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How and Why Modern Criminals Still Use Obsolete Technologyโ€‚by@nebojsa.todorovic

How and Why Modern Criminals Still Use Obsolete Technology

Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic Hacker Noon profile picture

Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic

Writer GoLancer, "Noonies2020" Award Winner

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I'm going to begin my story by asking you a simple, but very important question.

Do you remember your first kiss? It's OK. Take your time. We've all been there. Now, how about another even more important question? Do you remember your first mobile phone?

Aha! Admit it! It took much less time and the number of details couldn't be even compared. Right?

Old Nokia Phone "Bricks" and New Tricks


Aahhh, Nokia 3310! The icon. The legend. Adorable, durable, and indestructible.

"Do you still have it?" My old childhood friend wanted to know what happened to my Nokia "brick."

"It's MIA. Lost forever in the deep jungle of my kid's toys."

"Too bad for you buddy. Do you know that's now worth more than the latest iPhone?"


It turned out that there's a market that can't just get enough of the "bricks." I'm not talking about the "antique collectors." The bad boys in the UK "are going crazy" for the good old Nokia models. Why?

According to one of the Vice reports, the dumbphones are used for clever reasons. Business Insider also wrote about this old-tech-new-use phenomenon:

Vice spoke to a drug dealer known as K2 about the phones he uses. "I've got three Nokia 8210 phones and have been told they can be trusted, unlike these iPhones and new phones, which the police can easily [use to] find out where you've been." K2 went on to explain to Vice that drug dealers use the Nokia phones because of their long battery life and fears over police surveillance. "At least I can trust an old Nokia," he said.

Technically speaking, Nokia 8210 falls into the "bricks" category. I guess that the old Nokia slogan "connecting people" got a new, unwanted, and notorious meaning. Now, let's pay a visit to the other side of the world and see how Mr. Walter White is treating mobile phones.

Breaking (Bad) Flip Phones - Literally!

The flip phones or "burners" were the victims of "mobilecide" in Breaking Bad.

Burners are regularly snapped in half and otherwise disposed of to cover up criminal activity over the course of the series. It's probably impossible to identify a single episode ... that doesn't have at least one shot of someone throwing away a cell phone.

The Wire was no different. The "burners" suffered the same sad fate for the same reasons. On YouTube, you can even find a "Phone break compilation." Warning! Graphic content! Some Hacker Noon readers and mobile phone enthusiasts may find these scenes disturbing.

The Ingenious Crafting of Email "Drafting"

I saved the best for last. The simpler the better. Or, here's how a true genius hits the nail of the head with one sentence:


You got that right, Leonardo!

Now, have you heard about the so-called "email drafting?" This unbelievably simple tactic has been working like a charm for bad guys for almost twenty years.

It works like this: Two people, or a group of people, use the same e-mail account. The account is usually a Gmail, Yahoo or other free service. Rather than sending emails, messages are saved as drafts. When the other person checks email, they look at the 'Drafts' folder to find the message. Once the message has been read, it is deleted from the account, leaving no trace. Anyone gaining access to the account will see no evidence of draft messages as they do not stay on the account, even in a deleted messages folder.

Even the famous three-letter-agencies had their email "drafting" episodes. was revealed that terrorist organizations used the trick to avoid their communications from being intercepted by the FBI.

But, that's nothing compared to this infamous "drafting" scandal.

Former CIA director David Petraeus famously used email drafts to communicate with a woman he was having an affair with, his biographer Paula Broadwell.

You know how they say, all is allowed in war, and especially, in love.

That's all Hacker Noon folks from your Critical Thinker of the Year Nominee! Now, be good, vote, and don't use tech for bad things because...