Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

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If you were to fix a hot girl's computer, would you view photos in her computer?

Yes
24
49%
No
25
51%
 
Total votes: 49

Day2Die
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Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Day2Die »



Some computer repair shops are illegally accessing personal data on customers' hard drives - and even trying to hack their bank accounts, a Sky News investigation has found.

In one case, passwords, log-in details and holiday photographs were all copied onto a portable memory stick by a technician.

In other shops, customers were charged for non-existent work and simple faults were misdiagnosed.

An investigator from the Trading Standards Institute said he was "shocked" by the findings.

The investigation was carried out using surveillance software loaded onto a brand-new laptop.

It operated without the user being aware that every event that took place on the computer was being logged.

All activity on the screen was captured in still images, and the identity of whoever was using the computer was recorded using the laptop's built-in camera.

Sky engineers then created a simple, easily diagnosable fault, by loosening the connection of the internal memory chip.

This prevented Windows being able to load. To get things working again, the chip would simply need to be pushed back into position.

The investigation targeted six different computer repair shops. All but one misdiagnosed or overcharged for the fault.

The most serious offender was Revival Computers in Hammersmith, West London.

Shortly after identifying the real fault, an engineer called our undercover reporter to say the computer needed a new motherboard, which would cost £130.

Tests carried out by our internal Sky engineer after the diagnosis revealed there was nothing wrong with it.

The surveillance software then recorded one technician browsing through the files on the hard-drive, including private documents and intimate holiday photos, including some of our researcher in her bikini.

As he snooped through the files, he is seen smiling and showing the pictures to another colleague.

Later on in the same shop, a second technician loads up the machine and also looks through the photos, which are inside a folder clearly marked 'private'.

He then plugs his own portable memory stick into the laptop and copies files, including passwords and photos, into a folder labelled "mamma jammas".

Inside one of the documents copied to the memory stick was a text file containing passwords for Facebook, Hotmail, eBay and a NatWest bank account.

Once the technician had discovered this information, he opened a web browser on the laptop and attempted to log into the back account for around five minutes.

The only reason he was unsuccessful was because the details were fake.

When confronted over the findings, staff at Laptop Revival said they did not want to respond to Sky News on camera.

However in a telephone conversation, they denied all knowledge of the alleged abuses.

Sky News' undercover investigation

Revival's engineer caught on film

When shown the findings, Richard Webb, an e-commerce investigator for Trading Standards said: "I'm really quite shocked, both in the range of potential problems this has revealed - people overcharging, mis-describing the faults - but also people attempting to steal personal details.

"It's a big abuse of trust. If you were expert in computers you wouldn't have to hand in your machine to be repaired. They know that.

"They know you won't be able to tell what they've done afterwards, they know you're putting your trust in them and unfortunately, as we're seeing, there are too many people willing to abuse that trust.

"What you've shown is that there is a much wider problem in the industry than we knew about.

"It suggests we need to look at the area again and we do need to test it like you have done, but with a view of taking criminal enforcement action if these problems are found and evidenced."

Source: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-New ... onal_Files
Last edited by Day2Die on Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:26 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Kenneth
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Kenneth »

My my my... Can't trust anyone these days.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Whistler_fan »

This is why i repair my pc's myself, i dont trust shops, you never know who is looking at your files.

___
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by ___ »

i'm pretty sure this has been known for years

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by XX55XX »

I diagnose all of my computer problems on my all. No need to turn to the shop.

But really, this is not terribly surprising. Not at all.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Day2Die »

I think most if not all of us build and repair our own computer.
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by luridphantom »

___ wrote:i'm pretty sure this has been known for years
Isn't it well known by some that repair people look at porn while they're "fixing" your computer?

J.Byrne
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by J.Byrne »

I don't trust the guys at repair shops, nor most sales people with the exception of a few stores I've had good experiences with.

motherboardlove
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by motherboardlove »

You could always encrypt your drive

Also, isnt it illegal in the UK to do this (im positive its illegal in the US, not sure about other countries)
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by QuiescentWonder »

It's not illegal to encrypt anything in the US.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Kenneth »

QuiescentWonder wrote:It's not illegal to encrypt anything in the US.
What about US Encryption export policies?

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Luthian »

QuiescentWonder wrote:It's not illegal to encrypt anything in the US.
I think you misunderstood. I'm pretty sure he wasn't referring to legality of encryption, but instead of the illegality of the snooping that was done on the computer brought in for repair.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by dolon »

Windows OCManage wrote:
QuiescentWonder wrote:It's not illegal to encrypt anything in the US.
What about US Encryption export policies?
That doesn't apply to encrypted data--it applies to encryption software. And as far as I know, we did away with that policy years ago. You can encrypt anything you want here.

Also, for what it's worth, I worked at a repair shop last fall for a little while. This is exactly the kind of shenanigans that go on behind the front counter. My coworker and I eventually walked because our boss was such a weasel.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by PortalCake »

All I have to say is: "Not a suprising fact at all."
Three years ago, my aunt's PC overheated due to her cooling fan. (Shuts down a lot randomly, and the Intel processor keeps throttling as much as it could). She took it to 3 repair shops, one saying her Windows license was invalid (What a load of BS, they didn't know I replaced Windows with Debian). Two of them said that her HDD was dead. So on the third store, she let them "copy" the files over to a new HDD, that she paid for (!!!), but she noticed it was being copied to 2 hard drives. She asked what the other was for and they said it was for "redundancy". She left the store with 2 HDDs, the new one in her PC and the old "broken" one. When she started her PC, it still wouldnt start. So , tired and frustrated, she asked me to fix it, and I saw the unimaginable dustbunnies in her case (big gaping holes in the case, "aux fan holes"), then vacuumed her PC, and cleaned out her CPU fan, then it finally started.

What's worrying is that all her data was a lot of family pictures, and probably some DVDrips of "stuff" on /home.
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by win98 »

For the poll I would not do that if it were my job to fix computers as that is destroying trust from the customer. I belivre they did somthing simular in the us awhile back and put porn on the hdd and geek squad techs where the ones who copied it the most.
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by mrpijey »

Most definately not. That would be a violation of privacy and it would decrease the confidence of my services in the future. What I do if a customer requests a backup of the old files is that I dump the user folders to a disc and let the customer look through it himself. On occasion if a customer wants help with pulling out specific files I let them sign a document that I am allowed to look at private files. The same document however says that I may not make any private copies. Which I would never do in any case but it gives the customer confidence in me and that I can keep his/her privacy intact.
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by OG »

Copying someones data without their knowledge or permission is essentially electronic theft, and is a criminal offence, hacking their bank account details, well thats just plain fraud come identity theft.

Also just a note about drive encryption. In the UK, it is an offense not to present the means to decrypt encrypted data when asked. In otherwords, if the cops ask (tell) you for access to an encrypted drive on your laptop or whatever, you must be able to provide them with the decryption key or they can arrest you and hold you until you do. The UK's encryption disclosure laws are set out in RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000). I believe there is also something similar in the US now alongside warrant-less wiretapping, federal malware and taking your ipod becuase it might have some tunes on it you got from limewire, all in the name of national security.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by mewrox99 »

In my opinion it's not worth getting fired just to perv around at a chicks pics
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Wh1stler »

I also sometimes browse and copy my client's files. Most times it's just waste of time - they are boring. If bank accounts is needed, use underground forums to get them, there is much smaller chance to get caught.

Simply use technician you know and trust.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by MugenFox »

i've heard of people doing that. my friend once told me that he gave his psp for repair and he says his files were moved by someone. Are the guys getting arressted or what?
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by hypr »

I don't get any hot girls wanting any computers fixed, I used to get some not bad looking university students but fixed their stuff on site, now its an older crowed as I haven't posted ads for repair for a while.

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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Awesome »

K, I'm not promoting any of this, but really? If you're going through files use a live cd or something.
(They probably wouldn't even know what that is. LOL)

I wouldn't trust any place with my PC, I build them and fix them myself...in the end it works better than if they do it and I save a lot of money.

Hot girls wanting their computer fixed.....i wish...
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by motherboardlove »

Awesome wrote:I wouldn't trust any place with my PC, I build them and fix them myself...in the end it works better than if they do it and I save a lot of money.
Easy for you to say, but the average population (Yes, there are humans that are not members of BetaArchive or computer fans) cant fix their own PC
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by Awesome »

Oh, I know. It's really funny watching them try to use a PC sometimes.

Then I go and use it and they can't keep up with watching me.
I constantly fix the PCs in school because a lot of them are defective.

...the best part is I'm only 15
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Re: Exposed: Repair Shops Hack Your Laptops

Post by liliwinnt6 »

As far as they can go, they mustn't post the pictures up to the internet.
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