High-Tech Thieves and the Gadgets They Use

Curious about the latest in gadgets and gizmos thieves are using these day?

As our world rushes into the futuristic realm of technology and the geniuses of our time continue to think up revolutionary software, gadgets, gizmos, as well as other high-tech tools, thieves become ever more skilled in using them.

There are many products that I will bring to your attention today in an effort to look inside the tool box of high-tech thieves and what gadgets they use to victimize the unsuspecting public. I was planning on only writing on one or two of the ‘most used' items but there were so many to choose from that I decided to incorporate quite a few to broaden the spectrum of technologies being used today.

Manufacturers aren't fessing up to who made these dandy delights and buying these items can be hard to do if you don't know where to look. But nevertheless, I figured it was worth the heads up. Incidentally, BBC has an article about these thieves and the motivation behind their actions that I found very interesting in my research.

Super Flexible Cameras

Thousands of homes have a biological alarm system called a dog. Thieves that target a home have to watch out for this natural anti-theft device, so they use a small video camera that can slide under a door or into a small hole in the wall to help them find any vicious critters that would like to greet them with all of their sharp pointy teeth. Counter Intelligence Technologies, Inc. manufactures fiber optic digital cameras that are highly affordable. But they are certainly not the only ones to make them.  Many online retailers have them and one  example of a good super flex micro camera is from Amazon.

Flexible CameraFlexible Camera

Snake CameraSnake Camera



Radio Frequency Code Grabbers


Okay, now on to another gadget that high-tech thieves use. Scanners that find specific radio frequencies are often used to gain access into a home via the garage door or car. As technology advances the alarms will need to be updated. If you are still using an old electronic garage door or an old car alarm system chances are the frequency can be duplicated. Hacker Central has devices like the RF (Radio Frequency) Detectors and Code Grabbers as well as providing lists of cars and garage doors/gates they open. Amazon has a well rated one here. The functions are pretty simple. The device itself locks on to the radio frequencies when the victim opens their garage door to leave or come home. By activating the code grabber it finds the exact frequency to open the door and duplicates it for future use. (Read more about Mobile Scanner and Radar laws in the U.S at afn.org.)

Code ScannerCode Scanner

Code GrabberCode Grabber

Credit Card Cloners and Skimmers

ATM  ScammerATM Scammer

Endless reports across the globe are reporting on credit card cloning and skimming. Devices are designed to be placed in plain site, usually on ATM's or even gas pumps for those of us looking for a fast transaction in our hectic lives. The Age and Sun Herald in Australia are reporting small covert cameras that not only record the pin numbers being entered but also the numbers on the credit card as well and all data on the magnetic strip. This is the very recipe for cloning an unlimited credit account at someone else's expense.


Car Key Code Scanning Laptops


Car thieves are going high-tech too, well at least those with expensive tastes are. David Beckham just had his vehicle stolen according to MSNBC by way of a laptop... that's right, a laptop. The computer, along with an antenna and of course special software was able to extract a code that was transmitted by a Radio Frequency (RFID) chip located in the key.


Magnetic Keyboards

Magnetic Keyboard (from Neowin.net)Magnetic Keyboard (from Neowin.net)

While we are on the topic of cars I found another object of desire for thieves today... yep, you guessed it, gasoline. Because of the high price of petrol at the pumps, high-tech thieves are targeting new ways to get the juice for free. ABC news reports enlighten the public to the fact that magnetic keyboards are the culprit. The keyboard was basically used to ‘turn on' the pumps from a closed Citgo gas station in Rhode Island. They were able to get 134 gallons in that one trip that they loaded into empty metal drums.

Keystroke Catchers

Keystroke Catcher (from Spy-solutions.com)Keystroke Catcher (from Spy-solutions.com)

Although "pharming" or "phishing" scams are still all the rage with dishonest thieves via the internet, specialists at truecredit.com (a branch of TransUnion) say that there is one more thing to watch out for... "Keystroke catchers". Small devices are affixed to the cable which goes from the keyboard to the computer itself and are as cheap as $100. The connector is what they call a "catcher" and it records whatever you type into your computer. They are usually slipped into public computer areas like libraries and internet cafés. The moral of this story kiddies, is to never pay bills or shop online in a public terminal where just anybody has access to the data you transmit. You can pick one of these up on Amazon here.

Well, what do you think of the latest gadgets being used criminals? Do you think these technologies should be allowed in the marketplace at all? Do you think this article will facilitate criminal behaviour by explaining how these technologies are being used? Should we not be writing about these types of security related devices?

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Oct 17, 2008
by Anonymous


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