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Mafia Boss Betrayed By Facebook 214

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hate-when-that-happens dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of Italy's 100 most-wanted criminals, a vicious mafia boss who had been on the run for months, was betrayed by his passion for social networking and flushed out thanks to Facebook. Using the name 'Scarface' from the gangster movie starring Al Pacino, Pasquale Manfredi, 33, a boss of the the ferocious 'Ndrangheta mafia organization from the Calabria region in southern Italy, had logged on to his Facebook account so often that police were able to trace the signal from his Internet key and find his hideout.' Seems the Mafia Wars Facebook phenomenon goes deeper than it seemed!"
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Mafia Boss Betrayed By Facebook

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  • Eh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday March 22, 2010 @10:54AM (#31568548)
    I dunno I can't seem to bring myself to take a mafia boss who uses facebook seriously. I can only imagine how seriously people will take him when he's in jail. Getting caught by using facebook can't be good for your criminal reputation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @10:54AM (#31568552)

    WTH is that supposed to mean?

    • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday March 22, 2010 @10:57AM (#31568634) Homepage

      It's likely simplified language for something too complicated for the general public to understand.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by canajin56 (660655)
        They linked "Trace the signal" to an article about companies using GPS trackers in employees' cell phones. I think it's simplified so that ABC can understand it, and they still don't ;)
      • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:52AM (#31569800)

        It basically means that law enforcement whipped up a GUI in Visual Basic in order to trace his IP address.

        • by OverlordQ (264228)

          IRC is like boats . . . .

      • by guzziguy (950240) on Monday March 22, 2010 @12:14PM (#31570264)

        One of the investigators sat down at a terminal and said, "Hey... this is UNIX! I know this!" Then, he used the UNIX GUI to fly around the interwebs until he found a box with the name "scarface" on it. He clicked on that box, and it brought up this guys address, phone number, names of his family members, and favorite color.

        It was pretty simple, actually. The investigator learned how to do it by watching Jurassic Park over and over.

    • by gavinchappell (784065) on Monday March 22, 2010 @10:59AM (#31568682)

      I'm assuming he was on a 3G dongle, Facebook provided IP addresses, police contacted ISP, found out his SIM card number/modem IMEI number, and traced his location based on which phone towers he was connected to, and signal strengths.

      • The sort of detail that should have been in the article in the first place.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:05AM (#31568838)
      Technically speaking, it works like this. There is a guy in a brightly lit room with about 30-40 computer screens of various sizes. He sees the bad guy log in to facebook and runs a trace on the internet key by typing furiously. A few of the screens show maps of the world with lines tracing the signal as it gets closer to the mafia boss's hideout. If he doesn't log out before the connect the dots reach him, he gets busted. Make sense now?
      • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:24AM (#31569254) Homepage
        And of course he is running a custom OS where you can type in complete phrases that it will understand like "find the bad man's internet key" and 1.5 seconds later it has a GPS location, pictures of the bad man, all his recent activity, etc. all on the screen. It could also find any DNA or fingerprint info from it's imaginary worldwide database that contains this info everybody in the world and can also return the results in a matter of seconds.

        Seriously though, if law enforcement had any of the programs and databases they seem to have on every cop show on television, I am pretty sure the unsolved crime rate would be below 2%.
        • by c_sd_m (995261)
          But they do have VB!
          • by Anomalyst (742352)

            But they do have VB!

            Hopefully they are not strains resistant to antibiotics ... oh VB ... never mind. /Roseanne Roseannadanna

        • by rgviza (1303161)

          You'd need to contact facebook to get their IP address.

          actually most ISP's enter long/lat info into their routers. you can easily trace a connection to the nearest NOC of the ISP using a geotracing program find their neighborhood in a few seconds with nothing more than an IP address.

          Here's an open source geotracing program: http://www.linuxsoft.cz/en/sw_detail.php?id_item=169 [linuxsoft.cz]

          You can then call the NOC and find out who the IP's been assigned to, and get their billing address, if you have a badge, maybe even i

          • Right, and if you are using a 3G dongle, an IP address won't tell you much other that a billing address and name, both of which can be easily faked. In order to track down a 3G dongle, you need to triangulate the signal using more equipment that a laptop with neotrace. Which takes a lot longer than a few seconds. Then factor in the idiot cops trying to get your Linux program to run on their XP boxes and you are talking about hours before they finally give up and start trying to beat the information out of i
        • by D Ninja (825055)

          Seriously though, if law enforcement had any of the programs and databases they seem to have on every cop show on television, I am pretty sure the unsolved crime rate would be below 2%.

          2%? Sounds like we are not [remove glasses] milking our technology for all it's worth...

          YEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

        • by houghi (78078)

          I did such a trace once, but came to a system I could not enter so the bad guy got away. If only I had known then that all I needed to type was "override" I would have gotten him.

        • by Carewolf (581105)

          Seriously though, if law enforcement had any of the programs and databases they seem to have on every cop show on television, I am pretty sure the unsolved crime rate would be below 2%.

          Seriously though. If they had any of that stuff, the solved crime rate would be above 2%

          • It is like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets robbed. After he gives his info to the cops, they say "We'll let you know if we get your stuff back." to which Jerry asks "Do you ever get the stuff back?". The cop without missing a beat answers "No".
      • This.

        ... is why I hate hollywood.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by heckler95 (1140369)
        Then they just "log in" to get grainy security camera footage from a convenience store that shows him 50 feet from the camera at the back of the store. A few zooms and "enhance!" operations and you can clearly see each of the hairs in the suspect's beard. Case closed.
      • by Fishbulb (32296)

        You forgot the climactic live video satellite zoom in over Bad Guy's shoulder as he's sitting in a Sicily cafe clearly texting on whatever device paid the most for a product tie-in.

      • by magarity (164372)

        There is a guy in a brightly lit room with about 30-40 computer screens
         
        No, the guy in the high tech office can't do it because he's caucasian. The police must enlist their friend the ethnic minority person in a ratty apartment who hacks into the official networks to track the bad guy.

    • by Exitar (809068) on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:28AM (#31569326)

      A wireless USB stick, known in Italy as "chiavetta internet"/internet key.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As an italian, I can tell you that "internet key" is the way the average Joe in Italy calls a 3G usb dongle.

    • by Penguin (4919)
      Have you seen Italian computers [tvtropes.org]? They actually do require a key for the ignition.
  • It's good when the bad guys get caught, but bad when the good guys get caught...

    I'm a bit uncertain about this. I guess phones could be traced too...

    • It's bad, because only the stupid criminals are being caught, giving an evolutionary advantage to intelligent and tech-savvy criminals.
    • by qoncept (599709)
      Uh.. You set the conditions, and you already knew the outcome. Let's review:

      1. Mafia boss gets caught.
      2. It's good when the bad guys get caught, but bad when the good guys get caught...

      What was the question again?
  • Where do I get one of these keys to the internet they speak of?
  • Yet another idiot who does not understand how the Internet works.

    Rule No. 1: NEVER log on from your hideout directly if you are on the run! At least use proxies, but I wouldn't even trust them under those circumstances.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Monday March 22, 2010 @10:56AM (#31568622)

    Mr. Capone would like to have a word with you.

  • It's probably Mysterio again.

  • Pasquale Manfredi has sent you a Computer Set-up. Could you send him a gift back? Together you can be the top players.
  • I think I should write this book, just for the sheer fun of it! Then I recall what happened to Steve Jackson Games, and all they did was an RPG. Nevermind...
    • Well, Steve Jackson Games did win on their day in court and got something like $300,000 (most to cover legal fees IIRC) and the Secret Service got a slap on the wrist for basically raiding them when it wasn't necessary. Wasn't the whole thing about some supposed "stolen" documents from Bell that Bell had actually made available to the public?
  • by Nautical Insanity (1190003) on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:01AM (#31568722)

    Pasquale Manfredi has sent you an invite you cannot refuse. Do you want to accept?

    • Pasquale Manfredi has sent you an invite you cannot refuse. Do you want to accept?

      You surely meant "Do you want to accept - yes or yes?".

  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@NoSpAm.praecantator.com> on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:09AM (#31568924) Homepage

    <Python>"As you see, Sergeant Smiley has not learned the first rule of Not Being Seen: Never stand up."</Python>

  • by dclozier (1002772) on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:12AM (#31569020)
    Saying goodbye to my little friends!
  • by alen (225700) on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:21AM (#31569188)

    when they arrested the boss of bosses in Sicily a few years ago he was in a farmhouse running from the cops and sleeping in a different house every night. this guy lived in a basement. why do people choose a life where they have millions of $$$/Euros but have to live where they can't show it off and like they are poor?

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday March 22, 2010 @11:45AM (#31569648)

      why do people choose a life where they have millions of $$$/Euros but have to live where they can't show it off and like they are poor?

      Because before they were on the lamb they were living like kings.

      Seriously, why the hell else would you think they do it? You've only seen them at the end of their time as mob boss, they haven't been living in basements for the last 20 years, they've only been living in a basement for the last three weeks. Get it?

      It takes years, decades even, to close the noose on these guys because of their money and influence, and even then you'd better have out-witted them at every turn or they'll find a way to slip away clean. In the mean time, they are living in multi-million dollar houses, eating like kings, wearing clothes worth more than ordinary people's cars, etc. There is a lot of advantage that goes with the risk - the only thing that sucks is if you get caught you are as bad off as the poor people these guys despise.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @12:18PM (#31570338)

        It's not always so. Some mafia bosses have been known to hide in pathetic basements for years, and indeed the parent poster's question makes a lot of sense. It seems that these people's kick ain't money but power and respect, and in mafia subculture the latter aren't tied to money. And those who make an excessive show of wealth are often snubbed as parvenus, kids without the balls etc etc. because money is a proxy for power only when power isn't apparent - and thus not existent.
        That of course may change depending by geographical area, exact type of mafia (mafia proper from Sicily, 'ndrangheta from Calabria, camorra from Campania) etc., but basically it's the way it is with those dorks.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by blue l0g1c (1007517)

        Because before they were on the lamb...

        I thought he was Italian, not Welsh.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      They do it for the pussy. Why leave your basement when you can have young Italian girls delivered to you any time you want?

  • The only thing that happened to me when I read this summary was that when I saw the word "Calabria" I immediately thought of this song [youtube.com]. And now I have it stuck in my head for the read of the day.
  • A Warning (Score:2, Funny)

    by MrTripps (1306469)
    He should have known there was a problem when someone posted a picture of a horse's head on his wall.
  • I wonder how many toolbars and trials Italy had to install to defeat this boss?
  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Monday March 22, 2010 @12:14PM (#31570266) Journal

    What really bothers me about this is that this guy became a mob boss at 33. I really need to pick up the pace.

  • So does this mean that the name 'Scarface' is now available on Facebook?
  • ... It seems we will voluntarily invoke orwellian lifestyle.

    Everyone is screaming "look at me" for attention, but also complains about the government's oversight... HELLO! Did you want attention in public or did you want privacy? Not only are people's locations, relationships, and photographs posted online --- their feelings/emotions, beliefs, and personal problems are too! I'm not knocking it -- this is quite obviously what people are really going to do.

    The world is getting far too small for many of ou

    • by Dynedain (141758)

      The world is getting far too small for many of our older ideas. Privacy will dissolve whether we like it or not. Privacy is an illusion.

      Lunch privacy doubly so.... wait, that didn't work out how I thought it would.

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