Circuit City Also Steals Porn From Your Computer

Stealing porn from customer’s computers isn’t just for Best Buy, one reader reports they’re doing it at Circuit City, too. He writes:

I wanted to write in about my recent experience with employment at circuit city. I work at a circuit city in Colorado, I was recently hired as holiday help. I was hired on as firedog, but only got the position for a few days, while I was at the post I got a standard firedog USB flash drive as a part of my job, it belonged to my supervisor. It was apparent he had wiped it before he gave it to me, which made me rather suspicious that he wouldn’t leave the standard firedog tools on there…

So I obtained a file recovery tool to check the drive..What I recovered gave me quite a shock.

Massive amounts of porn. And not just the pornstar kind, lots of pics of people in their bathing suites posing with friends, many self taken shots, just creepy stuff that you know was stolen from peoples computers. But other than that I have seen nothing else that would suggest a massive porn ring like that of best buy.

-Anonymous

Remember folks, anything you wouldn’t want some stranger to see someday, be it naughty pictures you took with your girlfriend, sensitive documents or banking information, keep it on an external drive so if the computer craps out you just take that in and not your private data.

(Photo: wingless girl)

Comments

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  1. Critcol says:

    Or keep it in 128 or 256bit encrypted disk images!

    Not that I have said disk images or use them or even know how to create them…

  2. Black Bellamy says:

    I am happy to share my porn with anyone. It doesn’t make it any less pornolicious just because some Circuit City now has a copy. Take it, take it all. I don’t care.

  3. Pylon83 says:

    His “Evidence” is circumstantial at best. There’s no proof that the material was wrongfully taken from customers computers. I would say there is a strong suspicion of it, but who is to say that he didn’t harvest all of that data off the internet, from home, and was storing it on a company flash drive that he was using as his own? This story is a bit to shaky to determine that the data was stolen. He didn’t witness the data being taken from customer’s PC’s, he just recovered files on a drive. Again, I’m not saying it’s totally legit, but concluding FireDog employees steal porn from this guys account is a bit of a jump.

  4. Cowboys_fan says:

    For the people who aren’t very computer literate, its almost a guarantee hackers have been in their comp at one time or another. For all you know, somebody’s already stole your naked pics of your wife and posted them elsewhere. If you don’t want the potential of having your info stolen, then get off the internet. Also, don’t carry a wallet b/c somebody can steal that too!
    There are way easier ways to have your info stolen then a computer repair person.

  5. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Critcol:
    @Cowboys_fan:

    e4m is your friend. [www.woundedmoon.org]

  6. DeafLEGO says:

    Why steal porn when you can get loads more free from the Net? Is it personal porn of the computer owner they are stealing?

  7. Jeff says:

    Best buy doesn’t steal porn. Circuit city doesn’t steal porn. Nerds steal porn. Find the nerds, find the porn.

  8. jrr316 says:

    I had a customer once that put their naked pictures in a folder titled “Me Naked”

    Kind of hard to ignore….

    It did make for an awkward incident when she picked up the computer, however.

  9. quarkfactor says:

    @pylon83 Are you some sort of lawyer?

  10. R3PUBLIC0N says:

    @Cowboys_fan:

    Um, no. Your assertion that “its almost a guarantee hackers have been in their comp at one time or another” is just false. There are just too many computers, and not enough fat lazy nerds. Being involved in computer forensics, I can say with some certainty that the Internet does not function like it did in the movie “Hackers” and the technologically savvy cannot beam themselves from place to place. Your overblown use of made up statistics would make the Feds blush.

  11. XTC46 says:

    CompUSA does this as well…its amazing how excited some people get when they find home made porn. I always feel bad for customers…this is why I do corporate tech work and not shitty retail work. Much more professionalism. (corporate techs steal identities…not porn)

  12. XTC46 says:

    @R3PUBLIC0N: his use of the word “hackers” is a bit loose, but to say that most computers on the internet have been compromised in one form or another is pretty accurate. Typically it is with spyware or a virus, and rarely do they steal data. Most commonly they are just used as spam bots.

  13. Twitch says:

    TRUECRYPT FOR THE WIN!

  14. Critcol says:

    @Jaysyn:

    Thanks, but I’ll just use AES, it’s built into my Mac and if 256bit AES is good enough for Top Secret docs, it’s good enough for my disk images. If I had any, not to say that I have one or know how to create one.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  15. Pylon83 says:

    @xtc46:
    Unless you have a Mac…..

  16. Andrew says:

    Speaking from the perspective of an (independent) PC repair and data recovery guy, the temptation to go snooping around in customer’s computers is quite strong. Not necessarily to find porn or sensitive data, but just because one can. When you take your computer in to get fixed, either by corporate drones who only know how to do a system restore, or to an independent repair shop, ask yourself: is there anything on my computer that I wouldn’t want this person to see?

    When doing data recovery from a fried hard drive, it’s nearly impossible to not stumble upon personal photos or data that could be very damaging in the wrong hands.

    I’m proud to say that I’ve resisted the temptation to “snoop” so far, and I don’t expect to cave any time soon, but I can understand (not condone, however) how the poor saps who work in Firedog, Geek Squad, et al feel when it comes to customer’s computers and the porn thereon.

    So, if you keep data on your computer that you would NOT like the repair man to see, do what I do: keep it all in encrypted disk images on an external drive (with redundant backups, of course)

    I think there needs to be a new “LOLcat” poster: a kitty on a laptop saying “Iz fiksin yer kumpewter, and steelin’ yer pr0n”

  17. Tank says:

    @jeff: if they’d ever seen a vagina in real life, they wouldn’t need the porn ;)

  18. molife says:

    “Pylon” apt username? Just kidding. But come on? You sound either like a transparent attorney arguing before a 2nd grade mock court or well…a pylon. LOL! Sorry. Couldn’t resist. I’m just kidding. Don’t get offended. Not flaming you here. I love pylons! :)

    Let’s get real. It’s Best Buy and Circuit City. Even if it wasn’t – what stranger do you think you could really trust – not to open a folder called “naked pics of my wife”?! I was trying to think of a person you could trust for a good punchline here but I actually can’t.

    Sad time in our society. But that’s what Truecrypt is for. Find and use it people.

  19. teqsun.com says:

    I used to work as geeksquad for best-buy a few years ago and some of the things my fellow geeksquadders did was surprising.

    First of all there was this disk one of the lead geeks had made for system recover/spwyare-virus removal. It contained all sorts of pirated software and cracks on it. As well as legitamite software.

    One day while taking computers off the shelf to repair, I came across one that wouldnt boot, the guy had elected to do a DVD backup of his HD ($80! for that crap!) So I was sifting through his pc looking for virii when I came across a folder with I swear 20gb of porn. I told another geek about it and he deleted it from the drive. I found it on one of our workbench PCS. He had aparently been storing it so he could take it home.

    Some of the stuff in the folder was pretty messed up. Mostly movies but some really nasty stuff.

  20. StevieD says:

    Not a computer geek.

    But from a logical point of view, repairing a computer would require the repair person “examining” HD’s and individual files. At the bare minimum the repair person must examin a file to determine viral content or insuring the drive is empty.

    Since I place my p_rn files in a folder that I tuck into my OS files (so the W can’t find thenm easily), a repair person would be bound to find the file take a peek into the weirdly labeled file.

    BTW, it is NOT CC or BB that is stealing your p_rn, it is employees of these and other businesses that are stealing your p_rn. Maybe it is because of poor supervision, maybe it is because geeks don’t any at home, maybe it is because we leave our p_rn so easily accessed, whatever the reason, it is not CC or BB that is stealing your p_rn.

  21. iamme99 says:

    @JAYSYN “e4m is your friend”

    Whew. E4M has been dead for years. There’s no support, been no updates. Not sure if it even works on Win/XP, let alone Vista. This is(was) the source site for E4M:
    [www.e4m.net]

    Truecrypt is the product you want to use now. It’s freeware:
    [www.truecrypt.org]

  22. TechnoDestructo says:

    He could have just been downloading it from the *chans. They’re full of that crap.

  23. to those who don’t do IT/computer stuff themselves, please ask family members/friends for who they go to. Word of mouth is definitely the best alternative if you can’t/are worried about doing repairs/upgrades/support yourself.

    I work at a private school (as a computer support specialist) and the parents of the students recommend us to other parents because of our honesty, intelligence and respect to the families. I am always amazed as to how our everyday demeanor seems to be a godsend in their eyes; a simple honest project to us seems to be like a holiday to them, all amazed and delighted when we are fininshed

    personal and honest always seems to pay off in the long run

  24. XTC46 says:

    @Pylon83: even counting Macs…its still a vast majority of computers. Mac has what? 12% of the market? and say *nix is another 5% (Im being generous) thats still 83% that are vulnerable. Anti-virus/spyware/malware software is all after the fact so even those with it get compromised, it just gets fixed fast.

  25. BugMeNot2 says:

    Well being a Firedog my self I could put some light on things. The drive could have been used to transfer data from customers old computer to the new. We are told to transfer any data porn, music ect, the customer would like. We are told not to look in files unless ask by the customer. The reason it would wiped clean is because in our Scope of Work we are to erase all data off the drive within the hour after the transfer.

    Also, looking or taking a customers porn is a lot harder for a Firedog because our work stations are on the sales floor. Most benches are not in the back were a tech can hide. Some Circuit City’s still do have work stations in the back but are being phased out. Circuit City did this for a reason. If we are on the floor it eliminates almost all temptation and raises the risk of not only being busted by a supervisor but by a customer as well.

  26. trollkiller says:

    Is it just me or does the OP seem to be the type of nosy prick that would steal your porn? He takes the time to get a recovery tool so he can snoop around a wiped drive. Pot to kettle.

  27. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    I think I’d be more worried about them stealing the programs I paid for rather than the free porn.

  28. Funny, I just caught CompUSA – excuse me, the soon-to-be-late, CompUSA – stealing porn from a friends computer who happens to be technologically illiterate and was making copies of DVD’s. Frankly, he left the iso images on the HDD when he took it into CompUSA to be repaired. CompUSA had it for a total 4 days and was supposed to be correcting a problem with the DVD-/+RW burner. Anyone in their right minds knows a burner takes all of 5-10 minutes to pull out and swap with a new one. I’m sure this is nothing new to Consumerist (points to the Honeypot given to Geek Squad).

  29. XXX888XXX says:

    wow, who really cares about these stores anymore? Lets look at it this way, If you are dumb enough to leave personal information in a public place (Don’t think your computer is any safer at home then at a repair shop.) then you deserve to have every bit of it stolen…

    Cmon people, A flash drive can cost as low as $1… Try one sometime! (Or accept the risk of getting burned by a corrupt tech, Just don’t make yourself look stupid and generalize that all Techs at Firedog, or GeekSquad, Or ANY repair shop are all porn snatching thieves.)

  30. Darkest Daze says:

    @Papa Midnight:
    I used to work at a CompUSA service center and I can verify that there are people that did take music/videos off of customer computers. The problem stems from underpaid employees who know the job isn’t even worth worrying about if you lose it. In a retail store, you are just a number and they make you feel like you are crap on the bottom of corporates shoes, which means no one takes their job seriously.

    I now work for a small on-site IT/computer repair company that pays very good and takes care of their employees. Doing anything except what we are sent to do would not be tolerated but since we are treated like people, we don’t even think about rifling through peoples personal info, etc. If you find a good small company, you can get very professional service and the quality of the work will show.

    Also, I’d like to let it be known that I never went through peoples stuff. It’s just not something you do.

  31. xgenius says:

    I certainly saw my share of porn on customers computers at the Apple Store. We wouldn’t search for it but it would always turn up. Usually when we would stress the units by launching all its application. iPhoto would load, and there was the porn. Usually homemade pics. Customer just don’t take precautions or seem to care.

  32. DuckFOO says:

    I think that this all boils down to a lack of forethought on the part of customers. Maybe they should be told this could happen when service centers accept a computer.