Found: a memory stick

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Mick F
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Found: a memory stick

Postby Mick F » 20 Sep 2013, 9:30pm

Walking home from the village this evening, we found a memory stick on the road.

It's possible to find out who owns it by asking around locally, but opening the volume it isn't obvious who it may belong to. Hopefully, we can ask about and unite it with its owner. There is nothing incriminating on it. :D

Many years ago, we lost a camera film we sent off to Truprint, and it was suggested to us that maybe we should have photographed a picture of our address so it could have found us.

I wonder if a memory stick should have a pdf of an address just in case you lose it.

There's nothing on the one we've found that identifies the owner, just a set of clues that we can ask locally about. It would be a great idea to have and address label on a pdf.
Mick F. Cornwall

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fausto copy
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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby fausto copy » 20 Sep 2013, 10:10pm

Hi Mick, good idea that.

We found a small pouch/wallet a few years back with 6 of the USB type sticks in. From the labels it was obvious that they were used in some form of business. At first we couldn't find any other details in the wallet and as we were on tour, we couldn't find a police station either.
When we got home, we did find a tiny scrap of paper with a phone number on it.
Ringing that got me in touch with the owner's daughter, who informed me that it had been lost while out horse-riding.
She told me that the information on it was very valuable (and I reckon the sticks themselves were probably worth over £100 at the time).
I posted it off to her (cost me £1.85) and she kindly sent me a cheque for £2. :roll:

Some weeks later I lost my new digital camera while cycling along the (bumpy) Neath Canal towpath.
I reported it to the local police station and mentioned it to a few locals but never got it back.

On my replacement camera I took a photo of a card with my address on and protected the image (so as unable to delete).
Should I lose it and it being found by an honest person, they could see who it belongs to and hopefully return it to me for a modest reward. :lol:

Incidentally, my son lost his wallet while visiting us a couple of weeks ago.
No sign of the wallet, cash or cards since.
However, a touring cyclist did spot his driving licence in a grass verge and kindly posted it back to him. :)

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby AlanD » 21 Sep 2013, 8:07am

Hi Mick, must be quick as we are going out. Don't open that memory stick!!!!
Seeding memory devices/CD's in places where they can be discovered is one trick that nefarious (naughty) persons use to propagate viruses etc. Treat it as if its a needle found lying in the park.
Bye. Alan

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Mick F
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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Mick F » 21 Sep 2013, 9:23am

I've opened it, and had no worries about it either. In fact, I've copied it to my HD.

Mrs Mick F is getting FaceBook to do some research to find out who's it is. Hopefully someone locally, though the content isn't reminding us of anyone we know.

It's full of stuff about narrow gauge railways. Nothing important or any sensitive info either.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Si » 21 Sep 2013, 4:26pm

Mick F wrote:
It's full of stuff about narrow gauge railways. Nothing important ......



Nothing important...NOTHING IMPORTANT......narrow gauge railways, man......almost as important as bikes!

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Mick F
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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Mick F » 21 Sep 2013, 4:41pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
I was inferring that there was nothing important like bank details/addresses/incriminating evidence etc, not that narrow gauge railways aren't important. :lol: :lol:

None of what's on there is anything as a working document that someone would be snookered without on Monday morning. Mrs Mick F saw it on the road when she was walking to work yesterday morning and thought no more about it, not even recognising what it was. Coming home at 5pm, she never noticed it. I saw it on the road at 7pm whilst walking back from the pub.

It had been lying on the wet leafy tarmac all day - at least - and been kicked about too by the look of it. It doesn't look like it's been driven over. It's a very small retractable jobie - you could fit half a dozen of them in a matchbox. 8Gb in capacity.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Sep 2013, 4:27pm

Mick F wrote:Walking home from the village this evening, we found a memory stick on the road.

The most sensible thing to do is bin it.

Stuxnet is the name of the virus that infected and brought to a halt the Iranian nuclear power plant in 2005. One of the mysteries was how did their computers get infected? The plant was a closed system with no connectivity to the internet or any other network. It's security access facilities are tightly managed.

Stuxnet code is highly sophisticated. It's far too high quality to have been developed by some black hatter fueled by pizza and coffee. It's source is almost certainly a joint project by US and Israeli specialists.

So how did they infect a closed system? Simple. Observe where the institutions geeks frequent and leave a few strategically placed infected usb stick lying around. The first thing that people generally do when they pick up a usb stick is stick it into their PC to see what's on it, which is exactly what the Iranian geeks did. No anti-virus software will protect against a virus it doesn't know about.

It's not safe to think that you won't be targeted like the Iranian power station because that's no longer the case. You don't have to be strategically important, you just have to own a PC. The objective of virus writers has changed. They no longer want to trash your PC, they want your bank details or your PC's resources at their disposal (for botnets). They try hard to make their apps invisible, which makes it hard for you or anti-virus software writers to know about them, and the AV software won't clean or protect your PC until it knows the virus's signature.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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Mick F
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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Mick F » 22 Sep 2013, 5:28pm

Geriatrix wrote:
Mick F wrote:Walking home from the village this evening, we found a memory stick on the road.

The most sensible thing to do is bin it.
Sorry, I disagree with you entirely. :shock:

The most sensible thing to do with something that has obviously been lost by someone, is try and re-unite it with them.

Had you lost one, would you not like someone like me to get it back to you?
Do you always consider that a lost item has been planted by a person with ill-intent?
Next time you drop a twenty pound note, I'll bin it. :lol:

As it happens, our investigations have turned up trumps. We reckon it's 99% certain who it belongs to, and I'll be calling on them tomorrow or the day after.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby horizon » 22 Sep 2013, 5:46pm

The sensible thing to do is to wipe it clean and use it as your own - a lucky find. The owner will by now have accessed their back up and will be happily at work with that.




PS :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: If you believe that, you'll believe anything.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Sep 2013, 6:06pm

Mick F wrote:The most sensible thing to do with something that has obviously been lost by someone, is try and re-unite it with them.

Had you lost one, would you not like someone like me to get it back to you?

Of course but it depends what it is.

Distributing USB stick's (typically leaving them lying around) is an established social engineering way of spreading computer botnets. The method exploits human curiosity and it's very effective. Even if the contents seem innocuous, there could be a hidden payload and you wouldn't know about it until its too late. I wouldn't personally take the risk.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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Mick F
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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Mick F » 22 Sep 2013, 6:26pm

What is the risk?
If I had a virus or mall-ware or a bot on my computer, I would wipe my HD and re-insatll the software. No problem. Perhaps an hour or two to re-install but no real inconvenience.

I hope you don't have anything on your computer that is sensitive or you would be sad if you lost it. Personally, all our stuff isn't on our HDs. Consequently I have no difficulty in plugging in a mystery memory stick and looking what's in there.

What would you REALLY have done?
Just left it on the road?
Took it home and put it in the bin?

What would you want to have done with your lost memory stick?
Me to have binned it?
Surely not.

Had you been a person with mall-intent, where would you have left your virus?
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby PH » 22 Sep 2013, 6:49pm

Dose anyone create anything original on a memory stick? I use them all the time, at work and at home, sometimes to bring work home, I've never had anything on a memory stick that isn't a copy of something on a HDD. To loose one would be a minor inconvenience, I wouldn't have lost any data.

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby Geriatrix » 22 Sep 2013, 6:51pm

Mick F wrote:What is the risk?

The risk is not knowing your computer is infected. That way they can maximise the damage.

Botnet's can do various things:
1. Harvest data from your PC from activities that happen on almost anyone's PC. Your e-mail accounts and passwords. Social networking details.
2. Act as a mass mailer agent.
3. Act as a DDOS agent (DDOS = distributed denial of service attack)
4. Act as a distributed processing resource for brute force decryption.

These are just a few.

In all of the above exploits it's in the attackers interest to conceal the botnet by making sure that it doesn't interfere with performance or day to day use. That way you don't report it. If no-one reports it, anti virus writers don't add the counter protection.
Exploit 1 will be used for identity theft and theft of bank details.
For exploits 2 - 4 you won't even be aware that it's happening until you ISP tells you.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby 700c » 22 Sep 2013, 6:57pm

If you have no clue what nefarious things could happen when you insert a USB stick, then the best course of action is not insert it. You were foolish.

You should have taken it to the local Police station, if you wanted it back with its owner.

Aside from potential virus and the like...this scenario is plausible; if the stick contained the type of images that are illegal...one could get into a world of hurt for that if those images were ever found on your computer.
Last edited by 700c on 22 Sep 2013, 7:44pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Found: a memory stick

Postby NUKe » 22 Sep 2013, 7:16pm

I agree with 700c and Geriatrix. Even if the person who lost it wasn't malicious they might be careless. you need to run a thorough virus Check now Mick.
NUKe
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