Saturday, December 31, 2011

Never Steal a Geek's Laptop

Rick Knowles gives the story from crime to investigation to apprehension.


John said...

Reminds me of a great story reported by BoingBoing in 2005 about a stolen laptop.
Unfortunately the story was all it was since it turned into a hoax that was uncovered before the day was over. But not before a spate of bloggers, several of whom were high up the food chain, had swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
I haven't looked for the story on line but I captured it for my scrapbook.

Michael Wade said...


Thanks for the link. I normally have an incubation period for such stories, such as the huge amount of money for the Chevy Volt story that recently made the rounds and was found to be false. The tipping point on this one was it was a personal account by another blogger so it wasn't just being passed on.


Rick Knowles said...

As the author, I'm happy to report that it's 100% true. For the helpdesk software to remote in, we used PacketTrap MSP. It was absolutely shocking to me that the thief allowed the connection. Even more shocking to me was that I watched the guy click to close the window of the pop up that said "This computer is being remote controlled by rknowles." I would have thought that it would have been an obvious clue that he should immediately close the laptop, destroy the hard drive, and reinstall a fresh OS on a fresh drive, but he wasn't that sophisticated. For the command line activation of the webcam, we used commandcam.exe. My original post included the picture of the kid with my laptop with eyes blacked out. My wife advised that I remove the picture since he was a minor. The picture added some comedy to the post since, inexplicably, there was a giant purple dildo in the background of the pic. But in the end, I listened to her and removed it.

I love stupid criminal stories and it was pretty cool to get to be a part of one, although I'd still like my 42" flatscreen back!


Michael Wade said...


It is a fascinating story.

Thanks for the added detail.