Loosing your moko

ramsesoriginal ramsesoriginal at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 16:58:22 CEST 2008

On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 4:45 PM, Sean Anderson
<keep.brain.from.freezing at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's certainly prudent to realise that this is far from a full-proof
>  phone theft prevention system. I realise it's a little redundant to say
>  "aaw, but no security is airtight anyway!", but it's worth pointing out
>  nonetheless.
>  Encrypted data, a device that phones home... these are all flawed but
>  noticeable barriers for the potential thief. It is also worth noting
>  that the data stored on a phone like the Moko (emails, passwords, ssh
>  keys) is significantly more valuable than the type of data stored on
>  ordinary cellphones at the moment ("hey, how r u? <3" x 500, some
>  pictures of people being hit by bins) so it is more important that the
>  owners of the devices, and the developers, think more seriously about
>  how to protect the valuable data that is being stored.
>  The Moko has the hardware and the flexibility, so I doubt it would be a
>  great deal of trouble to implement a little GPS app that phones home
>  when it gets lost.
>  My main point: the system may also be useful if the user has simply
>  misplaced the phone and would like to find out if they've left it at a
>  friend's house or at the pub. GPS is getting accurate enough to
>  determine which area of the house it is in. It could eliminate the
>  possibility of it being stolen if it turns up in a familiar location.
>  How is the Moko user going to tell if they have dropped their phone on
>  the train and it is sitting unclaimed at the lost & found depot of the
>  train station? GPS, of course :)
>  Sean.
>  On Fri, 2008-04-04 at 12:43 +0200, Alexey Feldgendler wrote:
>  > On Fri, 04 Apr 2008 07:35:17 +0200, Michele Renda
>  > <michele.renda at gmail.com> wrote:
>  >
>  > > When I steal the phone, the first thing that I will do is to turn off
>  > > the phone. Then because I am afraid to be detected by cell I will change
>  > > the internal sim, before to turn on it.
>  >
>  > This is also what happens in Russia. The majority of cell phones are
>  > stolen or robbed of people by junkies. They immediately turn the phone off
>  > and throw away the SIM card. Without turning the phone on, they bring
>  > several phones they've collected during the night to a buyer-up who pays
>  > them maybe a tenth of what the phone is worth, and that's enough for them
>  > to get their needle.
>  >
>  > The bulk of stolen phones then goes to some phone repair workshops who run
>  > an underground business of preparing them to be sold. They reflash the
>  > phone or reset it to a clean state because nobody wants to sell a phone
>  > with someone's data on it that would be crying out loud "I'm a stolen
>  > phone". They also unlock it if it's locked to an operator, and change the
>  > IMEI in those models where it's possible. The next stop for a stolen phone
>  > is a second hand mobile phone shop whose owner allegedly has no idea that
>  > the phones that strange people bring, a whole box of them at a time, are
>  > in fact stolen.
>  >
>  > Because rampant mobile phone theft brings them to the second hand market
>  > where they are priced for less than half of what they're worth, it makes
>  > them affordable to people who would otherwise not be able to buy a phone.
>  > Of course, this happens at the expense of those people from whom the
>  > phones are stolen, and who usually buy themselves a new one. Because of
>  > this situation, the cell operators in Russia are reluctant to use the IMEI
>  > (which is often impossible to change) to track down or at least deny
>  > service to phones reported as stolen -- that would shrink their own market.
I'm not an expert of the matter, but if it's possible to detect the
distance of some bluetooth-device, then a simple headset (remains
always on your ear) or even a "bacon" in your wallet is enough to
prevent loosing/getting your phone stolen: if more then 2 meters
distance, make a loud noise. That's it.

My corner of the web: http://blog.ramsesoriginal.org

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