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Crime Portables United Kingdom

Stolen Laptop Owner Outwits Mugger, Police, and the Media 272

Posted by timothy
from the dirty-deeds-dragged-into-view dept.
An anonymous reader writes "What do you get mugged in Central London and the local police are too incompetent to find a mugger even with his address and photograph? You may not be able to get to the laptop, but you still own the photos and data on it, so you set up the NSFW Plumpergeddon blog which gives details of the subsequent 'owner's' 'Brick House Butts' fetishes. Now of course later the IT media might get interested and offer an interview with a promise to let him review the article and keep his name secret. luckily our hero is not so innocent and demonstrates the value of using a false name on the internet as well as planting your own monitoring software on your laptop."
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Stolen Laptop Owner Outwits Mugger, Police, and the Media

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  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:08PM (#43511351)

    What do you post articles that are unintelligible?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:10PM (#43511363)

    Editing is a lost art.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:16PM (#43511393)

    Based on the content of the summary, I have no fucking idea what this story is about.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:55PM (#43511639)

      Guy got his laptop stolen.

      Police wouldn't pull ATM video or follow-up with the 11 other locations his (also stolen) card were used. This pissed off the victim.

      He hasn't tracked the thief, but his laptop regularly sends photos and screenshots while the laptop is in use. This is old news, from a tech perspective.

      He posts them on a blog. Much of it is the thief masturbating to porn of grossly overweight women, on sites where he used the victims stolen card to buy memberships.

      The thief, unsurprisingly, sucks at life in a number of other ways. He keeps getting banned from eBay. His pathetic dating profile has been posted, etc.

      The Register wrote an article full of incorrect information, because the victim declined to reveal his identity and do a real interview. As such, nobody knows his real info. He can continue to operate the shame site.

      He has not made any real money running the blog, even with the ads. Less than 100 gbp. This summary stinks of an advertisement to build the viewership and ad revenue generation. I suspect as much because the blog operator isn't vury guud wath tha englishes, either.

      I think that covers it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I might have botched the line on the Register article. It's (obviously) a little difficult to suss out.

        It sounds like they did get a lot wrong, but they also published the name he gave them, despite having promised not to. The good news is he BS'd that part anyway.

        But, in any case, it's not a terribly interesting tech story.

        • Tech news (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DrYak (748999) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @08:50PM (#43512539) Homepage

          He hasn't tracked the thief, but his laptop regularly sends photos and screenshots while the laptop is in use. This is old news, from a tech perspective.

          But, in any case, it's not a terribly interesting tech story.

          The tech part of the story is that, although the laptop-tracking software technically works without any fault (well almost, but the thiefs stupidly worked around the part that didn't work), it has done nothing on the overall to help the case.
          Police just ignores him.

          This kind of software has always been sold/touted as the ultimate solution for lost and stolen laptops, as the best weapon against thieves.

          But ultimately, it doesn't make any difference that the software worked flawlessly.

          I my opinion this boils down to the motivation of the various parties involved.
          For the police, handling the case would require lots of resource (paperwork, permits and warrants, interrogating the suspect, searching his home, more paperwork, etc...) and some risks (usually stolen laptops are resold, so often the people using them aren't the thieves but are thinking they use a legitimately bought 2nd hand latop, so in theory there's a risk of harassing the wrong guy - although in this case, the robbed victim has found a lot of credible arguments, including that the suspect started using the laptop a couple of hours after the mugging [too short for the laptop to be sold as 2nd hand] and using the same asset [porn site access,articles for sale on ebay] that were billed on the stolen bank card during the dozen of hours after the mugging until the bank blocked the card. That's quite a lot of coincidence and would require further police investigation) for a crime which - from their point of view - wasn't really a violent crime (no one got kiled) happens regularily and isn't a high threat to the general population.
          So they didn't do a lot.

          Meanwhile, the bank has quite a lot of money at stake in this case, (7k british pounds), so *they* did take the case seriously, did consider the victim's arguments, did their own internal investigation, and finally decided to reimburse the victim.

          He should probably contact the insurance company. Lost laptop cost a lot to the insurance companies, so they would pay more serious attention to the information that the victim has gathered, and have a strong financial incentive to pressure the police to retrieve the stolen goods.

          • Re:Tech news (Score:5, Insightful)

            by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @10:25PM (#43512811)

            It would seem to me that he should be filing charges against the police. They are bound by laws as well.

            What you're saying though is that the only way to get anything done in our legal system is to involve and insurance company as the police apparently will listen to them.

            • MET Police (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              This is the MET, they won't do anything cyber crime related until they get the cyber crime laws they're lobbying for. A very *political* police force the Met, they know how to play the game.

              He'll have to do it himself, he could make a citizens arrest, him and a few friends, but the Met won't take kindly to be made to look lazy, so that might be risky. They could always flip that and claim him and his friends mugged the guy.

              Difficult one, the police just don't want to do their job and if they won't do their

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @06:28PM (#43511975)

        > This summary stinks of an advertisement to build the viewership and ad revenue generation.

        The guy's goal is public shaming, but that doesn't work unless a lot of the public sees the website. So he probably did submit the story here, but it is doubtful that a few banner ads are going to make him any significant amount of money.

      • by Sarius64 (880298) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @07:42PM (#43512263)
        Are these cops from San Diego? My wife had a bank call her and the cops that they were HOLDING the thief trying to cash one of her checks he washed. The police said $500 (the amount being fraudulently submitted) wasn't enough to roll a car on a thief the bank guard had handcuffed. In the end, the bank had to threaten to sue the cops to get a response.
  • by mpoulton (689851) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:17PM (#43511399)
    Just delete this and start over. Really. How does this word-salad get approved for publication to millions of people?
    • by Grashnak (1003791) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:31PM (#43511505)

      And why would any site accept submissions from ACs anyway? Comments? Fine. Submissions? Not so much.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why not? The quality of the summary wouldn't be any different if this had been a known user. No one is hurt if an anonymous coward submits a well written summary that points to an interesting article. The real issue here is the lack of editing prior to posting this entry.

    • by jonr (1130)

      How is lappy stolen?

  • What the What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:19PM (#43511407)

    I've read this twice and I'm still confused.

    I'll try to translate what I think the article says:
    1. Man was mugged and lost his laptop.
    2. Police won't do anything about it.
    3. He has hidden software on his old laptop that was sending images and data back to him.
    4. He posted it on the Internet under a fake name
    5. ...
    6. Profit?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:19PM (#43511409)

    Incompetent editing can't write good but maybe give interview in IT media if keep name secret yesno?

    Sense making this summary very much doesn't however is okay because Slashdot's really been going downhill these past 15 years.

    • Whoa whoa whoa! That last clause actually makes perfect sense! I think what you meant was:

      because Slashdot downhill going has 15 past these years.

  • None. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I...I have no idea what is happening. I think I knew more before I read the summary.

  • ermahgerd! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grashnak (1003791) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:30PM (#43511499)

    I are unintelligible and I are endorse this message.

  • Here's the video from DefCon 18

    Uploaded Dec 2010

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4oB28ksiIo [youtube.com]

    Enjoy the photos and story :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @05:09PM (#43511717)

    and he cannot hide

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @05:22PM (#43511769)

    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like? Because I think you have.

    • Originally Posted by nyquist.
      has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

      Originally Posted by gahnand.
      You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. It’s just common sense.

      From EQ2Flames.com

  • Call me skeptical (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rueger (210566) * on Sunday April 21, 2013 @05:39PM (#43511823) Homepage
    Aside from his just "waking up" to find his laptop and wallet gone.... yeah - he was probably at church at the time, and the sermon was dull... I seriously doubt that anyone at The Reg would "offer an interview with a promise to let him review the article and keep his name secret."

    Keep his name secret? Possibly, and not that uncommon. Let him review the article? I really, really, really doubt that. No journalist - hell, no J-school student - would be that dumb.

    Once you've been interviewed the deed is done. Unless it involves highly technical information - say interviewing a top scientist in specialized field, where there really is a need for detailed discussion - there's no way you'll be asked to "review" anything.
    • by KZigurs (638781)

      Reviewing the article is the default expectation and offer in anything that resembles an interview for publication.

      Yes, those 'shocking slip-of-the-tongue' interviews in Daily Mail have been reviewed and approved for publication by the person being interviewed. 100% (if they actually happened, Daily Mail is a tricky example).

      • by rueger (210566) *
        Reviewing the article is the default expectation and offer in anything that resembles an interview for publication.

        Really? I've never had a reporter offer that, and wouldn't expect it. What publications were you interviewed by?
    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      Any Journalist will know what off the record means.
  • by mark_reh (2015546) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @05:49PM (#43511851) Journal

    moving on...

  • Most reasonably sharp thieves will quickly wipe your HD and install a "fresh" OS on your laptop after they take it from you. Your monitoring software will be gone quickly; though fortunately your data will go with it.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      Most reasonably sharp thieves will quickly wipe your HD and install a "fresh" OS on your laptop after they take it from you.

      Most reasonably sharp laptop anti-theft products tattoo themselves in the BIOS, or load in the master-boot record, so when you install a "fresh" OS; that fresh OS install will be modified to include a bootstrap for the anti-theft software; upon first boot, the anti-theft software is quietly and undetectably reinstalled, and the owner's configuration is reinstated.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Most reasonably sharp thieves will quickly wipe your HD and install a "fresh" OS on your laptop after they take it from you. Your monitoring software will be gone quickly; though fortunately your data will go with it.

      The thing is, thieves usually aren't that bright.

      Personally if my laptop was stolen I'd be more worried about people getting access to my data. This is why I keep as little personal data as possible on my laptop.

      Is anyone else slightly concerned that a thief without the wisdom to re-install the OS could also get into the laptop? Occams Razor would indicate that he had no password on his user account. This tool isn't a hero, he's an idiot for letting his laptop get stolen and a fool for having no passw

  • by hodet (620484) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @07:11PM (#43512131)
    I don't think it makes sense to put more value on the hardware than on your personal information. Full system encryption and full system backups are the best approach. If you really want to be a hero, at the very least install your everyday OS to a hidden partition and have a decoy OS on the main partition that the perp will use so you can have your "hilarious blog material". But overall, get over it man, because your laptop is gone. At least the most valuable thing (your information) will not be accessed.
  • Slashdot replacement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Swarley (1795754) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @08:04PM (#43512351)

    So what are people around here considering reading instead of Slashdot? This indecipherable summary is extremely common around here along with click bait, exaggerated headlines (click bait again), news that's days behind every other tech news site. I'd love to hear some fresh ideas for Slashdot replacements.

  • A sad state of /. when reddit has posts that are both more informative and cogent.
  • ..for someone who was apparently so drunk after a work-related party that he actually states:

    I’ll never know how someone got the PIN out of me because I have no memory of it happening so I can’t tell you much about that.

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

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