasn't the 8th person to buy the phone?

Re:Why would you do it? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419420)

The same reason people hack from home. The same reason people shoplift at megastores in the 21st century. It's an addiction. Regardless of the harm a thief knows it will cause themselves they are compelled to keep doing it. That's why so many of the replies in this story scare me. They remind me of the heartless things people say about the homeless. It's not a choice, it's an illness. We should treat these people with consideration so they can become productive members of society, not lock them up or beat them down.

Fantastic (1)

kabz (770151) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419036)

That is kick-ass. Congrats on getting the phone back. More power to the interweb !!!

Oh how I wish I could moderate in pairs (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419404)

Right now this [slashdot.org] is just above your post.

How I wish they could stay together forever!

text of the article (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419037)

http://zone-mr.net/?act=entry&id=36 [zone-mr.net]

Last Saturday, MoDaCo (the world's largest smartphone community) held a get-together for their forum members. Unfortunately the positive community spirit was soured by an individual who decided to steal one of the charity raffle prizes - a C550 mobile phone.

On Monday, Paul O'Brien (MoDaCo founder) contacted me with information on the stolen phone's IMEI number. I operate the SPV-Developers community which offers the free online SPV-Services unlock tool for this type of phone. It seemed likely that the thief would attempt to remove the SIMLock using this service in order to switch the phone to a non-UK network - bypassing the UK's IMEI blacklist which renders stolen phones useless.

Initially it seemed like there was little I could do to help. The SPV-Services server was not programmed to log the IMEI numbers of it's users. It seemed like a dead end, until I remembered something. When a user unlocks their phone, our server keeps a backup of the phone's first flash block (kept for a few days, in case the changes need to be reversed). This block contains 64kB of RSA-encrypted data such as the phone's SIMLock state, Carrier ID, and other concealed information - it seemed likely the IMEI would be buried within it. Shortly my suspicion was confirmed - after decrypting the block, the IMEI can be found inside (albeit scrambled with a simple transposition).

I started writing a short script - which would check each backup in turn to see if it originated from the stolen phone. After 30 minutes of writing, testing, and running the script - we had a match! The stolen phone had been unlocked. The creation timestamp on the backup file gave us an exact time - August 21, 2005, 10:18:32 PM.

The next step was cross-referencing this information with our web server logs. When a user uses our software to unlock their phone the software uploads the encrypted block to our server, which sends back a list of modifications which need to be made in order to remove the SIMLock. As we knew the exact time when this happened, we could find the corresponding web server entry :

        2005-08-21 22:18:32 POST /services/simlock_2.php - 82.163.137.156

Bingo! I passed this IP address back to Paul who cross-referenced it with Modaco's database. From this, he was able to identify the guilty member. A quick lookup confirmed that the IP was used by the account "Cocky" - a member which had attended the get-together. The event registrations contained the name of our theif, and his mobile number. The next day, Cocky (AKA Krassen P.) received a short phone call:

        Paul: Hi, this is Paul from MoDaCo.
        Cocky: Er, Hi.
        Paul: You have something of mine, and I want it back.

Not surprisingly, Paul could hear the faint sound of the guy crapping himself at the other end of the line. The phone was returned, via special delivery, the following day. Moral of the story - even if you're enough of a cunt to steal from a charity raffle, don't be fucktarded enough to steal a phone from a community of phone experts.

Re:text of the article (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419391)

Your use of that word in that way shows that have no respect for women. I feel sorry for the women in your life, you probably have some of them fooled.

some good detective work... (5, Interesting)

wcitech (798381) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419038)

...and a little luck.

While some good detective work was done by the MoDaCo admin(s?), a lot of thanks can be given to chance, because the cultprit was stupid enough to unlock his phone a) from a source well known to MoDaCo and b) from the same IP address. I'm calling it 25% good sleuthing, 75% dumb criminal.

Re:some good detective work... (3, Insightful)

jeblucas (560748) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419102)

I'm calling it 25% good sleuthing, 75% dumb criminal.
You just figured out about 95% of police work. Despite what shit-shows like CSI, Profile, &c., would have you believe; catching most criminals usually comes down to finding the dipshit dumb enough to leave his stuff all over the scene.

Re:some good detective work... (1)

prattle (898688) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419218)

catching most criminals usually comes down to finding the dipshit dumb enough to leave his stuff all over the scene.

This reminds me of a quote from a police detective (dunno where I heard it; probably fictional):

"I've been throwing guys up against squad cars for a lot of years and I've never once found a mensa card in their wallet."

Re:some good detective work... (0, Redundant)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419418)

That's 'cause the smart ones don't get caught.

Re:some good detective work... (4, Insightful)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419106)

Most crimes are solved because the criminal tells someone, or does something stupid. (I don't mean miniscule stupid things like you see on TV with CSI, I mean really dumb things...)
Sure there are some good, and thus rich criminals out there. But the majority of them are fairly dumb.

Re:some good detective work... (1)

srleffler (721400) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419203)

Nor is this coincidence. Smart people can usually find a better way to make a living than crime. (There are rare exceptions, of course.)

Re:some good detective work... (2, Insightful)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419216)

Sure there are some good, and thus rich criminals out there. But the majority of them are fairly dumb.

Yup, the majority of people who find themselves in the "life of crime" don't do it because they're criminal masterminds looking to build their great underground lair, but because they're dumbasses who fall into the "lowest common denominator" of how to survive in a world with no marketable skills and few personal assets. Of course there are a lot more that do it to support drug habits and such.

N.

Re:some good detective work... (5, Funny)

rzebram (828885) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419336)

You mean to tell me that real police officers can't zoom in on footage taken from a $5 security camera and enhance it enough to read the room number off the keycard in someones hand? Or that they can't pull up a guy's life story and his current location based on a fingerprint left on a furnace in Bangladesh?Blasphemy!

Re:some good detective work... (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419174)

I'm calling it 25% good sleuthing, 75% dumb criminal.
In the end, isn't all good sleuthing just waiting for the criminal to do something dumb?

Re:some good detective work... (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419348)

Most of the time.

There are many nearly perfect crimes that are solved due to one single clue... like leaving residue of specialty clay used to make masks when there is only one theatrical shop worldwide that makes and sells that specific mix, something the criminals did not know beforehand.

Nothing to see here, move along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419039)

Error 503 Error 500

Track him (1)

gaanagaa (784648) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419041)

Track the guy who is stealing your bandwith. Or else track the guy who buys your bandwith.

I guess its a case of... (0, Offtopic)

BlackMesaLabs (893043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419042)

In soviet russia, telephone finds YOU!

Re:I guess its a case of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419077)

In soviet russia, Slashdot posts shite jokes on fucking idiots.

hahah! (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419043)

its great to read a story where the bad guy gets what he deserves. There was a little luck involved with this. If the thief would have used a wifi hotspot, or a proxy, or any other box other than his home, he could of hide his tracks when he unlocked the phone.

woah (0, Redundant)

switchfutguy (880698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419052)

was it just my ISP or did slashdot just go down?

Re:woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419088)

that reminds me of whenever the power goes out for any amount of time. Everyone has to call everyone they know and go to all of their neighbours to see if they could perhaps borrow a cup of power.

Learned a New Word for the day (-1, Offtopic)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419061)

Fucktarded. That had to be the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Never heard that one.

Great job guys. You got the phone back, but did he go to jail/get arrested/fined anything? Or just 0wn3d online?

But... never steal a camera phone (5, Funny)

XplosiveX (644740) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419062)

oh the reasons you couldn't steal.. It is worth a laugh.

http://www.longislandpress.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p= 2037& [longislandpress.com]

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419108)

Fucking hillarious.

Re:But... never steal a camera phone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419148)

what a dumb nigger (is there any other kind?)!

omfg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419074)

omgs slashdot was haxored.
I am the first to claim i did it
I shallbe know as n00bmaster.
ah wait, is that the cops,
BANG BANG BANG

Hm, maybe the thief should have picked the COPS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419083)



Hm, maybe the thief should have picked the COPS! This web exposure is a lot, lot worse than what some donut-feasting cops would bother to do.

503 - Service unavailable. Come back some other time.

can you say misogyny? (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419090)

from the article

"...even if you're enough of a cunt to steal from a charity raffle,..."

uhm... and why is it geeks don't get laid?

Re:can you say misogyny? (5, Informative)

GreenHell (209242) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419139)

cunt
      noun (vulgar slang) 1. a woman's genitals. 2. an unpleasant or stupid person.

You've obviously never heard UKers insult someone before.

Re:can you say misogyny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419229)

That doesn't mean the word isn't still misogynistic. Just as "pedantic dick" refers to your overall resemblance to male anatomy.

Re:can you say misogyny? (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419274)

Yeah, I think that someone who's never read for example Quake Mental Hospital [b0rk.co.uk] should get dragged out to the street and shot :)

252 occurrences of "cunt" found.

Yes, I'm an old school quaker.

Re:can you say misogyny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419151)

Bah, the only people offended by that word are lesbians anyway.

Re:can you say misogyny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419198)

fuck off you cunt.

Re:can you say misogyny? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419362)

How does calling some *GUY* a "cunt" have anything to do with misogyny? In fact, what would calling a woman a cunt have to do with it, either? Or a "bitch" for that matter?

Mysogyny is the literal hatred of women. Not the deserved hateful of one or more stupid individuals.

So, I'm just going to assume you were trying to be funny and none of us got the joke or something.

Re:can you say misogyny? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419375)

Yeah, like hating people who can't think things through rationally because they're ruled by their emotions to such an extent that they're teatering on the edge of insanity? That's misogyny.

To Qoute Nelson (1)

_DangerousDwarf (210835) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419091)

Haha!

To paraphrase "The comic book guy"
Worst. Thief. Ever!

Seriously though, after going through all that effort to track the guy down, they should have sent his contact info to the local police departement.

Wow (1)

dauthur (828910) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419092)

The last time I saw "interweb" was on one of those 4Chan-esque sites. Odd. This is related to the story, however, because the theif is as smart as a 4Channer.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419294)

NO U

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419402)

omg sauce. hwo r u?1 lolol

Maybe they should send the perp... (2)

coldmist (154493) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419093)

to somewhere by an old dry lake bed, where they are guarded by a warden with a chip on her shoulder, who is in search of old, stolen booty, and makes you dig a 5' hole every day.

Re:Uh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419210)

to somewhere by an old dry lake bed, where they are guarded by a warden with a chip on her shoulder, who is in search of old, stolen booty, and makes you dig a 5' hole every day.
All four of us here who have read that book thought that was real funny.

Re:Uh (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419378)

Yea well i've read it a couple times and seen the movie twice, and I still didn't find it funny. Beat that!

I don't know why anyone would steal that phone (1)

blinksilver (889330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419094)

its clear that it can't run OSX86.

Heartwarming (-1, Flamebait)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419097)

Isn't it heartwarming that MoDaCo employees were willing to spend DAYs of time and $1000s in lost productivity to track down a $200 phone and a kleptomaniac.

Re:Heartwarming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419153)

And they also just got some fantastic geek publicity on /. for both their community and the conference.

So what was your point again?

Re:Heartwarming (1)

No More Free Stuff (863607) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419155)

Yes, it is. And it's so heartwarming to see that you think it's a total waste of time.

Pfft.

Re:Heartwarming (1)

perky (106880) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419204)

I think you are thinking of docomo.

And I would have gotten away with it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419107)

...if it weren't for those lousy kids.

+1 Funny (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419157)

Aww man. Someone needs to mod this up. Its the only thing that made me laugh all night.

Re:And I would have gotten away with it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419314)

...if it weren't for those meddling kids.

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

Boss Sauce (655550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419412)

for correcting a stupid quote from a stupid cartoon referring to a stupid thief stealing a stupid phone.

mod this child down too...;P

Good thing this was in the UK... (3, Insightful)

Goldenhawk (242867) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419112)

Good thing this was in the UK... seems like decrypting the info to retrieve the IMEI information would violate the DMCA here in the states.

Re:Good thing this was in the UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419416)

Reading the paper while taking a dump violates the DMCA, of course this would as well.....

The rat speaks (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419114)

Here is the turd making a comment on the thread regarding the event and the missing phone.

http://www.modaco.com/Event_pictures_and_a_plea_-t 225214-s15.html [modaco.com]

What an idiot.

Perfect Example (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419118)

That story is a perfect example of stuff that matters. These Slashdot editors have it pinned down.

Of course everyone wants to know how some guy in England tracked down a thief!

Howard forums are MUCH larger than modaco (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419122)



Howard forums are MUCH larger than modaco, re: smartphones. See for yourself.

http://smartphone.modaco.com/index.php [modaco.com]

has:

414 user(s) active in the past 30 minutes
  379 guests, 35 members 0 anonymous members

while

http://howardforums.com/ [howardforums.com]

has:
Currently Active Users: 3410 (1128 members and 2282 guests)

This 7+ minute wait between replys is excessive. I'll contact my councilwoman... when she gets back from her vacation.

Bill Engvall would be proud (3, Funny)

ff1324 (783953) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419143)

"...don't be fucktarded enough to steal a phone from a community of phone experts..."

HERE'S YOUR SIGN

Um... (0, Troll)

Ecko7889 (882690) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419146)

The article seems well...interesting...to people who care....

I guess I don't find it interesting...

It's just that....I was expecting to hear a cool detective story about how everyone whips out massive Windows (r) Smartphones...and then the thief gets away by the skin of his BSOD

Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419197)

So this thief forced the issue over at the SMI-unlocker's backup repository: they keep a copy of your personal info handy. All it takes is a call from a usergroup president, or some other event that convinces the unlocker's CEO (or tech, or intern...) that it's OK to riffle through that personal info, and they're off. Then they do a little decryption of the personal info, and they can see whatever they want.

I applaud their catching the thief - the thief is a scumbag, and a fool to steal from a group of passionate experts. In person, I'm enthusiastic about chasing down a thief, and beating the crap out of them until the cops come. But even though that's an overreaction (that I stand by), it still damages only the thief (as long as we got the right guy...). This invasion of privacy violated hundreds or thousands of people who did nothing to earn it. They possibly didn't even realize that their personal info was being "backed up" at the server.

Some might say that they'd never know their privacy was invaded, and no damage was done. But I'm not talking about the damage or further loss. Their actual privacy was invaded. It's not OK to put your hand in my pocket and feel around, even if you don't take my wallet, even if I don't notice. This event has done us at least two services: one, caught a sleazy thief. Another, revealed that the trust people place in the unlocker is misplaced indeed.

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419241)

Yeah, damn non-american-scum. Now go back watching Fox, you frustrated wanker.

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (0, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419272)

You are an insane Slashstalker, Anonymous Coward. You couldn't score any points in your stupid argument in the other thread, now keep your wanking to yourself in these other threads. Damn, American self-confidence and achievement must really drive you out of your skull, for you to keep frothing like this.

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (1)

Mage Powers (607708) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419252)

erm, are you sure personal information was in that block? from the FA it sounds like that block only contains stuff about the phone, which is encrypted to deter hacking around with it.

Thats like freaking out over someone having a copy of the first block of your hard drive, cos they might have your personal information. But its just bootloader and maybe a partition table

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419292)

They used that encrypted block to find the person. That's personal, and the other people have now had their links exposed, without any justification.

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (1)

Mage Powers (607708) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419326)

I really don't understand your point of view on this, I don't see how you go from decrypting data about a phone to everyones privacy being broken. if it was someones personal property, it'd be the phone manufacturors personal secret data. Like how was everyones links exposed?

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (4, Insightful)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419263)

Did you even bother to read the article?

The only "personal info" they found was the IMEI (serial number) of the phone that was unlocked, and the IP address that the request was generated from. Neither of which is "personal", BTW (the phone was stolen, and the IP address belongs to his ISP).

They just matched that IP address against people who post in their usergroup forum and tracked the guy down.

So the only "personal info" they used was the phone's serial number and the IP address the server logged the request coming from. So I fail to see the point of your rant.

N.

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419282)

And the other people, who haven't stolen anything, now have the same expectation of anonymity: none. Of course, if they pay attention, they shouldn't have that expectation of privacy; they're trusting the server too much. But of course most people using mobile phones, even smartphones, even unlocking websites, aren't quite sophisticated enough to see how their privacy is exposed by such a simple operation. Like you, for example.

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (1)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419334)

That is a somewhat silly argument.

Yes, this person got tracked down, but he stole a phone from a charity raffle!

That is like saying the suspects in a murder investigation shouldn't be investigated because it invades their privacy. That kind of a statement makes it impossible to find out the killer beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Last I checked, your invasion of privacy for being a suspect includes a lot more than the serial # of your phone and cross referencing the originating ip /for the stolen serial #/ to another form of contact !!

Re:Set a Thief To Catch a Thief (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419381)

The police have extraordinary powers, of necessity - and they have (in theory) extraordinary responsibilities, overseen with extraordinary safeguards. The police can't search people's homes without evidence that indicates they're actually likely the suspect for whom the police are searching. And: this guy's no killer, he's a jerk who stole a phone worth maybe a few hundred dollars. The privacy of several hundred or thousand other people is worth much more than that.

At least that's the system that people expect. This system is just some guy who thinks (possibly justifiably in this case) that they have the right to explore everyone's private info to find the one guy who stole a phone. As I posted, the sleazebag has little expectation of privacy, or fairness of any kind. But the other people who were exposed did not "earn" that invasion.

The kind of logic that says "the person we're catching really deserves to be punished, so we justify destroying the rights of everyone else" is bad enough when practiced by the police. As is increasingly the case. When it's practiced by a private citizen, then society is really breaking down. When people accept it anywhere they find it, it might already be too late.

Am I the only one noticing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419244)

Thats its DoCaMo, not whatever the editor put?

Re:Am I the only one noticing... (1)

gravij (685575) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419289)

You're wrong. It is supposed to be MaDoCo [modaco.com] not DoCoMo [nttdocomo.com]

Re:Am I the only one noticing... (1)

Mister Impressive (875697) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419345)

No, this did not happen in Japan.

Interweb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419265)

Shouldn't you be in the hall-of-shame for using a dorky word like "interweb"?

Violated the thief's freedoms (-1, Troll)

Drew Curtis (904851) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419287)

This is no different from people tracking you down for dissenting against the Government, and yet you Slashdotters applaud this? You aren't pro-Freedom at all.

Re:Violated the thief's freedoms (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419340)

That's actually a good point.

The guy goes and decrypts a bunch of info from everyone's phone using a script.
So, he violated everyone else's privacy as well.

Never mind the fact that he took info from a web server and told someone else another user's IP addy to 'track them down'.
Probably violated his own website's privacy statement.

Re:Violated the thief's freedoms (1)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419366)

I'll bite.
This is society, albeit an online one. You don't get to violate rules of trust and expect society to ensure your freedom.

Think about it, isn't it a completely stupid idea to think that a family could be sued if a buglar were to hurt himself while inside your house?

Re:Violated the thief's freedoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419388)

I find it a bit hippocritical that the slashdotters complain when the feds demand IP addresses of posters or file sharers on certain sites (which they get by going through a judge to approve a search warrant)

yet, the same standard for 'bellyaching and moaning' about privacy doesn't apply when it's a techie telling a third party an IP number (who doesn't get a search warrant).

Re:Violated the thief's freedoms (1)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419445)

I really don't have a problem with the FBI getting a warrant for my ip address. I do have a problem with government passing broad powers under excuses like Terrorism though. But that's completely off topic. And I do have a problem with companies expecting me to pay outrageous prices for goods, and expect my sympathy because people didn't buy it (by using the number of "thefts" as inflation to what they "could" have made despite those people not being able to afford it or already owning a copy etc.) - but that is way off topic.

Yes, this is Vigilante Justice. Yes, I am ok with it. No, I will not be ok with it if the "vigilante" goes beyond his moral bounds.

vigilante n.
      1. One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands.

An example in this situation would be if he didn't delete the records about the innocent information, assuming he kept them at all (if he scripted it, he could have gone through the entire database and used an if serial# = this, then print timeofaccess and filename. Or if he gave that information out to other 3rd parties who stand to benefit from it in an undeserved manner.

As it stands, the only thing I have any resemblance of an issue with is the fact that he was able to gain access to these records in the first place. But hey - I am for vigilante justice because it has a tendancy of getting things done.
And really, this guys punisment was fitting. Social embarassment because he got caught violating societys rules. Far worse things can happen through the legal route. They just asked for the stolen item back.

Link to MoDaCo's forum rules about privacy. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419424)

http://www.modaco.com/index.php?act=Reg&CODE=00 [modaco.com]

"You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use MoDaCo to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy , or otherwise violative of any law. "

IMEI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419322)

FTA: after decrypting the block, the IMEI can be found inside

Couldn't they just give that to the cell provider and have it tracked that way?

whats up with this dossier crap? (1)

xquark (649804) | more than 9 years ago | (#13419415)

I'm serious whats up with british people and their need to make and have dossiers?
I mean look blair did it, the idiot who lost his phone did it...
dossier this dossier that, if you call me names i'm going to make a dossier on you and present it somewhere of little importance :)

get over it already!

Arash

free gift certificate (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13419425)

http://eriksonlinestore.com/swarm/ [eriksonlinestore.com] - go there for a free gift certificate on http://eriksonlinestore.com/ [eriksonlinestore.com] A 300 value....
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?