Hacker Busted by Smartphone

by Joshua L
The article I read is about a hacker by the name of Higinio O. Ochoa III, a Linux administrator, who was charged by the FBI with hacking into U.S. law enforcement agencies and posting online the home addresses for police officers, including those of more than 100 Los Angeles police officers. He was caught because on the site he posted the information he used a picture that he took with his cell phone that was traced back to his phone. He didn’t know about the fact that EXIF data (location, camera type, and other image information) is included in every photo taken with a smartphone.

I found this article interesting because it shows how easy it is to access information online. Everything you do online is recorded and saved somewhere online. People need to remember that everything you post online leaves a trace back to you and it is not that hard to track down. I found it funny that a hacker got caught by something as simple as that. Especially because that is information you can actually remove from the file before you use it.

This article is relevant to class because it shows how data can be transformed into useful information that can be applied to solve a real-world problem. All of the information you post online is stored somewhere in some sort of a database.

Armerding, CSO, Taylor. “How a Cell Phone Busted a Hacker.” PCWorld. CSO, 29 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://www.pcworld.com/article/254596/how_a_cell_phone_busted_a_hacker.html>.


5 thoughts on “Hacker Busted by Smartphone”

  1. I had no idea every time you take a photo with your smartphone, data about the photo is sent to a database somewhere. I am pretty sure many people enjoy the camera function of their smartphones. I’m not sure how I feel about someone knowing exactly when and where I took a picture. Although, I can see where this comes in handy tracking down criminals.

  2. It doesn’t store information on a server somewhere. It encrypts the information, like g.p.s. location and time, on to the file so that they always remain together.

  3. It’s hard to believe someone so knowledgeable about computers and computer information systems could not know about the information encrypted on a picture taken with a camera phone. I wonder why the hacker decided to post this information about the police officers, as in was he posting it because he was proud he was able to hack their information and show off? Or was there some kind of grudge against the Los Angeles police department?

  4. I think it’s interesting how the hacker was skilled enough to hack into the U.S. law enforcement agencies but did not care to remove the meta data from the photo he was using. I also think it’s interesting how they were able to track him down with just the information on the photo. I also realized that there is no privacy on the internet, since any information that you use on the internet is stored.

  5. Nice. I never knew you can track a phone just by using a picture, and that a picture taken from a smartphone has “data.” I completely agree with you that everything you do online will stay online. In a way, I think that is a bad thing because people can find and grab information about you. But in this case, it’s pretty awesome.

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