Electronic Devices - Theft from Cars

Interesting development on theft of electronic devices from cars.


Today I had an interesting conversation with somebody who unfortunately had their laptop, iPad and a number of other items stolen from the boot of their car. Incidentally, the thieves left behind a Samsung Windows 8 Tablet - what’s that about? Also, another colleague parked in the same car park appeared to be targeted - also losing a laptop in the process.

Anyway, according to the police apparently thieves are now targeting cars with devices that can scan either active Bluetooth devices, or (allegedly) inductive amplifiers are being used to attempt to detect whether equipment is in the car or not.

There’s a few articles about this out there already, such as:

BlueTooth being used for thefts


How thieves know there's a laptop hidden in your car?


Security ‘Expert’ Claims Thieves Can Detect Wi-Fi In Sleeping Computers

In fact, check out the
google search, there’s articles going back ages, some more credible than others.

The BlueTooth discoverable device must be the most obvious way to detect laptops & devices mustn’t it? Even if your laptop is asleep there could be exposure on Wake on LAN? Certainly the Macbook Pro supports Wake on Bluetooth:


What I’m not clear about though is whether wake would work for
non paired devices - I.e. can you wake a computer by scanning it for access? I.e. via discoverability? Doesn’t seem likely does it?

Realistically i think the BlueTooth/WiFi are the most likely culprits here - if there is actually an exposure. I’m undecided really.

Personally, I avoid leaving any kit at all in my car, preferring to carry it with me. You can never of course have 100% security can you?

The main message I think from this is that
physical security for your data is important. If you have an unencrypted drive don’t for a second think that your data is inaccessible from somebody who has that machine in front of them. It absolutely is EASY to get access to such data - hell, just pop the drive out and into a USB caddy, job done.

I encrypt everything on my stuff - the hardware, while of value, is not
as valuable as the data I often carry, after all.

I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts on this - viability etc.

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