Fourth generation iPhone prototype's finder, keeper revealed

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The individual who found the lost iPhone prototype and held it for weeks before delivering it to Gizmodo for a reported $5,000 has been identified as Brian Hogan, a 21 year old resident of Redwood City, California.



A posting by the Wired Threat Level blog named the individual as it continued to present a revised history of events that portrayed Hogan's failure to return the phone for weeks as a "mistake" and his sale of the device to Gizmodo as "sharing."



Hogan attorney Jeffrey Bornstein told Wired that Gizmodo has "emphasized" to his client that "there was nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press," a restatement of events apparently intended to downplay the fact that the tech blog publicly paid Hogan for receipt of a device that clearly did not belong to him.



The blog posting stated Hogan was only able to access Facebook on the prototype phone before it was shut down. Gizmodo reported the phone owner's identity via that Facebook page, making it clear that Hogan had detailed knowledge of who the phone belonged to, despite Hogan's decision to hold onto it for weeks before selling it to Gizmodo along with the identity of the engineer who had lost it.



Additional middlemen complicate investigation



A subsequent report by CNET noted that Hogan "had help in finding a buyer for the phone." It identified "Sage Robert Wallower, a 27-year-old University of California at Berkeley student" as an associate of Hogan.



CNET said Wallower acted as a middleman, along with at least one other unnamed individual, who "contacted technology sites about what is believed to be Apple's next-generation iPhone." It also noted that Wallower "previously worked as a computer security officer at the publicly traded Securitas corporation and that he possesses 'top-secret clearance,'" according to his LinkedIn profile.



The report also noted discovery of an Amazon suggestion list created for Wallower by a friend which included "a book co-authored by ex-hacker Kevin Mitnick titled, 'The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers.'"



That title is particularly ironic given that former black hat hacker Mitnick is an associate of Kevin Poulsen, aka Dark Dante, who spent the second half of the 1990s in federal prison for mail, wire and computer fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice, and the second half of the 2000?s in his current role as the senior editor of Wired and its Threat Level blog.



Blog Levels Threats



Wired's latest blog posting sympathetically characterizes Hogan as working in a church-run community center and serving as a volunteer benefiting Chinese orphans as well as orphans in Kenya who need medical care. A previous Threat Level blog entry on the iPhone prototype story debuted the idea that "news accounts depicting the $5,000 payment as a 'sale' are incorrect," setting the stage for later identifying Hogan as a hero to orphans worldwide, who simply 'made a mistake involving sharing,' rather than being a thief who sold stolen merchandise for thousands of dollars instead of returning it to its known owner.



As the senior editor for Wired, Poulsen has previously presided over a series of articles written by the authors of the latest posting, Brian X. Chen and Kim Zetter, which ranged from assailing the iPhone as being "as insecure as Windows 95" to its being hated in Japan.



In those earlier reports, Zetter delivered an unflattering portrayal of the iPhone's security credentials based on faulty reasoning and questionable sources, while Chen based his report on the iPhone's supposed failure in Japan upon invented sources who later insisted they never made the comments Chen attributed to them.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 119
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,520member
    Use the taser!!!!! the taser!!!!!
  • Reply 2 of 119
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,520member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    CNET said Wallower acted as a middleman, along with at least one other unnamed individual, who "contacted technology sites about what is believed to be Apple's next-generation iPhone." It also noted that Wallower "previously worked as a computer security officer at the publicly traded Securitas corporation and that he possesses 'top-secret clearance,'" according to his LinkedIn profile.



    So much for that career path.
  • Reply 3 of 119
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    They are so fucked.



    "Sharing" whatever.
  • Reply 4 of 119
    Just don't drop the soap, boys!
  • Reply 5 of 119
    Well, if Appleinsider isn't cut from a similar mold as Gizmodo...



    People are vilifying Gizmodo for identifying the Apple employee who lost the prototype, and then this appears on Appleinsider without the complete facts as to the person's involvement in the matter.



    The words "alleged" and "not charged with any crime" are ones you should think over, Daniel.



    So, if this person has not been charged with any crime, is it any worse that Gizmodo identified the Apple employee than Appleinsider identifying this person?



    And people wonder why true journalists, journalist, bloggers, and people who assemble incomplete facts, are sometimes lumped into the same category.



    Daniel, I often enjoy your thoughts and commentaries, but I don't appreciate this one. But, I'm now asking myself why Appleinsider would be any different than Gizmodo?



    No, I don't recall if you called out Gizmodo for identifying the Apple employee, but thousands did. I don't see this as any different.



    Innocent until proven guilty.



    Greg
  • Reply 6 of 119
    tulliustullius Posts: 34member
    That's a really horrible effort at spin control. What was the $5000 payment for, again? To allow Gizmodo "access" to property which neither Hogan or Gizmodo had a legal right to?



    They should just shut up and let the lawyers handle it. They're digging themselves in deeper and deeper every time they try and explain this.
  • Reply 7 of 119
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    While I think that this kid, in effect did steal it by trying to sell it to Engadget and Gizmodo, I don't think he should be prosecuted. Everyone is fallible and makes mistakes. He sounds decent if what his lawyer says is true. The evil party is Gizmodo for revealing the Apple engineer's name.



    If it was me, though, I would have sent the device back to Apple with a note hoping to get a MBP and the new iPhone when it comes out.
  • Reply 8 of 119
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    I guess they will spend more than $5,000 on legal fees. Maybe they should have used their brains before acting.
  • Reply 9 of 119
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Use the taser!!!!! the taser!!!!!



  • Reply 10 of 119
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 999member
    FFS Dilger, why get your nuts in such a twist? I don't typically agree with much of what you write. It follows a particular formula that you dust off time and time again. But lately you've been ranting. Not upset, I'm kinda annoyed ranting, but really off-your-tree, commit-me-please, you-republicans-are-dopey-f*ckers ranting.



    This 'article' is so thinly disguised as news - it's really an editorial piece for the offence you've taken to the giz saga. It's like the giz personally put a dagger in your heart. Just get over it already.



    BTW, why didn't Apple or Powell immediately report the theft? Isn't that what a sane person would do? Rather than wait weeks? Weeks? Apple's famed secrecy may have been compromised but that's a real risk when you play those kinds of games.
  • Reply 11 of 119
    I'm so sick of these San Francisco liberal wackos (and liberal wacko felons) who characterize theft as "sharing" and suggest Apple is the new Third Reich when it moves to protect its trade secrets.



    When is that next major earthquake due? It couldn't come soon enough...
  • Reply 12 of 119
    big kcbig kc Posts: 104member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Use the taser!!!!! the taser!!!!!



  • Reply 13 of 119
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,520member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director View Post


    I'm so sick of these San Francisco liberal wackos (and liberal wacko felons) who characterize theft as "sharing" and suggest Apple is the new Third Reich when it moves to protect its trade secrets.



    When is that next major earthquake due? It couldn't come soon enough...



    Hoping for an earthquake to kill the boogeyman is unlikely to be effective.
  • Reply 14 of 119
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by k2director;


    I'm so sick of these San Francisco liberal wackos (and liberal wacko felons)



    When is that next major earthquake due? It couldn't come soon enough...



    Then I'm sure you include Jobs and most employees of Apple because they are one of the most liberal companies in the Valley. Give everyone a break and keep your teabag talk for the next meetup.
  • Reply 15 of 119
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,520member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Big KC View Post






    Wow! I am so impressed somebody got the reference. Now I am emboldened to make further bows to fellow knuckleheads.
  • Reply 16 of 119
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregoriusM View Post


    Well, if Appleinsider isn't cut from a similar mold as Gizmodo...



    People are vilifying Gizmodo for identifying the Apple employee who lost the prototype, and then this appears on Appleinsider without the complete facts as to the person's involvement in the matter.



    The words "alleged" and "not charged with any crime" are ones you should think over, Daniel.



    So, if this person has not been charged with any crime, is it any worse that Gizmodo identified the Apple employee than Appleinsider identifying this person?



    And people wonder why true journalists, journalist, bloggers, and people who assemble incomplete facts, are sometimes lumped into the same category.



    Daniel, I often enjoy your thoughts and commentaries, but I don't appreciate this one. But, I'm now asking myself why Appleinsider would be any different than Gizmodo?



    No, I don't recall if you called out Gizmodo for identifying the Apple employee, but thousands did. I don't see this as any different.



    Innocent until proven guilty.



    Greg



    AI isn't outing the guy. They're reporting on what was revealed by Wired and CNET.



    Also, this is much different from outing the engineer. In both cases, outing wasn't illegal, but outing the engineer was definitely a douche move by Gizmodo. Wired and CNET are reporting on a public case and didn't break any laws to do so. The finder was going to be named at some point due to his own unethical actions.



    "Innocent until proven guilty."



    All of what I have said is based on the claims of Gizmodo and Hogan himself.
  • Reply 17 of 119
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Just because someone does good in one area in life, that itself doesn't absolve them mistakes or transgressions made in another.



    "sharing"? The phone wasn't sold? Was it rented then? Was it an access fee? Wired sometimes has some silly editorials, and it's not a new thing.



    Now we're more sure the finder knew who the rightful holder of the phone was, I'd like to see them explain better why the phone wasn't returned directly to that person. None of this "got lost in the phone bank" excuse works for me. Knowing the Facebook profile is enough, sign up for a fake account if you have to, and search for the guy's name & profile and send them a message. That takes all of five minutes.
  • Reply 18 of 119
    zonk3rzonk3r Posts: 8member
    Is Wired's Brian X. Chen in any way related to Gizmodo's Jason Chen?



    Update: Brian X. Chen answered in the Wired article comments that no, he is not related.
  • Reply 19 of 119
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The individual who found the lost iPhone prototype and held it for weeks before delivering it to Gizmodo for a reported $5,000 has been identified as Brian Hogan, a 21 year old resident of Redwood City, California.







    Hogannnnnn!
  • Reply 20 of 119
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Extensor View Post


    Just don't drop the soap, boys!



    Yep, hope they are 'built' for jail. I would start working out and getting some 'tats' now! Maybe grow a pony tail too. Wait, my girlfriend has a pony tail...scratch that last suggestion and stick with the tats and working out!
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