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OFSO
20th Sep 2013, 06:56
Last week I was sitting bored in a Pret-a-Manger café in Tottenham Court Road in London so I decided to use my tablet to scan for open bluetooth devices nearby. There were three MacBooks shown on my tablet, all called after people (christian and surnames), all obviously being used by Americans sitting nearby. (And if you don't know how distinguishable Americans are in Europe, well......)

I scribbled down the names, went to a free search engine which shows some faces, entered name and USA, and scanned - one of the people was the chap in my café. On to a paid search engine which shows phone/mobile phone numbers, home address, and criminal records (!), jotted the mobile number down, and rang it. After a surprisingly long interval, his phone in the café rang, so I closed the connection down.

Now because these idiots had used their own names as titles for their laptop bluetooth connection, I knew where they were: more importantly that they were not at home in the USA and where those homes were - probably empty and presumably unguarded. And I could call them on their mobile phones and perpetrate some kind of scam. "Hi this is your hotel, Mr XX, can you confirm your credit card for billing purposes..."

On the way out of the café I said to the nearest "are you Mr xxx ?" and he said "yes" and I said "your MacBook isn't secure" and he just grunted and went back to using it.

Point of this post: do not give your laptop and especially your bluetooth connection your own name. If OFSO can do this sort of trace, so can Very Bad People.

probes
20th Sep 2013, 07:31
sometimes I wonder if the aliens actually have succeeded inserting some device in the heads of the human race - especially if someone shows what personal stuff (young) people post in the net. :sad:

Capetonian
20th Sep 2013, 07:46
Recently I sat opposite a girl on a train in the UK. Her Bluetooth connection showed up on my laptop (even though it won't connect to my phones!) and had her name. I did the same as OFSO and found out a bit about her. When the tea trolley came round I said to her : "J...... would you like something from the trolley?" She replied : "Oh that's nice of you ...... err ...... how do you know my name?"

I was able to tell her who she worked for, where she lived, and her favourite shops and restaurants. 'Scary ....' she said. I told her if I could do that in 10 minutes imagine what a stalker or identity theft expert could do. We had a very nice chat and when we got to Edinburgh, final destination for both of us, I said goodbye to her on the the platform and she said : "Will you be asking me for my 'phone number or have you already got it?"

500N
20th Sep 2013, 07:50
Had a guy on a forum make some comment about not being known.

Within 10 minutes or so, tow of us had found his full name,
address, school year book photo and google earthed his house.

He was a bit stunned to say the least and all we started with
was a first name and we knew which town he was in.

Alloa Akbar
20th Sep 2013, 07:55
Re: The Bluetooth thing.. Lucky you didn't do that to my other half.. You'd likely get a clip round the ear along with some verbal no doubt utilizing "Nosy basatrd" and "Weirdo".. :p

TWT
20th Sep 2013, 08:00
Bought a phone from a girl on E*ay.She communicated with me from her work email address and wrote her actual name and address on the back of the package she posted.I went to her work website (real estate agent) and there was a photo of her with her current mobile number.Young ones just don't realise how much info they are giving away and the implications of that.

500N
20th Sep 2013, 08:02
"You'd likely get a clip round the ear along with some verbal no doubt utilizing "Nosy basatrd"


And I would say stop broadcasting your information
for all to see.

VP959
20th Sep 2013, 08:18
Virtually everywhere I've worked has had a mobile 'phone ban, for security reasons. At the last place the security people would regularly sweep the buildings looking for illicit 'phones broadcasting bluetooth ID data. They caught one or two people every time they did this, and the vast majority had set up their bluetooth ID as their name or something that made them readily identifiable.

I remember my PA being caught, the security chaps came in to see me and showed me the screen displaying her bluetooth ID, which was something cheeky like "Randy Mandy". When we confronted her she admitted having the 'phone in the office, but knew nothing about the bluetooth feature or what it did (she was in her 50's and not that technically aware). Apparently her teenage daughter had set up her bluetooth ID as a joke.

Lightning Mate
20th Sep 2013, 08:37
http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu82/Lightning_29/stupidity_zps10cdfc0c.jpg

onetrack
20th Sep 2013, 09:25
Of more concern to me are the websites that trawl the 'Netiverse and dig up every available piece of info they can find on you - and then all you need to do is type in a name - and bingo, it's all collected there.

Mate Spotter People Search (http://www.matespotter.com/)

LEGAL TENDER
20th Sep 2013, 10:50
Stop blaming your own creepy / pervy habits on young people's naivity ;)

mikedreamer787
20th Sep 2013, 10:59
Mate Spotter People Search (http://www.matespotter.com/)

I bunged in my name and it spat out all
the shit I've done up to 20 years ago.

Jesus.

Alloa Akbar
20th Sep 2013, 12:15
And I would say stop broadcasting your information
for all to see.

Total Bollocks.. So I have my bluetooth and wifi on permanently as I like my phone to auto connect to my car when I get in and also my home and office networks.. Its convenient and I don't have the time or inclination to mess around with settings constantly. I would hardly regard that as broadcasting my information. My phone is identified as "Alloa's Phone" If someone chooses to take that, and piece together some assumptions and try and find out who I am, in my book that makes them a snooper, nosy b'stard and generally sad.

Blacksheep
20th Sep 2013, 12:30
Bunged my name in and it found me on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and on the family tree on my brother's Ancestry account. That's all public information that I'm quite happy for people to look at. It didn't find my blog, which is also public, or any private information. My phone is on Bluetooth permanently but the device thinks its a Honda. My iPad thinks its me, but announces itself to the world as an alphanumeric set, as does our home wi-fi network.

dead_pan
20th Sep 2013, 12:37
Had a guy on a forum make some comment about not being known.

Try me then! Seriously, I'm intrigued - PM me with the results when you're done and I'll post a redacted version on here.

dead_pan
20th Sep 2013, 12:40
Just tried my other alter-ego, the one whose being headhunted on LinkedIn and courted by UKIP, and found nada. Maybe I will change my name to his by deed-poll...

PTT
20th Sep 2013, 12:54
Its convenient and I don't have the time or inclination to mess around with settings constantly. I would hardly regard that as broadcasting my information. My phone is identified as "Alloa's Phone" Broadcasting your information is precisely what it is.

I used to have my phone bluetooth on and the name set to System Update. I'd try to pair with another phone to see if that would accept, and you'd be astonished at the number of people who would! You could tell who it was when you sent them a "You've been spoofed" message just by looking around at a few faces for reaction :E

charliegolf
20th Sep 2013, 12:58
I have a famous person's name (he has mine, i'm older!) so you'd need some extra stuff to get past the pages of shite he will throw up before anyone gets to me. Gladly.

CG

SpringHeeledJack
20th Sep 2013, 13:00
A few weeks back a person I know (who knows, nudge nudge, wink wink) regaled me with a tale of a trial in the city of London, where wifi 'sniffers' have been place inside rubbish bins, ostensibly to collect advertising data from passing/visiting persons and their smart phones....:hmm: Anyhow, they were at a hacker's conference where a well known security bod was holding sway over the audience and then announced is there a person here who was at 'x' yesterday and 'Y' and had gone along this road in this town and blah, blah, blah. He did this several times, though never divulging the identities of the persons in the audience. It was due to the users having their wifi on all the time and apparently no-one realises that a whole host of information can be extracted without consciously connecting to a network. He also said what he had done was within the bounds of legality, if he had been allowed to cross the line, the resultant information would be shocking to the smartphone user.

Some people are simply not bothered, others actually enjoy being 'visible', but a great many are simply too naiive to know that they are putting themselves in danger of being exploited/attacked/whatever. It will probably take a VERY well publicised event of someone getting royally rolled over to get the message out there. It's a shame that 'we' have to be so careful, but it is what it is :(



SHJ

OFSO
20th Sep 2013, 13:22
I would hardly regard that as broadcasting my information.

I presume, Alloa, that you also leave your front door open while you are out and don't regard that as an invitation for criminals to enter and rob you. Because giving a broadcasting connection your own name is doing exactly that.

VP959
20th Sep 2013, 13:34
I used to have my phone bluetooth on and the name set to System Update. I'd try to pair with another phone to see if that would accept, and you'd be astonished at the number of people who would! You could tell who it was when you sent them a "You've been spoofed" message just by looking around at a few faces for reaction

Sounds a bit like the infamous "toothing" spoof (see here: Toothing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toothing))

OFSO
20th Sep 2013, 13:42
System update, eh ? Sounds great for hooking that lovely girl sitting opposite you....if it IS that lovely girl, that is.

'Nother example. Last week had lunch with old friend who drives a classic car of a certain rare make. My tablet had told me of his aproach across the restaurant floor before he arrived since he names his phone after his car. He leaves said car on forecourt of house: I pointed out that anyone scanning bluetooth could tell which was his house driving down the road.

VP959
20th Sep 2013, 13:52
I pointed out that anyone scanning bluetooth could tell which was his house driving down the road

Unrelated to bluetooth, but a similar issue. It used to annoy me that anyone could stick the registration of my aircraft into the G-INFO website (run by our very own CAA) and get my name and address. It would have been rather easy for someone posing as a spotter to jot down when I was off somewhere from the airfield and then call his mates to turn the house over, I always thought.

OFSO
20th Sep 2013, 14:28
Are you "JESSICA" by any chance, VP959 ?

VP959
20th Sep 2013, 14:37
Are you "JESSICA" by any chance, VP959 ?

[looks down, does a quick small arms inspection]

Nope, I'm afraid not, meat and two veg still look intact.

OFSO
20th Sep 2013, 18:31
Damn, another search engine failure !

Sorry for the imputation against your masculine sexuality, although one hears there are plenty of "Jessica's" about at weekend do's where all is not what it seems. My local town is quite famous for transvestitism.

Sunnyjohn
20th Sep 2013, 18:58
There is an advantage to having a really common name. There are a lot of me on the internet and no-one knows which ones I are.

Loose rivets
20th Sep 2013, 19:21
I pointed out that anyone scanning bluetooth could tell which was his house driving down the road.


He has a house that can drive!!??:p

OFSO
20th Sep 2013, 20:23
No the house can't drive, and no it isn't. Pedants to the fore !

Hydromet
21st Sep 2013, 00:37
Bunged my name in and it found me on Facebook, PPRuNe, Linked In and on the family tree on my brother's Ancestry account. That's all public information that I'm quite happy for people to look at.
On FB, PPruNe, LI etc you can at least choose whether or not you participate. On Ancestry you have no such choice. A distant cousin put details about me up, including some incorrect inheritance information, but from these sites, anyone can pick up birth date, mother's maiden name and birth date etc., exactly the sort of 'mystery questions' that many use as security.

onetrack
21st Sep 2013, 01:54
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who put up public blogs and their own websites - and who brag about what they own, where it is, show photos of the inside of their house, family members, and every detail that scumbags need to roll them, scam them, steal their ID, and generally create mayhem.

Many people obviously forget that the 'Net is a goldmine for crooks, they're trawling for info and details they can use - every single minute of the day.
If I give out important personal information, I need to know who I'm giving it to, so at least I have a start point when it comes to criminal activity.

For the same reason, I don't give out my exact address when I'm selling something, until I have phone contact details and name of the interested party. Once I have those details, I run a check to try and confirm he's legit.
Then when the buyer turns up, his face is on my subtly positioned camera before we even speak in person.

One thing I refuse to do, is put in my real birthdate on forums and surveys and other possibly unsecured info sites.
A birthdate is an important piece of info that assists with confirming ID - and being in possession of the correct birthdate of someone a crook is trying to scam, is pure gold to them.