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Handhelds Security

'Honey Stick' Project Tracks Fate of Lost Smartphones 222

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tweeting-as-strangers dept.
wiredmikey writes with a quote from an article at Secury Week: "In order to get a look at what happens when a smartphone is lost, Symantec conducted an experiment, called the Honey Stick Project, where 50 fully-charged mobile devices were loaded with fake personal and corporate data and then dropped in publicly accessible spots in five different cities ...Tracking showed that 96-percent of the devices were accessed once found (PDF), and 70-percent of them were accessed for personal and business related applications and information. Less than half of the people who located the intentionally lost devices attempted to locate the owner. Interestingly enough, only two phones were left unaccounted for; the others were all found."
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'Honey Stick' Project Tracks Fate of Lost Smartphones

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  • hehe (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:02PM (#39333681)

    Best way to get a phone back. LOUD annoying ringtone.

    Loose that sucker. Call it and call it and call it...

    Eventually "come get your freeking phone it is ringing off the hook with this stupid song"...

    Has worked 3 times so far :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Has worked 3 times so far :)

      I think you've got a problem if you've lost your phone 3 times already.

      I've lost my phone maybe ONCE in the span of 12 years. Maybe because I'm pretty sure it was 0, but I'm hedging my bets.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Best way to get a phone back. LOUD annoying ringtone.

      If someone with an annoying ring tone left their phone at their desk NOT on silent, I would remove the battery and place the battery in the ceiling. In the case of Iphones, I would remove the battery, reassemble the phone and place the battery in the ceiling.

      • by N1AK (864906)
        One of the directors at work had a really annoying habit of leaving his phone at his desk when he went to meetings for the entire day. The rest of the open plan office then had to put up with it going off dozens of times. He stopped, or started putting it on silent, after we started removing the battery.
      • Yeah, try and do that with an iPhone!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:04PM (#39333691)

    I won't care about the contents, would wipe the phone clean, and change the IMEI, then it's a brand new phone for me. (most likely what happened to the 2 unaccounted for)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:07PM (#39333723)

      Stealing is stealing. Finders keepers is a poor excuse for a total lack of character.

      • by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:26PM (#39333907)

        Stealing is stealing. Finders keepers is a poor excuse for a total lack of character.

        The term "stealing" sure has changed a lot lately. I thought is was actively depriving someone of wanted property. So "copying" is not "stealing." Claiming discarded items is not "stealing." Hitting you over the head and taking it out of your pocket is "stealing." That said, I would try and find the owner to give back the phone. And not doing so is kinda shitty, but it ain't "stealing."

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:34PM (#39333977)

          And your reply is testimony to the "kinda shitty" attitudes with our modern society. Character is what you do when no one will ever know what you did. You and he have none. I would love to reply under my login, but evidently replies like this keep my karma level in the basement.

        • by Jhon (241832) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:35PM (#39333993) Homepage Journal

          Claiming a lost item is "discarded" is some pretty funny "thinkspeak", don't you think?

          I'd suggest you look up what can be considered theft and then re-evaluate your statement.

          I cannot speak of the 49 other states in the US, but I'm familiar with the statutes of CA -- and I can tell you that it *IS* stealing. Shall I waste my time looking up the exact statutes or will you just accept you are wrong?

          • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:30PM (#39334447) Homepage Journal
            Well, technically, it would be larceny here in the states. In other words, "borrowing" without intent to give back to the owner.
            • by headLITE (171240)

              I doubt that a court would see it as borrowing when you (as one previous poster wrote) wipe the phone and change the IMEI.

            • by Jhon (241832)

              Well, technically, it would be theft. And, well, technically, larceny *IS* a type of theft.

              Hmmm, lets check wikipedia under elements of larceny:

              "The offender must have taken the property with the intent to steal it"

              Sounds like theft. Sounds like stealing. Sounds like you are wrong.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Actively is where you are wrong. Stealing is depriving someone of their property (active or not, please look it up). Lost property is still their property.

          If you wish to convert a lost object to be your own, you need to bring the property to the police and allow them to attempt to contact the owner. After a certain mount of time it will be considered abandoned property, at which point the police will give it to you and it really is yours then.

          You absolutely can be charged with theft, and are morally wron

          • by LocalH (28506)

            at which point the police will give it to you and it really is yours then

            Not necessarily. Many times, the cops will keep the property. Best to handle the notifications personally, but publically.

            • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

              In the UK you get a receipt from them, afaicr. Which a) proves you gave it to them and b) proves they had it.

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          kudos! spoken like a true "bastard operator from hell".

        • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Monday March 12, 2012 @10:29PM (#39335257)

          Claiming discarded items is not "stealing."

          Much as I see where you're coming from; actually it is under the law. Lost property remains the property of the original owner, they don't give up ownership to anyone that finds it - just as your house remains yours when you leave in the morning, so your phone remains yours if you leave it on a bench. There are means to legally acquire abandoned property though - adverse possession for example.

          So if you were to notify the owner that you have their property, and they can't be bothered to collect it, after a period of time it legally becomes yours. You can also hand it into the police, and again, after a period of time of non-collection they may return it to the finder to keep (in the UK; a friend of mine when we were kids handed in a found £50 note, and got it back a few months later when it was unclaimed).

          This is why if you unknowingly buy a stolen car, and the owner finds out and claims it back - via reporting it to the police - you get stiffed. The person that sold you the car had no legal right of ownership to transfer, so you own bupkiss, and the original owner gets to claim it back.

          Of course, in practise physical possession is 9/10's of the law, especially for small objects that are hard to track down once mislaid. But picking up a dropped/mislaid item and keeping it, is in fact, stealing - you're intentionally depriving someone else of their property, even if you don't know who that someone is. Best choice is to hand the item into a responsible person where you found it; the barman or shopkeeper for example, as it is fairly likely the owner will attempt to find it via them. Alternatively, hand it into the police with details of where you found it. Keeping it and attempting to return it directly is of course an option, but you might get accused of stealing it in the first place! Leaving it exactly where it was is also an option often forgotten - the owner may well come back for it in a minute.

          Personally, I've returned a fair few items ( though mostly to someone who's literally just dropped it or left it), but including a lady's purse that had all her things that she left in a supermarket trolley, via the shop-keeper. They contacted me later to say that she was extremely happy and surprised to get it all back untouched - apparently there was her pension in there, and she'd expected that at least to go missing. On the other hand, I've had a dropped camera disappear in the 5 minutes it took to come back for it; a wallet that wasn't mine popped back through my letterbox (turned out to be a neighbours); and my dropped wallet returned by a guy walking behind me. A friend of mine also got his laptop back that he left in a taxi; the taxi driver tracked him down and dropped it off personally.

          So you never know; there are a lot more honest people out there than you'd think.

          • The funny part of all this is the reaction. No one read the part where I said I return stuff I find. Even untraceable stuff like a very nice digital SLR camera... They just read the part about the term "stealing" not being the best description...
          • One day, I was happily walking away from an ATM with freshly withdrawn cash, when I heard someone behind me calling : I had forgotten my debit card in the machine, and the next customer had just rescued it for me... I had forgotten to push the button to get my card back (other ATMs typically spit out your card before giving you the money, but this one was from my bank, so it offered other services like printing a balance sheet...)

            I've had my wallet picked up by somebody behind me on my way to get a suburban

        • The law of England and Wales (which often applies to other commonwealth countries as well), a person commits theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

          My guess is that a lost (or in this case deliberately discarded) phone still legally belongs to the owner, and that someone picking it up is appropriating it, given this definition of the word (Take for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission).

          Oh, and BTW giv

        • If there are contact details on there and it is trivial to contact the owner, its not much different than stealing; the differences are all details.

          Likewise, watching someone get murdered may not technically be murder, but it sure doesnt make you a nice character.

        • by salmacis2 (643788)

          Keeping lost property is 100% "stealing". Either go through the contacts to find the rightful owner, or hand it in to the police. If found in a restaurant or bar, you could also just hand the phone to the manager. But simply keeping the phone is stealing.

      • Stealing is stealing. Finders keepers is a poor excuse for a total lack of character.

        While I agree with your post it IS kind of hard to speak of character when you're posting as AC.

    • I won't care about the contents, would wipe the phone clean, and change the IMEI, then it's a brand new phone for me. (most likely what happened to the 2 unaccounted for)

      Should be easy to find the owner of the phone by looking in the contacts. Most have an emergency contact or "I am the owner" contact. As much as we rely on and put in our phones now it would be pretty crappy to at least not TRY to get the phone back to the owner.

      If it's locked with an incomprehensible unlock scheme and has no indication of who owns it (a label or sticker of some kind) and there is no lost and found system at the venue where it was found ... That's getting into the finders keepers realm. Th

    • by afeeney (719690)
      Sasha Gomez? [nytimes.com] Is that you?
  • Less than half (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:09PM (#39333747)
    Just out of curiousity, how many of these phones were able to actually send/receive calls, and (most importantly) -- did they have a phone book entry titled "Mom". Because whenever I find a lost phone, that's the number I call. People are generally honest -- contrary to what this study suggests. If the number is that low, it's probably something wrong with the methodology; ie, a cell phone left at a restaurant has a lot higher chance of making it back to its owner than being left sitting at a bus station. A test like this should try to accurately reproduce where someone would leave their phone, otherwise the stats gathered aren't very interesting.
    • Re:Less than half (Score:5, Insightful)

      by medcalf (68293) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:20PM (#39333859) Homepage
      Or ICE (In case of emergency) or Home. Yeah. That's actually one of the problems I have with the iPhone: it doesn't have a way to phone home if you find it locked.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I once found an iPhone 4, locked, of course. I took the SIM card out, contacted the service provider. They where not able to reach the owner, but left a note on their account with my name and phone number.

        After a month, I called back. They could not find the account to which I was referring to because the owner changed phone, and ,evidently, SIM cards, disassociating it with the account.

        I ended up selling it,

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          I once found an iPhone 4, locked, of course. I took the SIM card out, contacted the service provider. They where not able to reach the owner, but left a note on their account with my name and phone number.

          After a month, I called back. They could not find the account to which I was referring to because the owner changed phone, and ,evidently, SIM cards, disassociating it with the account.

          I find that hard to believe, unless the phone wasn't receiving service. If the phone had service, the SIM card will have a

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Indeed, I would be interested to know how many people had a cursory glance at the phone book, didn't know who to call and decided to hand it into a lost and found.

      Then there's the issue of phones running out of power. With these things having to keep phoning home I'd imagine the battery wouldn't last more than a day.
    • Re:Less than half (Score:5, Informative)

      by PRMan (959735) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:25PM (#39333897)
      I have found 3 cell phones and have attempted to return them all. On one, the person never returned my calls. I guess they didn't want it back for some reason (it was a throwaway cheap phone). The other two people were extremely happy to get their phone back, and one insisted I take a $50 reward (I settled for $20, since I really didn't want to take anything, but I realized that it made her feel good to give something).
      • by tomhath (637240)

        On one, the person never returned my calls.

        I hope you weren't calling his cell number...

        • by PRMan (959735)
          Nope. I found the entry with the Mobile entry with the same number as the phone (there was no Mom, that's who I usually call), and then called the Home number on that entry. I left messages on the answering machine, but they never responded.
          • He had his own mobile phone number in his mobile? Is that just in case he lent the phone to someone he could still call them?

      • by mutube (981006)

        I've returned a couple myself. One I found under the bed in a hotel up in Prestwick, Scotland which turned out to belong to someone from Norway who'd been over on holiday. Sent a message to the most frequent called number 'pappa'. Turned out, rather obviously, to be Norwegian for 'dad' meaning I sent what I now imagine was a very confusing message addressing them as 'dad' from their son's lost phone. Got the address and popped it in the post to them.

        The other I found in a sand dune on beach - turned out the

    • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:34PM (#39333979) Homepage Journal

      >> "Mom"... that's the number I call.

      Well, that's one dating strategy.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      This story was on MSNBC last week (yay Slashdot!), and there they claimed that:

      To spice up the test, the phones had an obvious file named "contacts," making it easy for any finder to connect with the phone's rightful owner. ...only 50 percent of finders offered to return the gadgets, even though the owner’s name was listed clearly within the contacts file.

    • You're missing the point of the study. They aren't trying to show how often people get their phones back. Although they do report it, it's a secondary result. The real result they are trying to show how is often the data in the phone is accessed, which was nearly always.

      That's a greater concern for many businesses and individuals. But as you note, there are flaws in the study. They're spinning it like people immediately start digging through all the data in the phone with the implication that it's maliciou

      • by Firehed (942385)

        Not necessarily - some phones let you send a message to the device (from a web UI, etc) if you lose it. There's no need to dig through an address book if there's a "if found, please call xxxx or email xxxx" sitting on the home screen. Anyone with business data on their phone damn well better have a passcode lock on it, and I'd strongly suggest the same for personal-use-only devices too.

    • I would've likely checked SMS messages first, just pick one contact whom the owner seems to communicate with often and that contact is bound to know who the phone belongs to. Not all people have a "Mom" or "Dad" entry, like e.g I have my mom stored with her full name instead. I would feel terrible if I just kept the phone without even trying to return it.

    • A little correction is needed. I don't know where the "less than half" came to the Securityweek article, but the original Symantec paper seems to say that the number is exactly 50%.
  • Commercial? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:11PM (#39333773)

    Isn't this just a big ploy by Symantec to now sell you some "phone security" program that will A) not work and B) make your phone really slow?

  • Finding a phone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zebadee (551743) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:27PM (#39333919) Homepage
    A couple of months ago whilst visiting Calgary I found a new looking pink Blackberry bold on the street. The phone was fully charged and locked. With a lock it was impossible to contact the owner as I couldn't access the phone to try calling a contact. I just waited and the next day the phone rang. I explained I had found the phone etc and the owner's company sent a courier to pick it up. I was a little disappointed that at no point did anyone thank me for picking up the phone and waiting in for the courier but ah well the phone got back home. The thing is though it made me realise that the only thing the lock on the phone did was prevent me from calling a contact on the phone. If I had wanted to keep it I would have done as a poster above commented and wipe the phone clean. I suppose some phones have sensitive information on them but for the rest of us do we need to lock them if all it does is stop honest people from trying to return them to the rightful owner?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My stepdad works as a commercial guard on a train, and often finds a phone. Those who phone up and politely say "can I have my phone back" get them.

      He's also had asshats who shout at "whoever stole my phone!!1". Those don't make it back. But they do often make into in the bay by one of the stations...

    • by okle69 (258936)

      I love how I can have all my contact info (or anything to help get my phone back to me) scrolling across the screen when the lock is active in Ice Cream Sandwich. Best of both worlds.

    • Re:Finding a phone (Score:4, Informative)

      by trunicated (1272370) on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:54PM (#39334165)
      This is why my phone's lockscreen has my email address on it. That way, if somebody wants to return my phone, they have a very easy way to do it (assuming they don't just take it to an AT&T store)
    • Re:Finding a phone (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:22PM (#39334379) Homepage Journal

      With a lock it was impossible to contact the owner as I couldn't access the phone to try calling a contact.

      Just curious - did you pop the battery to look for contact info on the inside of the battery bay?

      • by zebadee (551743)

        With a lock it was impossible to contact the owner as I couldn't access the phone to try calling a contact.

        Just curious - did you pop the battery to look for contact info on the inside of the battery bay?

        Yes, but nothing there, I copied down the SIM number and was going to contact the sevice provider to see if they kept a record but they phoned 1st.

        • by Cow Jones (615566)

          Just curious - did you pop the battery to look for contact info on the inside of the battery bay?

          Yes, but nothing there, I copied down the SIM number and was going to contact the sevice provider to see if they kept a record but they phoned 1st.

          How could they call the phone if you had turned it off (by looking under the battery)?
          Normally, you'd have to enter a PIN for the SIM card to work again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      With a lock it was impossible to contact the owner as I couldn't access the phone to try calling a contact.

      The owner of the blackberry you found did not use the "owner" feature of the phone, which lets you set what info should be displayed on the home-screen when the phone is locked.

      If I had wanted to keep it I would have done as a poster above commented and wipe the phone clean.

      Depends on how the phone is reported missing, and how proactive your chosen carrier is about checking.
      Both CDMA [wikipedia.org] and GSM [wikipedia.org] phones have unique IDs built into them that can be blacklisted by the carrier as "lost/stolen", preventing activation under a different account.
      It's also used by carriers to blacklist subsidized phones on accounts t

  • by wytten (163159) <wytten@cs.umn . e du> on Monday March 12, 2012 @07:52PM (#39334141) Homepage

    About 10 years ago I was driving along a gravel road in rural Minnesota and spotted a phone in the road.
    During the first few hours I made a point of answering this phone so that I could get the word out that
    the owner's phone had been lost. Almost without exception the people who called refused to believe that
    I wasn't the owner of the phone playing some trick on them. Then I was accused of stealing the phone
    and later of wanting money for its return. Seriously, I was verbally attacked by these morons for simply
    trying to arrange a place for its return. Eventually I told one of these people which gas station I was leaving
    it at, and simply left it there with a confused cashier. The whole experience was surreal; I felt like I had been
    sucked into this person's life. It would make a good movie plot I think. Needless to say when I see an apparently
    lost phone now, I just ignore it and walk away.

    • by RulerOf (975607) on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:27PM (#39334425)
      I was in a cab with a bunch of drunk people about six years ago, when a phone came up out of the seat we were all asked, "Is this your phone?" Turned out that it didn't belong to any of us. I had never found a lost phone before, but I was sober, and I was also pretty sure I could locate its owner, and as I lived in the area code corresponding to the device's number, would have the easiest time returning it. I took the phone home with me.

      I called a few entries in the contact list, most notably, "Mom." Got voicemail, left a message explaining what had happened. "Mom" never called back. I ended up chatting with two different women though by going through the recent calls list and calling some numbers. I came out of that ordeal with two different stories---apparently the guy who used the phone was either a player or a womanizer, I'm not really sure which. The problem I had was that I wasn't sure who the right party to return this phone to was, exactly. So I had an idea...

      The phone was tattooed with Verizon logos (I sure as hell don't miss those days... that LG UI that got ported to EVERY PHONE THEY SOLD was so fucking awful), so I called 611 with the phone itself. After explaining the situation to a customer service rep, she very regrettably informed me that even though she had the information right in front of her on her screen, she would not tell me the name of the account holder. Go figure. So I wrack my brain trying to think of ideas when I got a pretty good one.

      I asked her, "Can you make three way calls?"

      "No, but I can put you on hold and make another call," she replied.

      "Okay, take down this phone number," and I give her the number of the woman I most suspect that I should return the phone to. "Now put me on hold and call her, and then can you tell me whether or not that person is the owner of this phone?"

      "Oh yes!" she says. "Just wait on hold."

      Ten minutes later...

      "That person IS the owner of this phone. You can return the phone to her and you'll be all set!"

      So I call her one more time and gave her my address, and a car pulled up an hour or two later. The funny thing was that the person who came to the door to pick up the phone wasn't actually the woman I spoke with though... it was her boyfriend, the guy who actually used the phone, and also bore a striking resemblance to the fellow that took all those self-shot photos in the camera roll, modestly covering his junk while staring at a mirror.

      A more positive ID might have been possible, but camera phones had such atrocious low-light performance back then....
      • by rhook (943951) on Monday March 12, 2012 @09:40PM (#39334931)

        so I called 611 with the phone itself. After explaining the situation to a customer service rep, she very regrettably informed me that even though she had the information right in front of her on her screen, she would not tell me the name of the account holder. Go figure.

        Not only would she get fired for giving you that information it is also illegal for her to do so. You should have just dropped it off at a Verizon store.

  • Scare Mongering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:02PM (#39334231) Homepage Journal
    It is unclear if anyone access data. It appears from the write that people were more interested in personal information(facebook) than corporate espionage.This makes sense as what is the average person going to do with corporate data? Sell to another corporate entity. How many of us has such contacts for espionage? No, we hope to find some embarrassing picture of celebrity that we can sell to the tabloids. So we rifle in facebook and the pictures.

    As far as returning the phone, there has to be someway to get data to return the phone.This involves one of two things. First is waiting for the person to call the phone and hope the person who answers is intent on returning it,or going through the address book and calling people so the phone can be returned. The later was how I got my Razr back when I lost it on the Texas A&M campus. So rummaging though the phone, as some people did, can either be considered snooping or data gathering to try to return the phone. Accessing email may be to send an email say the phone was found, or trying to steal email. The motive is ambiguous, though the scare mongering obvious. If I found a lost phone, I would expect a call on it pretty promptly asking for it back. The lack of such a call would mean that something else was going on.

    In fact the only thing that is clear is that if you lose a phone, there is at least 50% chance that no effort will be made to return it. From the data It seems about half the finders did what any competent thief would do. Remove the sim card, go to the nearest public computer and wipe the phone. The real race when losing a phone is getting a lock before this happens.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @08:04PM (#39334247)

    Character is what you do when no one will see.

    One time, I found a cell phone in a dorm lounge. I was there watching my show and was planning to leave the phone in place in case the owner came looking for it. The phone began to ring incessantly, and eventually I answered in case the owner was calling to search for the phone.

    Before I could say more than, "Hello", the owner started chewing me out as a despicable cell phone thief.

    I didn't appreciate this sort of mistreatment. What to do? Well, I am not a thief, so naturally I decided to do the right thing.

    I took the phone and dropped it down the nearby elevator shaft, then resumed watching my show. This was in 2003, so perhaps the phone has been returned to its irate owner by now. Or perhaps it shattered when it hit the base of the shaft three stories down. Either way, I feel happy I chose the righteous path and ignored any temptation to follow baser instincts.

  • Easy peasy. I didn't even bother to look at anything on the phone besides the provider info. Took it to the store, explained that I found it, and handed it over. They would have the 'best' way to get it back to the owner. Keeping it was never an option.

    Since it could be identified I treated it like a wallet. It's not finders keepers.

  • Teachable moment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2012 @09:12PM (#39334717)

    A few weeks ago I was passing through the Seattle airport with my family. I found an iPad 2 on the shuttle train between terminals - basically brand new with only the very barest of info on it. We were running behind, so I stuck it in my pack and boarded the plane. Once appropriately airborne, I pulled it out and tracked down the email address of the owner (good thing they use Facebook - I don't). My 4.5 year old son asked me what I was doing and I replied; "We're going to give this back to the people who lost it." Which we did as soon as we got home.

    We don't own an iPad and my kids, I'm sure, would love to have one. But teaching my kids to do the right thing - because it's the right thing to do - is far, far more important than a piece of electronica. And if it was my phone, or his Star Wars lunch box - we'd want it back.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Y-Crate (540566)

      A few weeks ago I was passing through the Seattle airport with my family. I found an iPad 2 on the shuttle train between terminals - basically brand new with only the very barest of info on it. We were running behind, so I stuck it in my pack and boarded the plane.

      You found some random, attractive piece of hardware just laying about an airport, and brought it on a plane with you? Please tell me you understand why that might have turned out to be a huge safety problem.

      Before you dismiss that as crazy paranoia, remember the endlessly-popular "USB stick left in the parking lot" vector.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The terrorists have won.

      • Considering that the iPud had to go through security, i don't see the danger to the plane. And if someone did have a means of planting it there without taking it through security, why choose the Rube Goldberg way to take down a flight? There would be more direct means. Yeah, airport security is bullshit, but that's mostly because it's based on crazy paranoia.

        I give you that the iPud could have been loaded with malware.

  • Laptop Fishing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TibbonZero (571809)
    Recently I had an extra laptop. I had the idea (but didn't execute on it) to go to coffee shops with it, with tracking software installed in the background. I would then leave the laptop frequently while "going to the bathroom". Eventually in theory the laptop would be stolen, I would be able to trace it, track the person down, call the authorities and get it back. One less laptop thief running around (or at least unknown to police) and a fun time. Unfortunately, I didn't follow through on it.
    • by hellop2 (1271166)
      Awesome idea. I get thoughts like that every time I get something stolen.

      It would feel so great to bust some piece of shit thief.
  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday March 12, 2012 @11:21PM (#39335563)
    The nature of the fake user data may have influenced the results. If I thought I had the phone of some some MBA tool I would hand it to a bum. If it looked like someone nice I would go out of my way to help it on its way home.
    Also if some guy found the phone of what seemed to be a hot chick he might tend to be more chivalrous.
    For real phones the worst case scenario for the phone would be if it were a politician's. That phone's data would be on the net in two seconds.
  • I found an iPhone 4S on a restroom sink in a restroom a few weeks ago. The only thing I accessed on it was the ownership information, and the phone book to look for a second number for the owner. He had a second cell (maybe business phone?) that he promptly called it on. I met him at my office and handed it back to him.

    I did NOT leave it with the attendant at the gas station; after seeing these statistics, I'm glad I didn't as he may not have seen it again. He was somewhat amazed that I would re

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