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View Full Version : Computer shop turns in customer for child porn


mraikes
01-26-2012, 04:47 PM
Since the topic of computer techs turning in customers for illegal activity comes up from time to time, I thought there might be interest in this news story from my area.

http://www.koat.com/news/30305769/detail.html

Nothing surprising, just shows that it does happen.

phaZed
01-26-2012, 05:23 PM
There are very few things to call the cops for.. but Stolen Computers and Kiddie Porn are my exceptions. Good job ABQ PC Techs!

seedubya
01-26-2012, 05:25 PM
There are very few things to call the cops for.. but Stolen Computers and Kiddie Porn are my exceptions. Good job ABQ PC Techs!

Absolutely true, but the question remains WTF were they doing looking at his pics? I'll probably never be in that situation because I just don't look at peoples files. (unless asked of course but I'm sure even pedos aren't THAT stupid)

phaZed
01-26-2012, 05:33 PM
Absolutely true, but the question remains WTF were they doing looking at his pics? I'll probably never be in that situation because I just don't look at peoples files. (unless asked of course but I'm sure even pedos aren't THAT stupid)

Good question.. I don't look at pictures of customer machines but do sometimes see thumbnails and file names when doing backups. I would hope that the techs simply saw folders/files filled with telling file names and went from there.

YeOldeStonecat
01-26-2012, 05:40 PM
Absolutely true, but the question remains WTF were they doing looking at his pics? I'll probably never be in that situation because I just don't look at peoples files. (unless asked of course but I'm sure even pedos aren't THAT stupid)

A lot of times you can't help but to see pics...when doing things like copying files, file transfers, or even just cleaning out stuff. And as mentioned above..file names flash before your eyes. Or say you're cleaning the computer of malware...and you're going into the My Documents folder to chase after downloaded files related to the malware...and the clients computer Explorer view is set to thumbnail/preview? You can't help it...BAM...your eyes see the junk.

StephenOdell
01-27-2012, 02:58 AM
Some End users use picture folder on screen saver screen. in this case very disgusting! :mad:

ArtemusComputerTechnology
01-27-2012, 05:21 AM
I actually came across similar to the child porn but with pics with animals (beastiality) and threesomes. An older male, recently divorced with 2 children; he was sick in the head.

totalPCTechs
01-27-2012, 06:23 AM
Yeah there's been some bad things that have crossed my shop...the worst was some guy who had his a wallpaper of his wife giving birth. Astonishes me still to this day that people showcase pics like that.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777 using Tapatalk

YeOldeStonecat
01-27-2012, 11:44 AM
Some End users use picture folder on screen saver screen. in this case very disgusting! :mad:

Reminds me of a story...back a few years ago (the Windows 98se days) at the place I used to work at....this older ..uhm..."eccentric" guy dropped off a computer for our service department to work on. A bit lispy and feminine..if you know what I mean. Was hit by one of those viruses that were rampantly taking out Windows rigs that were directly connected to broadband modems with a router w/NAT..it just spread across rigs on public IPs easily. Blaster worm maybe...or...eh, whatever. The rig couldn't boot up. I remember the girl we had at the front desk saying he wanted to "warn" the tech that the wallpaper on the computer might be a bit shocking.

A little later that day, I heard a roar in the service department....all the techs in there giving a big "Ugh, Yuck, OMG, etc etc". I step back there to look...and the guy working on that PC had it fixed enough to boot up..and it had rotating wallpapers of this older guy..in bed, with his boyfriend. And I mean..in bed...doing stuff...

..yeah...we call wanted to flush our eyes with bleach that day!

Dameize
01-27-2012, 12:26 PM
I dont look at files and never have. Even if I thought someone was suspicious I would get on with it and do my work. Even if I offer a data destruction service I wouldnt check the files as im just not interested. If I dont ask or look I dont find out and I get paid.

Knightsman
01-27-2012, 12:47 PM
Pretty naive for some of you guys to say you wouldn't find stuff like this because you don't look at this or that.

When you transfer folders do you not look at the status of it, does it not show the file currently being transferred?

When you run a scan does it not show the file being scanned?


This happened to us, and it happened because the eu needed to backup their data. This was a failing hard drive, so we came across an odd folder on the C drive, and it had this crap in it. Luckily for us it was just filenames and not thumbnails.

And I just want to punch any idiot who says its not their job to turn these computers in.

Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk

MobileTechie
01-27-2012, 12:57 PM
Pretty naive for some of you guys to say you wouldn't find stuff like this because you don't look at this or that.

When you transfer folders do you not look at the status of it, does it not show the file currently being transferred?

When you run a scan does it not show the file being scanned?


This happened to us, and it happened because the eu needed to backup their data. This was a failing hard drive, so we came across an odd folder on the C drive, and it had this crap in it. Luckily for us it was just filenames and not thumbnails.

And I just want to punch any idiot who says its not their job to turn these computers in.

Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk

I wonder sometimes whether people using these threads almost to advertise the fact that they "don't pry" into customer data. I agree with you that you're bound to see some files at various points. E.g. how on earth would you know if data recovery had worked without opening some files? My terms even state that whilst I don't routinely look, if may see files and if you don't like that they should remove or encrypt them.

ljtechservices
01-27-2012, 01:39 PM
I picked up a laptop yesterday for a data recovery. I asked if there's anything specific he needed. He said everything I could get.

He's studying for a securities exam and needs some files so he can take his test next week.

The actual stuff for the securities exam, in the folder he specified is only 100MB.

total amount of data is 200GB.

Had to buy him a USB drive to deliver his 200GB of porn.

ljtechservices
01-27-2012, 01:46 PM
Pretty naive for some of you guys to say you wouldn't find stuff like this because you don't look at this or that.



I wonder sometimes whether people using these threads almost to advertise the fact that they "don't pry" into customer data. I agree with you that you're bound to see some files at various points. E.g. how on earth would you know if data recovery had worked without opening some files? My terms even state that whilst I don't routinely look, if may see files and if you don't like that they should remove or encrypt them.


Yeah this doesn't make sense to me either. I don't really have the time for sitting and browsing through everything that comes across my work bench but every once in a while you see something in a scan or thumbnail that you wish you hadn't.

I guess they may be saying there's a difference between occasionally seeing something and salivating over the personal pictures someone left on their desktop.

HouseOfTechs
01-27-2012, 02:12 PM
I dont look at files and never have. Even if I thought someone was suspicious I would get on with it and do my work. Even if I offer a data destruction service I wouldnt check the files as im just not interested. If I dont ask or look I dont find out and I get paid.

i Agree!! i feel its none of my business

codegreen
01-27-2012, 03:25 PM
I dont look at files and never have. Even if I thought someone was suspicious I would get on with it and do my work. Even if I offer a data destruction service I wouldnt check the files as im just not interested. If I dont ask or look I dont find out and I get paid.

I think you're missing the point. No professional tech should be intentionally peeking through a customer's files. However, when working on a computer you sometimes see thumbnails, lists of files and folders, etc. If I see anything that could be child pornography (that is, children beng sexually abused), I cannot in good conscience pretend I didn't see it.

Tekko
01-27-2012, 03:53 PM
Same thing happened to me before, but his wife brought the computer in, she said it had a virus and she wanted it wiped. Then goes on to say she really need all the pictures saved, so I just plugged the drive in as a slave and starting backing up the data, I kept noticing things like "12 y/o bound" and other blatantly wrong file names, so yes, I turned on thumbnails and what I saw was enough to contact the police.

AliceKlaar
01-27-2012, 10:56 PM
This post does not constitute legal advice.

In the UK, possession by any means (ie its not yours but you have access to it even if "deleted" because an IT pro would just "undelete it") of Indecent Images of Children, IIC, is an offence, as is distribution of such images. Consequently if you discover any IIC you need to report it to protect yourself, and you can't just give it back to the client because that would be "distribution of IIC"
Similarly you cannot make a copy "for evidence" just in case the drive fails because duplication is "publication" so also illegal. Importantly no looking for anymore as you' may foul up all the file access dates which may imply YOU put the porn there. Absolutely no nuking the drive either as we are now preserving evidence.

This may have implications for those who keep images of clients hard drives or just store their data for whatever sound technical reason eg pre N&P / FABs / data migration etc. Similarly this sort of thing should be an exception in your non disclosure / client confidentiality agreements, if you use them.

To further complicate the IIC issue in the UK, age 16 does not always mean "Street Legal", with age 18, 21 and 25+ extending to people under social care orders, and a myriad of other protective social legislation.


In the US the mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect or even suspected occurrences varies by State. However outside of the core Professional occupations like social workers, doctors, teachers, LEOs etc, some States include photographic handlers / "image processors". Additionally 18 States mandate reporting "regardless of profession". If applicable that means you... Link here http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/manda.cfm

There is an ongoing thread at the computer forensics site concerning CP / IIC and appropriate actions / what-ifs http://www.forensicfocus.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1431&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=50

I'm not a lawyer, social worker or an expert in child development / morphology / age assessment but use "If it looks wrong then it probably is" as a guideline. Unfortunately there are some things you just can't "unsee"

I hope this thread encourages people to think about their policy & procedures and maybe contacting a qualified professional / social services / police / lawyer for advice before the event.
Don't have nightmares

smashedbotatos
01-27-2012, 11:22 PM
I would 100% with out a doubt turn someone in for that. I have kids, and I work out of my garage. I don't need people like that bringing stuff like that to by business.

I only ever had to call the police one time......A customer had left a small bag of cocaine and a large bag of marijuana is his laptop bag. Turns out he was a big time realtor a couple towns over. Like I said before...It was in my shop, and i live 30 feet away and have two kids. I don't need that stuff around.

sys-eng
01-30-2012, 03:38 AM
While I never browse user files, I do open the picture viewer and photo editior programs to make sure they are working as part of the repair - - especially from an infection which very often corrupts the file associations.

It is also a common practice to rebuild the thumbnail caches so they work as the customer expects. I am thankful that I have never seen child abuse on a computer but I have worked on several which had much porn on them. I tell my customers that I will not guarantee their computer will stay uninfected even one day if the computer is used on those sites because nearly all if not all of them are loaded with malware.