posted by tom / February 18, 2006 /

Today's Post has a an interesting profile of a botnet operator — one of those jerks who remotely infects computers, amassing swarms of enslaved machines that are then used to send spam, extort websites, steal information and generally do nasty things. The subject remains anonymous, only identifying himself as a high school dropout living in a small midwestern town. The three businesses closest to his house are also mentioned, but not named.

Except — whoops! It looks like the Post failed to scrub its photos very carefully. Within thirty minutes of the story being picked up by Slashdot, a user had noticed that the Post's photos contained metadata saying "Location: Roland, OK". Which, as you may have deduced, is a small midwestern town (pop. 3000). Another slashdot commenter googled for the businesses mentioned and was able to take a guess at the intersection where the guy lives.

Pride goeth before the fall and all that, I suppose. Have fun in jail, asshole.


Wow. That's awesome. It's hard to believe that metadeta was an accident--it had to have been input manually at some point, no? At any rate, it's pretty hard to feel any sympathy for the guy.

Posted by: Jake on February 18, 2006 03:53 PM

Unlikely the metadata was there on purpose. Check it out, every photo and has identical metadata

More likely someone just forgot to scrub it.

Posted by: Tim on February 18, 2006 08:52 PM

Yeah, the Post probably uses that stuff internally -- to make sure datelines and captions are correct, that sort of thing. But I imagine it's supposed to be restricted from public viewing.

Posted by: matty on February 21, 2006 11:11 AM

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