Stolen MacBook recovered using Hidden spying app

Darren Allan

June 2, 2011

Joshua Kaufman, an “interaction designer” from San Francisco, had his MacBook interacted with in a most unwanted manner when it was pinched from his apartment in Oakland back in March.

Unbeknownst to the thief, the MacBook had the Hidden application installed on it, which takes photos using the device’s camera and gathers location information, sending it back to the owner.

Kaufman reported the crime to the Oakland police, but didn’t hear anything else despite several follow-up emails regarding the case, and sending over the information Hidden had gleaned.

So last Friday he set up a Tumblelog with photos of the thief – or indeed the person who bought the portable from the thief – to try and raise the profile of his case and grab the media’s attention.

And grab the media’s attention it did, with the story spreading virally across social networks, and leading Good Morning America to contact Oakland police regarding the affair.

After two months of inaction on the case, which had apparently been “misfiled”, OPD were in touch and picked up the miscreant and retrieved the stolen computer on Tuesday. The man had his laptop back yesterday.

Apparently the police used an email address the Hidden app had picked up, which pointed to a cab service. They discovered the man was a driver there and managed to dupe him into picking them up, whereupon he was picked up.

Those looking to steal Apple equipment best be wary, or indeed any technological gadgets, as security measures become increasingly more sophisticated.


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