Eye-Fi Card Catches Thief

eye-fi-thieves.jpgInvestigative police may soon be obsolete when it comes to tracking down stolen high-tech consumer gear. That’s because more gadgets from laptops, phones, and cameras are themselves helping to nab thieves – sans the police. Take the latest case of Alison DeLauzon whose camera “phoned home” and helped identify who had her lost Canon camera.

Here What Happened

DeLauzon was able to retrieve the photos thanks to the Eye-Fi, a wireless-enabled SD memory card that can automatically upload photos to a home computer or photo-sharing service when within a wireless network.

Normally, the Eye-Fi is programmed to a specific wireless network, but in this case the thieves likely passed by an open wireless network with the same name as DeLauzon’s home network.This duped the Eye-Fi into thinking it was home and uploaded the photos, including pictures of the thieves. That was just enough information to track down the two.

This instance is far from the first time high-tech consumer electronics has nabbed thieves. Most recently a girl had her MacBook stolen and recovered it by remotely accessing the laptop and snapping a picture of the thief using the built-in webcam.

Aiding in the return of lost or stolen gear are innovative companies such as GadgetTrak sells software that can be loaded iPhones, Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones. If lost GadgeTrak software identify data on the new user’s SIM card and e-mail the owner.

In this case, the thief was unlucky enough to stumble across an access point with the exact same SSID and lack of password as one of Alison’s regular haunts. We’re guessing it was an unsecured hot spot with the default SSID.

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