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May 26, 2006 8:55 AM   Subscribe

If you are going to sell a broken laptop on ebay, make sure you wipe the harddisk first (some photos NSFW)
posted by bluefin (88 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Maybe a NSFW is in order?
posted by chunking express at 8:57 AM on May 26, 2006


"Instant karma's gonna get you."
posted by digaman at 8:58 AM on May 26, 2006


Is this retarded? Someone make up my mind here... I lack the capacity to do it myself now.
posted by dopamine at 8:58 AM on May 26, 2006


This is wonderful.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:00 AM on May 26, 2006


That was fairly mild - I'd've been tempted to broadcast the bank details. But then I'm pretty sure I'm in the middle of being scammed on eBay, so may not be thinking clearly.
posted by jack_mo at 9:00 AM on May 26, 2006


if it happened as described i say he had it coming.
unfortunately for us the content is not exactly so humiliating.
posted by zenzizi at 9:05 AM on May 26, 2006


Particularly funny are the sockpuppet comments left by the scammer in the comments thread.
posted by brownpau at 9:06 AM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Is what retarded? The fact that the scamm-ee created a Blogger site to embarass and ridicule the scammer that sold him a broken laptop? I don't think so. Caveat scamm-or.
posted by dammitjim at 9:07 AM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Should have added some of the contents are NSFW. The comments are particularly good, as it appears the scammer replies, using a false ID and terrible spelling
posted by bluefin at 9:09 AM on May 26, 2006


Someone is going to get their ass kicked by a shirtless mini-hulk.
posted by skallas at 9:10 AM on May 26, 2006


maybe i'm missing it, but is there something here that would verify that the laptop was sold to this guy by its owner and not by someone who stole it from the owner? it would suck to have your laptop stolen and then have someone posting your shit online because the thief screwed somebody over...
posted by troybob at 9:11 AM on May 26, 2006


This is a good start, but this guy needs to do more. Judging by the scammers name, I would guess he's of Iranian heritage. I suggest that this blogger put a fake items in the kid's outlook to do list. Maybe something along these lines:

1. Pick up mom's dog from the groomer.
2. Finish term paper for Econ 210
3. Meet with representatives of Hamas and al Qaeda to deliver briefcase nukes.
4. Sip chilled milk tea while the Zionist Occupational Government and the Infidel America crumble.

Then just post the hard drive to the NSA. Next time this punk gets on a plane it's bam, straight to Egypt.

The moral of the story: if you're an eBay scammer, getting your balls electrocuted in an Egyptian prison is called justice.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:13 AM on May 26, 2006


That was fairly mild - I'd've been tempted to broadcast the bank details.

I'd have been tempted to write back Amir and point out that a full refund would be a great alternative to me calling up the British equivalent of Homeland Security and telling them I just purchased a laptop from someone named "Amir" filled with pictures of terrorist attacks and all of his personal contact information.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:14 AM on May 26, 2006


Simple solution - use the bank details to forward the money back to yourself. Duhhhhh.
posted by antifuse at 9:15 AM on May 26, 2006


This is very, very good action. I was hoping it was about airnxtz but that would have been too awesome.
posted by fenriq at 9:16 AM on May 26, 2006


This is funny as hell. Thanks Bluefin.
posted by DuckFOO at 9:16 AM on May 26, 2006


Troybob, I assume that he matched the eBay account with this guy, or otherwise did something to confirm his identity. If he paid by money order then it would be trivial. If this guy's name was on the money order, then he's the dude who used the laptop.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:16 AM on May 26, 2006


Could be a phony post, but fun anyway.
posted by BillyElmore at 9:17 AM on May 26, 2006


maybe i'm missing it, but is there something here that would verify that the laptop was sold to this guy by its owner and not by someone who stole it from the owner? it would suck to have your laptop stolen and then have someone posting your shit online because the thief screwed somebody over...

The only clue I could find was that the seller's name was Amir6626, but the buyer may have learned more during his communications with the seller.
posted by justkevin at 9:19 AM on May 26, 2006


Best of teh Web.
posted by Balisong at 9:21 AM on May 26, 2006


...that's assuming quite a lot, i think...for all we know, the guy who made this post stole amir's laptop and tried to get him to buy it back...or just thought it would be fun to post his shit online...
posted by troybob at 9:21 AM on May 26, 2006


I have reported you to the internet watch foundation and you will find they can also trace who ever leaves a comment.

Heh. That's funny.
posted by sveskemus at 9:25 AM on May 26, 2006


P-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-powerbook!!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:25 AM on May 26, 2006


I imagine it was satisfying for the person who got scammed.
posted by raedyn at 9:26 AM on May 26, 2006


He should have called Carl Monday to help sort it out.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:29 AM on May 26, 2006


Shit, though, laptopguy had better not get too carried away, bearing in mind that Amir knows his address. I'd be very wary of publically humiliating someone that knows exactly where I live.
posted by nylon at 9:29 AM on May 26, 2006


Does anybody know if there are any laws or the like concerning who actually owns the data on the hard drive? Does the purchase cover the physical goods only, or also all of the data on the drive?

Let's say the drive was reformatted or wiped - is it still within the buyer's rights to recover and undelete the data?
posted by truex at 9:32 AM on May 26, 2006


troybob writes "maybe i'm missing it, but is there something here that would verify that the laptop was sold to this guy by its owner and not by someone who stole it from the owner? "

My first thought. TrueCrypt is your friend.

[expletive deleted] writes "Troybob, I assume that he matched the eBay account with this guy, or otherwise did something to confirm his identity. If he paid by money order then it would be trivial."

Of course a theif would have access to the ssme information as the blogger, including all his bank information and probably his eBay accounting info.
posted by Mitheral at 9:36 AM on May 26, 2006


What nylon said. I'd be especially wary about publicly humilating someone who knows where I live AND who knows I have a hard drive full of his details AND who has a fetish for terrorist attacks.

Gutsy, funny, but ultimately kind of stupid.
posted by JWright at 9:38 AM on May 26, 2006


Look at that eBay listing. The buyer should be too ashamed to ever raise his head in public after bidding on that laptop. Looks like it was composed by an 8 year old.
posted by fire&wings at 9:38 AM on May 26, 2006


Funny though.
posted by fire&wings at 9:38 AM on May 26, 2006


This is a phony.
posted by A189Nut at 9:44 AM on May 26, 2006


Judging by the scammers name, I would guess he's of Iranian heritage.

Uh, Amir is also an Arabic name (as a friend of mine from Jordan named Amir would attest). It's not particularly Iranian.
posted by moonbiter at 9:52 AM on May 26, 2006


Of course a theif would have access to the ssme information as the blogger, including all his bank information and probably his eBay accounting info.

Somehow -- that someone stole a broken laptop and then, using ebay account details discovered within the hardrive, auctioned it off under the identity of the original owner -- doesn't seem the most plausible backstory.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:55 AM on May 26, 2006


This looks like a scammer's scam to me.
posted by bluesky43 at 9:57 AM on May 26, 2006


I want to believe.
posted by gigawhat? at 9:59 AM on May 26, 2006


Whether tis true or not, this was amusing read. Great find!
posted by psmealey at 10:06 AM on May 26, 2006


Always, always, always use Eraser to wipe drives before getting rid of them. Format, then wipe free space.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:07 AM on May 26, 2006


By the way, www is dead.

[www particularly bugs me when there is already another subdomain, as is the case with blogspot websites.]
posted by patr1ck at 10:17 AM on May 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


Haha, someone got p0wn3d.
posted by awesomebrad at 10:19 AM on May 26, 2006


patr1ck: "By the way, www is dead."

People who think that example.com should always be a CNAME to www.example.com are just a subset of people who think "the Internet" refers to just the web. There are other services and other Internet protocols. Why favor the web when something like 90% of visitors just come in from a hyperlink or Googles your URL anyhow?

posted by Plutor at 10:30 AM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know, this really might be fake. My brand new Dell laptop came with a bunch of bisexual porn and phonecam leg shot pix on it, as well as some dudes bank details. When I called MS to complain, they said it was essential to the operation of the whole OS and couldn't be removed. It's a feature.

So I switched to Linux, but when the dvd arrived it was just 4.7 gigs of the same PNG of a Japanese girl eating a fresh poop in a hotdog bun. I'm going back to BEOS I guess.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:47 AM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


that's pretty awesome. the foot fetish is really what makes it special. that and the thought of getting a small amount of payback on a guy who scammed your ass out of a good deal of money.

Assuming, of course, you refuse to contact Trollhunters
posted by Busithoth at 10:57 AM on May 26, 2006


Divine_wino, you owe me a new keyboard. I just spit coffee all over it.
posted by psmealey at 11:08 AM on May 26, 2006


Its far FAR more likely this laptop is stolen. A scammer is going to keep a broken laptop for a few months before finally sending it ? Just doesn't make sense.

So a guy gets his laptop stolen and has to be publicly humiliated for it.

Good job, internet avengers.
posted by zaebiz at 11:14 AM on May 26, 2006


Metafilter: 4.7 gigs of the same PNG of a Japanese girl eating a fresh poop in a hotdog bun
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:15 AM on May 26, 2006


Its far FAR more likely this laptop is stolen. A scammer is going to keep a broken laptop for a few months before finally sending it ? Just doesn't make sense.

I find myself unable to follow your logic. Your saying that most scammers complete their transactions with alacrity, and becausethis didn't happen, we must assume the extremely unlikely scenario that a thief has decided to expose himself by posted the content of his victims hard-drive online, rather than just wipe the hard drive and resell the computer, which, presumably, would be the point of the theft?

And then the thief created multiple sock puppets to sound like his victim, none of whome claim the computer was stolen from them?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:23 AM on May 26, 2006


PNG of a Japanese girl eating a fresh poop in a hotdog bun.

Oh god, I didn't need that mental image.
posted by Stauf at 11:34 AM on May 26, 2006


So, from the pictures the guy is a vain, bisexual, terrorist?
posted by nyxxxx at 11:36 AM on May 26, 2006


Always, always, always use Eraser to wipe drives before getting rid of them. Format, then wipe free space.

Eraser is for suckers. Pros use DBAN.
posted by Jairus at 11:39 AM on May 26, 2006


DBAN comes with eraser. Anyways I figure a one pass wipe with pseudorandom data is sufficient unless you're running a casino or planning to overthrow a government.
posted by fleetmouse at 11:45 AM on May 26, 2006


Pros pull the drives from the computers, open them up, sandblast the platters, crush the blasted platters with a sledgehammer, and deposit the resulting find dust in a blast furnace.

It's the only way to be sure.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:48 AM on May 26, 2006


internet watch foundation

That's like the Better Business Bureau, right? The illusion that you have rights and/or protections as a consumer of product or information?
posted by bardic at 11:51 AM on May 26, 2006


What, and then you leave the blast furnace intact? Novice.
posted by fleetmouse at 11:51 AM on May 26, 2006


This is more like the sort of thing I might create if I was the buyer of the broken laptop- a fake blog post that exposes the original seller as a total muffinhead.

Not that the original buyer is particularly brilliant., since he bought a broken laptop on Ebay...
posted by oneirodynia at 11:53 AM on May 26, 2006


It's the only way to be sure. - mr_roboto

Wait, I though nuking them from space was the only way to be sure?
posted by dejah420 at 11:57 AM on May 26, 2006



Uh, Amir is also an Arabic name (as a friend of mine from Jordan named Amir would attest). It's not particularly Iranian.


Amir is a named used in many parts of the middle east, including Israel. However it's the last name that is almost surely Iranian.
posted by cell divide at 12:01 PM on May 26, 2006


Real pros use antimatter versions of their hard drives. Drop one onto the other and *POP* the individual atoms are disintegrated! along with the planet.
posted by Parannoyed at 12:05 PM on May 26, 2006


Its far FAR more likely this laptop is stolen.

Since the Revenger had full access to all the email/Internet accounts of our good friend, presumably he could have easily checked if it was the same Amir fellow that he bought the computer from on eBay. Simply go to eBay and view the Firefox saved username. Go in his email accounts and find your own months worth of angry emails in his inbox. I assume all of this was done in the midst of all the privacy-destroying fun.
posted by dgaicun at 12:08 PM on May 26, 2006


oneirodynia: "This is more like the sort of thing I might create if I was the buyer of the broken laptop- a fake blog post that exposes the original seller as a total muffinhead.

Uh...That's what this is.

Not that the original buyer is particularly brilliant., since he bought a broken laptop on Ebay..."

From someone with only 50% positive feedback. He was asking for it.
posted by squarehead at 12:11 PM on May 26, 2006


People who think that example.com should always be a CNAME to www.example.com are just a subset of people who think "the Internet" refers to just the web. There are other services and other Internet protocols. Why favor the web when something like 90% of visitors just come in from a hyperlink or Googles your URL anyhow?

Which is why TCP has more then one port. Duh.
posted by delmoi at 12:13 PM on May 26, 2006


From someone with only 50% positive feedback. He was asking for it.

At the time of the auction he was 100%.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:14 PM on May 26, 2006


One of thes days I'm going to grind down the platters for a hard drive, collect the filings, and then cast them in a lucite paperweight. Anytime someone asks me how to wipe the data off their drive before selling I'm just going to point to the paperweight.
posted by Mitheral at 12:15 PM on May 26, 2006


Its far FAR more likely this laptop is stolen. A scammer is going to keep a broken laptop for a few months before finally sending it ? Just doesn't make sense.

It's not a "scammer" it's just someone who lied about the amount of memory and the laptop's working condition.
posted by delmoi at 12:16 PM on May 26, 2006


oneirodynia: "This is more like the sort of thing I might create if I was the buyer of the broken laptop- a fake blog post that exposes the original seller as a total muffinhead.

Uh...That's what this is.



Ah... right. For some reason skimming all the "is this real?" comments didn't quite add up. Good thing I'm not in the market for a used laptop, as I'm clearly not paying attention.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:19 PM on May 26, 2006


The seller is an idiot and a scammer and has a thing for terrorist bombings.

Is that enough for his privacy to be violated like this?

I have a vague feeling that laws don't make exceptions of this kind. Nevermind fear of reprisals from the clueless Amir, the legality of publicising this information is what the buyer should worry about.
posted by funambulist at 12:25 PM on May 26, 2006


eddydamascene: "From someone with only 50% positive feedback. He was asking for it.

At the time of the auction he was 100%.
"

Oh, well then from someone with 100% positive feedback, but only one person providing that feedback (and that one person having a feedback score of only 2 himself). Not a good idea.
posted by squarehead at 12:26 PM on May 26, 2006


One of thes days I'm going to grind down the platters for a hard drive, collect the filings, and then cast them in a lucite paperweight. Anytime someone asks me how to wipe the data off their drive before selling I'm just going to point to the paperweight.

One overwrite with zeroes is sufficient unless you expect the new owner to spend thousands trying to recover the data. Once you've written a zero to the sector, the drive's electronics are going to return a zero when you request that sector.

Now if the NSA has ahold of your drive, then they can take an magnetic force microscope and recover data from the sides of the tracks. But if you're expecting the NSA to be after your HD then you have bigger problems.
posted by bitmage at 12:28 PM on May 26, 2006


Best. Thing. Ever. Ah, revenge is sweet. Is it his privacy being violated though? If you sell someone a (dud) laptop with photos on the hard drive, are those photos then your possessions? Who owns the content then? Interested to hear what others (with better knowledge of copyright laws etc) make of this.
posted by greycap at 12:29 PM on May 26, 2006


bitmage writes "One overwrite with zeroes is sufficient unless you expect the new owner to spend thousands trying to recover the data. "

Oh I know, but a disk that has 40GB of data and one that has been overwritten with zeros or random bit streams look exactly the same. And neither looks as cool as a little pile of slag and filings encased in plastic.

One has to keep up the appearance of eccentric genius or the users start getting restless. Next thing you know you are wearing a tie and submitting time sheets broken down in 15 minute increments.
posted by Mitheral at 1:14 PM on May 26, 2006


One has to keep up the appearance of eccentric genius...

Oh. In that case, thermite. In the company parking lot.
posted by bitmage at 1:19 PM on May 26, 2006


Best. Thing. Ever. Ah, revenge is sweet. Is it his privacy being violated though? If you sell someone a (dud) laptop with photos on the hard drive, are those photos then your possessions? Who owns the content then? Interested to hear what others (with better knowledge of copyright laws etc) make of this.

The orgional author retains the copyright, duh.
posted by delmoi at 3:02 PM on May 26, 2006


"Made you eat your parents! Made you eat your parents!"

Almost as good.
posted by FormlessOne at 4:50 PM on May 26, 2006


That is hilarious. It's nice to see an eBay liar/scammer get tossed to the wolves for once.
posted by SuzySmith at 8:46 PM on May 26, 2006


Funny and karmalicious!
Ebay is not great at sorting these things out itself, aparently. The 'people are basically good' idea is nice, but there seem to be plenty of people who like to take advantage of this presumption.
posted by asok at 11:31 PM on May 26, 2006


That's ok. If Microsoft buys Ebay, I'm sure Microsoft's quality wioll be brought to the EBAY customer service department
posted by rough ashlar at 6:45 AM on May 27, 2006


I really don't see why what this guy has posted is a problem. He didn't post the banking information, or the passport information. He posted some pictures he found on a busted laptop he bought. I'd be very surprised if the data is still legally owned by the seller.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:08 AM on May 27, 2006


Nobody tell Amir about the DMCA. Shhh!
posted by ryanrs at 2:09 PM on May 27, 2006


Also, the buyer really shouldn't be worried about copyright laws and privacy laws. If he gets nailed, it'll be for extortion.

Not that I expect that to happen. It appears the buyer and seller are equally clueless.
posted by ryanrs at 2:24 PM on May 27, 2006


The many mentions of terrorism on this page (!!) are frightening and pathetic. I'm fairly new to mefi but this thread is all it took for me to lose all my remaining illusions about mefi members being more enlightened than average.
posted by allterrainbrain at 10:03 PM on May 28, 2006


The many mentions of terrorism on this page (!!) are frightening and pathetic.

In what way? (Actual question, not snark!)
posted by jack_mo at 3:44 AM on May 29, 2006


Seriously... there's 4 mentions of terrorism/terrorists on this page. And all of those are just making reference to the fact that the scammer who previously owned the laptop had a fetish for terrorist imagery. What, exactly, is the problem?
posted by antifuse at 7:44 AM on May 29, 2006


What are you talking about when you say he had a "fetish for terrorist imagery"? I don't see anything but snapshots of people in his photos, and the word terrorist appears nowhere on the page with all his photos and info. What I see here on mefi are people using the word terrorist based on nothing more than his name. I'm all ears if you see something I don't.
posted by allterrainbrain at 6:20 PM on May 29, 2006


It appears that the page has been changed. When it was first posted there was an animated gif of the wtc bombing and some pics of the London bombings. The site also stated that there was a lot of pictures of terrorist bombings.

All that appears to have been removed from the site.

It's not that the people of metafilter saw the name and jumped to the conclusion, "Terrorist!". What happened was that before you saw the page it was different and had several references to terrorism and all of that has now been removed.
posted by nyxxxx at 7:37 AM on May 30, 2006


From the Press Association:
Amir Tofangsazan has become the talk of internet chatrooms and the site has registered more than half a million hits.
But the teenager from Barnet, north London, said it had made his life into a "living hell".
Mr Tofangsazan told the Mail: "I am shaking all over and I fear my reputation is going to be ruined.
"They have put photos of me and my family on there after hacking into my hotmail account, as well as publishing personal details and bits of my CV.
"There are photographs on there from the September 11 bombings, porn pictures and pictures of women's legs which have absolutely nothing to do with me. Some people even think I took them.
"The laptop wasn't even broken. It was in working order. The last few days have been a nightmare, some of my friends have seen it and my father is very angry."
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We have got an allegation of improper use of public electronic communications network that was reported to us on May 29 in person at Fulham police station.
"The allegation follows from a civil dispute. No arrests have been made and inquiries continue. It will be investigated by Barnet police."
posted by bonaldi at 7:57 AM on May 30, 2006


Ha... since the idiot buyer removed those pictures of the terrorist bombings from his blog, could it be because he put them there himself just to give a bit more colour to the story by association with the name Amir?
posted by funambulist at 8:32 AM on May 30, 2006


BBC
posted by matthewr at 3:10 AM on May 31, 2006


If you check the page now, you'll find it's been updated with Google AdSense. The buyer is also auctioning an opportunity to post your ad at the top of his blog.
posted by cribcage at 8:25 AM on June 1, 2006


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