Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

For all your general chit chat, caching or not.
covert
150 or more caches found
150 or more caches found
Posts: 476
Joined: 30 July 08 11:47 am
Location: VIC

Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by covert » 15 November 10 8:17 am

The idea of a deaddrop is nothing new, especially to geocachers. A deaddrop (wiki: is a location used to secretly pass items between two people, without requiring them to meet) and geocach are much the same.

Recently Aram Bartholl an Artist in New York starting doing digital dead drops using USB keys. The idea that people would come to the dead drop, Take some digital content and leave some digital content. Sound familiar dosn't it. He did it using USB keys cemented into walls.

You can listen the Aram Bartholl being interviewed on Net@night 175 for some details about it. http://twit.tv/natn175

Aram Bartholl official dead drop sight.
http://deaddrops.com/

Using digital storage as a mean stage in a multi / Puzzle cache is nothing new. There are plenty of geocaches using the idea.

I am interested to hear peoples thoughts about using this type of technology into geocaches ?

(Yes I know there was a previous thread on this topic, it has been locked for other reasons. Lets start of fresh)

User avatar
Team Wibble
2100 or more geocaches found
2100 or more geocaches found
Posts: 1054
Joined: 18 October 04 11:47 am
Location: Adelaide

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by Team Wibble » 15 November 10 9:56 am

Like Cached mentioned in the other thread, we had a cache of this nature about 5 years ago: http://coord.info/GCMJHT

The main reasons for its demise were, as stated, the council cemented up the old stone wall that it was hidden in, preventing access, and the the owner moved overseas. I don't doubt that if these things hadn't occurred, that this cache would have enjoyed a long and and successful career. It certainly remains one of my absolute favourite caches ever.

That said, there are risks with this sort of thing, sticking an unknown device into your computer. I would say that the risk is lower than the general lifehacker idea simply because a device of this nature is going to be hidden and therefore supposedly only found be geocachers, who, while not immune from virus spreading, are a smaller subset of the population and therefore the risk is lower.

It's a great potential aspect to the cache. Any cache that plays on the "secret society/spy/secret agent" type aspect that follows this idea, particularly used in the manner that the dead drop cache in SA used, really gives a great experience.
The main question is how to manage the risks, and what risks would be considered acceptable. Are there alternatives?
I have caches that require people to watch a video on youtube, which removes the aspect of having a portable device to gain the information, but a lot of the magic of the dead drop concept is lost in that manner.

covert
150 or more caches found
150 or more caches found
Posts: 476
Joined: 30 July 08 11:47 am
Location: VIC

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by covert » 15 November 10 10:28 am

If the device was to be used for read only (eg a video / sound file) the device could be hardware modded to not allow writing. I have been toying with this idea as a way to stop accidental deletion of the file.

As for sharing files like the real usb dead drop is intended to do one should only access it with a read only operating system like a "live CD". But unfortunately this is all to complex for the normal user.

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4160
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by Richary » 15 November 10 8:51 pm

A safer way of using a dead drop might be to just have a micro at the spot, pointing the user at a web page they have to view (with a small bit.ly or whatever address to make it easy to remember/write down).

The finder can then either use 3G if they have it or head to the nearest Maccas/net enabled cafe to do so. That way there is no chance of someone writing something bad to the USB.

User avatar
caughtatwork
Posts: 16299
Joined: 17 May 04 12:11 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by caughtatwork » 15 November 10 8:53 pm

No, instead they hide malware on the webpage :mrgreen:

User avatar
honeysucker
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 109
Joined: 30 July 08 12:31 pm
Location: Windsor Gardens

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by honeysucker » 15 November 10 9:46 pm

But if everyone remembers to update their Antivirus on a regular occasion with a high quality one they shouldnt have a problem.

User avatar
caughtatwork
Posts: 16299
Joined: 17 May 04 12:11 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by caughtatwork » 15 November 10 9:59 pm

Ahahahaha, oh, ha, ha, erm, ha :-)
Mariposa-infected computers were linked to 13 million unique Internet Protocol addresses, said Pedro Bustamante, a researcher with Panda Security. Researchers studying the notorious Conficker botnet have linked it to half as many IP addresses.
That's some 20 million people who probably have no anti virus at all and have been sucked into massive botnets. I wouldn't put anything past anyone not to do anything.

I love the idea, just not entirely sure it's safe.

User avatar
honeysucker
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 109
Joined: 30 July 08 12:31 pm
Location: Windsor Gardens

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by honeysucker » 15 November 10 10:03 pm

your right C@W i keep forgetting how naive i am in thinking that everyone would have a high Quality antivirus

User avatar
Zalgariath
5500 or more caches found
5500 or more caches found
Posts: 1749
Joined: 17 August 09 10:44 am
Location: Sydney, NSW

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by Zalgariath » 15 November 10 10:23 pm

Always used AVG AV, and Zone Alarm Firewall. Spybot S&D, Spyware Blaster. Total cost $0. Total Security Issues in 10 years of constant online activity - 0. Im either lucky, or there is NO reason to ever pay for security on a home level. (if you know sort of what you are doing...) Love the idea, but would be cautious still on my primary machine.

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4160
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by Richary » 15 November 10 10:26 pm

There's dangers either way, but if it's a webpage with malware on it the chances are that someone who does have good protection will hit it and note it on the cache page. OTOH if someone finds the USB stick and it has bad stuff on it their virus protection etc will also find and clean it.

I don't think there is a clear answer, except those who have no decent security on their PCs are probably already infected with something.

And as a side issue, I do tend to agree with the calls that people without protection shouldn't be allowed online. There are plenty of free virus and malware checkers out there that work well, so there is no excuse. Don't know how you enforce it though.

User avatar
honeysucker
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 109
Joined: 30 July 08 12:31 pm
Location: Windsor Gardens

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by honeysucker » 15 November 10 10:27 pm

that is total issues of 0 that you know of, (just being the devil advocate) i realise that everyone dose things differently but you get the cover you pay for

User avatar
Zalgariath
5500 or more caches found
5500 or more caches found
Posts: 1749
Joined: 17 August 09 10:44 am
Location: Sydney, NSW

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by Zalgariath » 15 November 10 10:29 pm

honeysucker wrote:that is total issues of 0 that you know of, (just being the devil advocate) i realise that everyone dose things differently but you get the cover you pay for
Very true... :shock: But no Nicuaguans have emptied my bank account and my performance is good... Facebook steals all my personal details anyway... so far its a win hahaha \:D/

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4160
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by Richary » 15 November 10 10:40 pm

I've traditionally use AVG though changed to Avira a year or so back because of the annoying pop ups it was generating. Also Spybot, Ad-Aware and Spyware Blaster more recently. And also had ZoneAlarm installed until Windows came with a half decent firewall. Total virus infections = 0. Total malwares = very few, mainly cookies that get cleaned up when I do a regular scan.

While drifting OT here there are heaps of free options out there to protect your system that do the job, and if people don't know how to install them they deserve what they get.

And I say that from the point of view of someone who helped a friend in Adelaide a few years ago who complained that she had just hooked up the broadband and the computer was really slow and kept crashing (she had 3 teenage daughters). I asked if she had a virus checker and she answered "what".

It took an hour to get it stable enough to install AVG which cleaned up 25 viruses I had never heard of, and then AVG and Spybot found 1200 things between them. Almost a reformat job but not quite.

covert
150 or more caches found
150 or more caches found
Posts: 476
Joined: 30 July 08 11:47 am
Location: VIC

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by covert » 16 November 10 7:42 am

Please everyone. Enough of what AV is better etc.

User avatar
Cached
2500 or more caches found
2500 or more caches found
Posts: 3087
Joined: 24 March 04 4:32 pm
Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Contact:

Re: Deaddrops (USB). An interesting caching idea.

Post by Cached » 16 November 10 8:09 am

I notice that opencaching.us have set Dead Drop as a cache type.

Post Reply