Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stopped Sweating the Stolen Laptops Yet?

Just when you thought you could exhale:
During the examination of the computers, police discovered a compact disc in one of the laptops, and that disc contained information including voters’ Social Security numbers.

[Metro Police Chief] Serpas said no fingerprints were found on the disc, but police can’t be sure that no one took it from the computer and copied it. Election Commission staff told police that the disc probably had been in that computer since November 2006 .... Serpas said the experts can’t rule out the possibility that someone used high-tech equipment to copy or scan information in the computers, but he said that is highly unlikely.

“If someone had very sophisticated equipment and software, they may have imaged the software,” he said.


  1. High Tech? Scanning? Sophisticated?

    You just need one of these:

    You plug one end into any pc with a usb port, the other onto the hard drive (big or small). Boot your system and there ya go. They make a model for SATA drives too :-)

    The bigger problem would likely be how to access SQL data if you have no experience. Conversely if the voter records were kept in any other data file format, I would be sad. Another problem would be the fact that the perp is a homeless drunk, the proprietor of the Muse is a punk, and neither is likely to have them means or intellect to execute this.

    With respect to copying the contents of a cd on a non working lappy, you could always dust for fingerprints since it would have to be removed. Of course to open up a cd-rom drive on a broken non working pc requires the assistance of a paper clip and knowledge (once again) of how to spring open an optical drive. On and on and on and on.

    As far as I am concerned this whole affair is no more than a slow news day event. Post 9/11 style.

    One last thought. Read Computer World or any other tech publication and learn that the biggest threat to individuals identities is from the inside. Almost every single time. Data bombs, USB sticks, and IT people who actually run with hax0res on the IRC channels and can make money selling this stuff. Hackers usually do not move around busting windows and leaking bodily fluids in their quest for data breaches.

  2. I wouldn't encourage anyone to let their guard down on this one. Too much time passed and too many things happened to those laptops.

  3. Punk kids vs. Metro PD

    Who has more computer skills?