back to article You ain't nothing but a porn dog, prying all the time: Cyber-hound sniffs out hard drives for cops

Texas cops have hired a four-legged super-sleuth to sniff out hidden hard drives. Montgomery County Crimestoppers paid $17,000 for a chocolate labrador called Brody, who is apparently one of only two dogs in America trained to seek out computer storage devices. The cyber-canine has learned to pick up the smell of a common …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Woof!

    That explains why Sheppie, my border collie, started barking and pawing at the computer as soon as I installed Windows 10, he just knew something was terribly wrong.

    1. P. Lee
      Holmes

      Re: Woof!

      Sniffing other people's data, file kidnapping, obscene screen estate usage, its all there Officer. I'd lock 'em up and through away the key if I was you, bang 'em up behind cryptowall along wiv all them other filthy "as-a-service" types.

    2. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Woof!

      I personally would not be too pleased if a dog started sniffing my bits.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Sounds Expensive

    But when you think you can't put a price on the misery and worse caused by perverts like Fogle, the dog is worth every penny.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Sounds Expensive

      I don't normally give a 'rat's arse' about getting downvoted, afterall it would be a bit much to expect the entire world to agree with me but to downvote something that enables the catching of child molesting perverts, I have to ask 'what are your preferences'?

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Sounds Expensive

        Oh, I don't have to ask. It's pretty clear what his (and it's almost always a him, for various reasons paedo-inclined women tend to not go for very young boys/girls and also tend to go for the real thing rather than pix) preferences are,

      2. Steven Roper

        Re: Sounds Expensive

        I can perhaps explain your downvotes Chris. It's clear to me you are likely a parent and your first thought is the well-being of your kids, so you might have missed another more dangerous aspect to your statement.

        You see, every time a government wants to introduce some invasive new police powers, freedom-eroding legislation or privacy-destroying technology, they usually try to justify its introduction against the wishes of the people by one of two highly emotive rationalisations: preventing terrorism, or protecting children from paedophiles. The corollary, of course, is that once it is in place it is then used for everything but.

        The reason behind such justification is of course to create the false dichotomy of being against the new invasive measure means one must be a supporter of terrorists or paedophiles. It is used to silence, by fear of guilt by accusation, any reasoned opposition to the new measure and force it into place.

        Unfortunately, because of its effectiveness, this rationalisation has now been so heavily abused by so many politicians, so many times, for so long, that many people now experience a reflex opposition whenever they see it used. Your first comment could easily have been interpreted as exactly this kind of rationalisation, triggering this defensive reflex, even if that's not what you intended, and that's why it was downvoted.

        In your second comment, you reacted by implying that anyone who downvoted you might be a closet paedophile - another tactic used by police-statists to sow fear and silence any opposition. This is why your second comment received even more downvotes than the first.

        I understand that you are rightly concerned about your childrens' safety. But consider this: what is the safety of your children worth, if they have no freedom to live, because their rights have been eroded away by unscrupulous powermongers using fear for their safety as a lever to consolidate power?

        Those who downvoted you aren't closet paedophiles. They are reasonable human beings who are rightly very concerned about how politicians are playing on our fears of terrorists and paedophiles to destroy our most basic civil liberties.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. GarethJ
        Facepalm

        Re: Sounds Expensive

        Chris

        I have downvoted you as using the "Won't somebody think of the children." argument bugs the hell out of me. As it is not a valid argument that trumps all others.

        As for the story itself , I can see good and bad uses for a HD sniffing dog.

        Good - Finds data hidden by criminals.

        Bad - Finds data hidden from the prying eyes of a authoritarian regime.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Sounds Expensive

          >I have downvoted you as using the "Won't somebody think of the children." argument bugs the hell out of me.

          I haven't downvoted but won't someone think of that cats?

          Apparently the Chaos Computer Club have reacted to "I Know Where Your Cat Lives" by disguising their cat photos as fried eggs.

    2. rtb61

      Re: Sounds Expensive

      My thought was why sniff out hard disk drives, hackers can hide everything they could ever want or need on a tiny micro SD card and use a usb card reader. Of course I wasn't thinking like those 'others' and how much data they want to create, share and store and they use external hard disk drives rather than micro sd to hide stuff.

      Not that I haven't shifted a bunch of DVDs to hdisk but I don't hide those hdisks. When it comes to hidden micro SD good luck to them trying to find them, especially the ones that don't exist (demolish a house piece by piece and examine wreckage?).

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Sounds Expensive

        Because the dog is a very court friendly way of legitimately finding evidence that you suspect is there because of illegal surveillance, an informer, or because you planted it yourself.

        Walking into somebody's house with a search warrant and start taking apart a specific bit of a wall on the first try is a bit suspicious

        1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

          Re: Sounds Expensive

          It's as good as established now that drugs dogs are used in this way - not to find drugs, but to provide 'reasonable suspicion' in order to justify a more invasive warrantless search, usually on a vehicle. The handler knows how to make the dog sit, drugs or no drugs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sounds Expensive

            The handler knows how to make the dog sit, drugs or no drugs.

            I think that's rather unfair on an otherwise good investigative technique. Got any evidence that such abuse has ever happened?

            1. Justin S.

              Re: Sounds Expensive

              I think that's rather unfair on an otherwise good investigative technique. Got any evidence that such abuse has ever happened?

              Proving such abuse would be exceptionally difficult, as it would almost certainly require the handler to confess to the abuse; it might be possible to capture such abuse on video, but the cues used might be sufficiently subtle that it would require an examination of multiple true and false alerts to sort out.

              However, a study by University of California at Davis showed that dogs do take cues from their handlers-- intentionally or otherwise-- with a recommendation that the study be replicated and expanded to determine what cues were causing the false alerts.

              http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/2010-2011/02/20110223_drug_dogs.html

              1. David Pollard

                Re: Sounds Expensive

                Got any evidence that such abuse has ever happened?

                Albeit that this involved a horse rather than a dog, the case of Clever Hans shows how subtle communication by unconsciously delivered cues can be.

                http://news.discovery.com/history/smartest-horse-hans-120107.htm

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sounds Expensive

              AC: "...got any evidence...?"

              Tons of indicative evidence, click here: http://bfy.tw/3S8g

              If you dig deep enough you will find the news items about the clear example of such a controversy that was documented in the US courts, about the dog training company that was providing civil rights violating fake sniffer dogs. It was in the news several years ago; quite the scandal in the USA's 'nothing to see here, move along, hey a squirrel!, attention span of a moth' sort of approach to such should-be-massive national embarrassments.

              Frankly, it's pathetic that you're sitting in front of an internet connected device and can't be arsed enough to follow up with your own search. Your rebuttal deserves heaps of ridicule. Pure FAIL on your part.

              What you're supposed to do is present something like a Snopes link that provides explicit evidence to support your contrary view. Not sit on your ill-informed brain stem demanding proof. Geesh.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sounds Expensive

              >The handler knows how to make the dog sit, drugs or no drugs.

              Dogs are mainly used at border control. Customs officers have the powers to take you and your property to places you don't want to go without the need for a dog. The dogs are there to save them time.

              I frequently get searched both leaving and entering countries and have seen these dogs in action many times. Not once have they "been instructed" to find anything, it's not necessary.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Cameron Colley

          Re: Sounds Expensive

          @ Yet Another Anonymous coward:

          There's a book by a woman who has contributed to this site in the past called Headspace which, amongst other things, suggests just that. It's well worth a read, by the way (reminding me to buy it for my Kindle now).

          1. waldo kitty

            Re: Sounds Expensive

            @cameron : There's a book by a woman who has contributed to this site in the past called Headspace which, amongst other things, suggests just that. It's well worth a read, by the way (reminding me to buy it for my Kindle now).

            would that be this book? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Headspace-Sniffer-Adventures-Surveillance-Society/dp/0753515547

            1. Cameron Colley

              Re: Sounds Expensive

              @ waldo kitty Your link's not working but I think it will be the one, by Amber Marks.

              1. waldo kitty

                Re: Sounds Expensive

                @cameron: @ waldo kitty Your link's not working but I think it will be the one, by Amber Marks.

                i don't know why the link isn't working for you as i copied it straight from the address bar... but yeah, that's one by Amber Marks...

      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Sounds Expensive

        When it comes to hidden micro SD good luck to them trying to find them, especially the ones that don't exist (demolish a house piece by piece and examine wreckage?).

        It gets even more interesting if you collect coins.

        On a side note, I guess the likes of Assange will be happy the dog only finds porn drives, all the drives with government data are thus perfectly safe. By the way, I don't want to know how porn-containing drives smell different - I already have a too lively imagination :)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds Expensive

        Indeed.

        High speed, Ex-FAT formatted 128GB MicroSD is now affordable, so many Tera Bytes of data could easily be hidden in a small space e.g. a belt! Strongly encrypted NAS, Cloud and P2P data collections, and fake data facades will make this low tech. idea look even more stupid, futile and poor value.

        I think it will still take actual smart human detective work and frustrating their protection networks to find and stop these sick people, especially the sick predatory media sources, who may have government protection or even be part of government!

      4. RedCardinal

        Re: Sounds Expensive

        >>nd how much data they want to create, share and store and they use external hard disk drives rather than micro sd to hide stuff.

        .

        Except that you can easily put, oh say, 60+gb on an SD card. That sounds a lot of storage space to me...

  3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Novel

    Who would of thought that the glues have a distinct enough odor that a dog can find them. I also wonder about thoroughness of the original human search. Drives, if you know what one looks like, are fairly distinctive if small devices.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Disk glue

      Every time I have dismantled a disk, it has been held together with screws (I have not tried one full of helium yet). There are plenty of processes making and populating PCBs that could leave a smell, but none of them are unique to a hard disk controller card. My first hard disk (320MB was big in those days - full height 5¼") had a packed PCB that was the full size of the device. These days, the disk is a quarter the area, and the PCB is even smaller.

      This dog in incredible. It would be interesting to see if the dog actually has any professional qualifications. If nothing had been found, who would have got the bill?

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Disk glue

        With spinning disks there's usually a sealant along the edge of the enclosure, and if it's not a helium-filled drive, a breather to equalise the inside pressure with the environment. The breather might be assembled using glue (Digital RA81 drives had a spate of the glue used on the breathers becoming brittle and contaminating the upper platter, causing failures on head 13), and I can well imagine the sealant being called glue.

        Helium-filled drives will be indicated by the dog doing a squeaky high-pitched bark.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Novel

      It is absolutely incredible what dogs can smell. Our own sense of smell is so pathetic compared to a dog's (or a rhino, come to think of it, they are even better than dogs) that we really can't imagine what it must be like.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Novel

        If they employ a rhino, it would save having to break open the cavity. Downside would be getting one up the stairs for an upper floor search might be a tad cumbersome.

        1. willi0000000

          Re: Novel

          the problem isn't getting the rhino up the stairs . . . the problem is getting the rhino back down.

          [ unless you know Lord Vetinary ]

    3. LaeMing Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Novel

      I, from time to time, dis-assemble old HDDs for artistic reasons. The often the glue under the labels floods the work area with a slightly acrid yet freshly minty aroma when they are peeled off.

      (Smiley icon because it is a bit like sniffing marker pens, though more pleasant)

  4. Luke Worm

    SSD?

    Does Brody smell SSD's also, or only spinning disks?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SSD?

      er... apparently he sniffs glue...

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: SSD?

        Just like Lloyd Bridges? I guess I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue at work!

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: SSD?

          My question is how long does glue outgassing continue? Sure, it does a lot at the beginning when it's applied but after a certain amount of time it's got to be pretty well depleted. Then there are other questions like, can you accelerate the process by baking it for a day/week/month in much the same fashion as paint? Somehow I think these questions will get answered pretty quickly as the criminal element usually has the means and certainly has the desire to mitigate the training of such canines.

          1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

            Re: SSD?

            Any criminal smart enough to do that would be smart enough not to leave their illegal images on a hidden hard drive. If I wanted to hide something like that, I'd put it in a truecrypt hidden volume. The non-hidden one would contain all my financial information and the family photos - plausible denyability as to why I would have anything encrypted at all, because I'm aware that refusing to hand over a decryption key to police would not impress a jury.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: SSD?

              Except by now the plods are well aware of TrueCrypt/VeraCrypt hidden volumes and will just ask for the secret secret key. Plus what if someone recursed by hiding a volume file IN a volume file.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: SSD?

                Except by now the plods are well aware of TrueCrypt/VeraCrypt hidden volumes and will just ask for the secret secret key.

                Ah, but they would have to prove that such existed. This is where the real danger lies: you could be accused of refusing to give up a secondary key where none exists, and then it becomes the usual lottery of who the judge will decide for (having reviewed many court decisions I am no longer sure there is any real rhyme or reason to it, and it certainly appears to have little association with what we consider justice).

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: SSD?

                  "Ah, but they would have to prove that such existed. This is where the real danger lies: you could be accused of refusing to give up a secondary key where none exists,"

                  And that's why you're screwed. Plausible deniability doesn't exist against an adversary that assumes guilt, regardless of whether or not the law says otherwise. As far as they're concerned, you're an Enemy of the State, a direct threat to the future of the country's existence, so no holds are barred.

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: SSD?

            My question is how long does glue outgassing continue? Sure, it does a lot at the beginning when it's applied but after a certain amount of time it's got to be pretty well depleted.

            And then you hide the drive in a cavity behind the closet where you store the paint and household chemicals.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: SSD?

              You underestimate the sensitivity of a dog's nose. Unless one of those chemicals is exactly the same as the drive glue, a dog can usually sniff it out in spite of covers because it can distinguish between the different substances. As one site put it, dogs smell the way we see: we smell a forest, they smell each tree.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: SSD?

                As one site put it, dogs smell the way we see: we smell a forest, they smell each tree.

                I am waiting then for the first dog to rip an AXE user to shreds. That stuff stinks, certainly if it's applied by lusers who use that deo as advertised (diagonally across the body in a way that guarantees you empty half the can before you stop). If it's offensive to people with a reasonably functioning sense of smell, it must be hell for a dog..

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: SSD?

                  Unless the smell is not chemically repugnant to a dog. Remember, senses of smell differ from person to person; from species to species the difference can be even greater. One man's reek may be another dog's rose.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SSD?

      Asking "for a friend," Mr Worm?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    porn dog

    please meet my friend, usb pen drive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: porn dog

      And his other good buddy, Truecrypt...

    2. James O'Shea

      Re: porn dog

      "please meet my friend, usb pen drive."

      There are now 128 GB, 256 GB, and even 512 GB USB3 thumb drives. I'm looking at a 128 GB unit right now. It cost less than the first USB thumb drive I ever bought, a 256 MB drive, <mumble> years ago. It's trivial to put USB thumb drives in places where they would never be found. Or even sniffed.

      Of course, kiddie-fiddlers tend to not be the brightest, and occasionally there's a cop who has an IQ slightly above room temp, so I'd still expect a few kiddie-fidlers to get caught.

      1. The Travelling Dangleberries

        Re: porn dog

        Wow! I had no idea that there are police officers with an IQ as high as 22.5!

  6. elDog

    Am I the only one who thought it was a dog that could detect spyware?

    And I thought that it could even read the BIOS of the hard drive and find those nasty bits left there by our (and their) spy agencies.

    1. David Roberts

      Re: Am I the only one who thought it was a dog that could detect spyware?

      Apparently it is a packet sniffer as well.

  7. David Roberts
    WTF?

    Woo hoo! A canine dog!

    Presumably they tried the feline, bovine and ursine varieties first?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Woo hoo! A canine dog!

      Good luck getting a feline dog to do anything except sniff its own butt. The bovine dog wasn't in the moood. As for the ursine dog? It couldn't bear the workload.

      Aaand I'll be leaving now. *Jumps out window*

    2. Suricou Raven Silver badge

      Re: Woo hoo! A canine dog!

      I hear the caprine variety is very good at finding drives in inaccessible places, but you have to chase it quickly or it may eat the evidence.

      1. Cameron Colley
        Coat

        Re: Woo hoo! A canine dog!

        Apparently they tried the ovine variety but it was too easy to pull the wool over their eyes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: Woo hoo! A canine dog!

        No doubt all the porcine dogs were "busy" in the donut [sic] shop.

        Need a bacon icon (complete with WHO death warning, natch) --->

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Woo hoo! A canine dog!

      'Canine dog' in the article was in a quote from a police officer... if he was speaking aloud at a press conference, he may well have meant (and said) 'K-9 dog' - to distinguish a trained police dog from Mrs Trellis-next-door's canine of uncertain ancestry.

      It seems 'K-9' is often used in the US to refer to police dogs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Woo hoo! A canine dog!

        It seems 'K-9' is often used in the US to refer to police dogs.

        Well, they don't know any better. I blame James Belushi (who has not died yesterday, that was a hoax).

  8. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Coat

    Training Dogs to do that is amazing

    I suppose you could call it "Search Dog Optimisation".

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Training Dogs to do that is amazing

      Did the poor beast ever work for Dogpile?

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  10. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Uhm...

    So if I bring my harddisk along (or have one in my possession) I'm automatically labeled as a pedophile and need to prove my innocence by showing them what kind of digital contents I have? Yeah right, no way you're getting access to my stuff without a search warrant.

    Cynical? You bet, because I can't help wonder if that'll be the next step here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uhm...

      In the conviction given as an example the dog was used as part of a search under a warrant.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Yeah....

    That dog will NEVER be let into a politician's abode.

    Ohh.. another hard drive. What's this then? Secret Mails!

    And another one! Under-the-table payments?

    A third one? Full of "All work and no play makes politician a dull boy"? That's rather bizarre...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't new, I've seen porn dogs, there's websites for that.

  13. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Corn dog

    Another Texan invention

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_dog#History

  14. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Daily Mail headline

    Sniffer dog detects paedophiles

  15. moiety

    ""(Investigators) went in and collected things and didn't find what they were looking for, and that's when they called in this canine dog to come in and assist and on the second round he found the devices that they were looking for,""

    So were there independent witnesses present at the time of the second search, or could anybody present have planted anything? The smell of horseshit is wafting steamy plumes over the above quote at least. Might be true, but -in context- sounds like bollocks.

    1. Michael Thibault

      Agree that there's something a bit off about the tale as told. Imagine: someone hid a standard hard drive in a place a trained, motivated cop wouldn't think to look, yet within reach of the snout of a glue-sniffing Lab.

      1. moiety

        That bit is sort of believable...dogs have an incredible sense of smell so being able to find bits of technology is credible. It's the fact that they found exactly what they were looking for while -presumably- proving their tech-smelling dog that has a malodorous aroma to it. There's someone the police wanted to nail and there's budget to be had for the development of tech-sniffing dogs; all of which could be solved by dropping a HDD full of kiddieporn into the back of a wardrobe.

        Could be a righteous bust for all I know; but there is strong motivation for planting things and no controls that I'm aware of.

  16. Bluto Nash
    Facepalm

    This is...

    ...somehow something that a properly applied phillips screwdriver can't accomplish? Do these people simply NOT understand what a hard drive (or any other proper storage device) LOOK LIKE? Do they really need a dog to point it out?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: This is...

      It's hard to know where to find a hard drive if it's for example hidden inside a wall cavity. There are tons of wall cavities and other nice little crevices in any house that would be indistinguishable from actual house even with people searching, so without a sniffer dog it would be like trying to find a nonferrous needle in a haystack. And they can't just tear the house apart in a search; even with a warrant, if they turn up empty, there's a risk of a suit on a Fourth Amendment claim the search was unreasonable. And last I checked, this hasn't been fully challenged yet, so there's a risk the police lose such a suit.

      1. willi0000000
        Boffin

        Re: This is...

        the way to find the needle is obvious . . . burn down the haystack and sift the ashes.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: This is...

          No good. A fire hot enough to burn down such a big haystack is also likely to burn or melt the needle, defeating the purpose.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DOG+PRON

    = Bestiality....speaking of which, how does Family Guy get away with all the 'illegal' dog sex in that toon?

  18. DropBear Silver badge
    Trollface

    So...

    Dog vs. Zip-lock bag. Fight!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: So...

      As busted drug mules have found out, it only takes a tiny amount of residue for a drug dog to catch onto your swag bag, even if you vacuum sealed it and everything, simply because the necessity to handle the goods before sealing it tends to cause traces to end up on the exterior where it can be sniffed. The kind of attention needed to prevent this is close to the attention to detail found in chip foundries (also a place where tiny contamination has a big impact).

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: So...

        I smuggled skunk from the Netherlands to France for personal use on a holiday. There were no border guards so I was being overly-cautious but with some cause - the French prosecute cannabis exactly as they prosecute heroin.

        I chose to buy a scented candle in a coloured-glass vase, melt the wax, insert the dope, put the scented wax back around it. I doubt a dog could have detected any dope odour from it.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: So...

          You'd be wrong. A dog's nose is that damn sensitive. IOW, they'd be able to sniff the dope AND the candle. You can't mask odors with a dog as they can pick out the individual scents. About the only way to beat the drug dog (and it's TOUGH) is to completely seal the stuff in gas-tight material and make absolutely sure no trace of it is left to permeate out and catch the dog's nose.

          1. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: So...

            FWIW, I know a woman who has been smuggling Class A drugs from the Netherlands to the UK for the past thirty years. She takes no precautions and yet she's never been caught for the simple reason she doesn't get nervous, she's a bit of a sociopath. I don't approve, she has killed many people, but the cops aren't interested in her so what do you do?

            My candle trick was mainly to clam my nerves, but the wax stops he smell getting out if it wasn't in the air when the candle was remelted. To detect that tiny level of hash, well the dog would false positive every bit of luggage leaving the Netherlands.

            Better policy would be to retrain the dog to sniff out cancer and end the cannabis prohibition.

        2. x 7

          Re: So...

          "I smuggled skunk"

          I never realised there was a market in those stinky animals.......most people avoid them, Where in Holland did you catch them ? I never realised there was a feral colony there. How did they get there? Fur farm escapes?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: So...

            You may wish to use the "Joke Alert" icon in future if you intended this as a joke...if this was intended as a joke. (OK, if you used mobile, I'll forgive that)

            I think he's referring to "skunk" as in a particularly odorous kind of marijuana. It would be the kind dogs would be able to sniff out easily if they were in range.

  19. x 7

    how long before someone comes up with a hard drive glue formula which doesn't dry but does superglue to dog noses............

    one doggy experience of having a hard drive glued to its nose would put pooch off his sniffs for life

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Don't think it's possible. Dog noses are naturally wet, so anything that would react to a dog's nose would also react to ambient humidity.

    2. graeme leggett

      If they are like other detector dogs, they are trained to react in a set way and not actually grab the goods.

      Eg at airports the sniffer dog stops and sits next to the bag that sets them off.

  20. 080

    Thorough

    There is no need for an expensive dog like this, just some dogged determination by Mr Plod to find a lead.

  21. x 7

    they should send that dog after Hilary Clinton's hidden server.

    I'm sure she'd appreciate what a dogs nose can find

  22. D-Coder

    Disk-sniffing

    Not sure how a porn HD smells different from a non-porn HD? Maybe a little... fishy?

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Disk-sniffing

      The idea is it can smell all hard disks, but only the porn ones are hidden from sight.

      Whereas anyone who had ever been raided would know to keep any prosecutable stuff on an rewritable DVD - quickly and easily broken.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Disk-sniffing

        But still possible to reconstruct given a determined forensics team. And since nuking from orbit isn't an option, the next best choice would be something easily combustible since nigh nothing apart from a phoenix has been able to be reconstructed from burnt remains.

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Disk-sniffing

          I actually built my own forge to melt-hard disks (for about £10 for the iron bucket and fire-clay) but that is for long term disposal of hard-disks. In an actual police raid though you have about 15 seconds unless you live in a lair, so sitting on a DVD in your back pocket is best advice. They might theoretically be able to reconstruct all the aluminum fragments, but they won't. They rely mostly on Hum-Int, which is why you train to say 'No Comment'.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Disk-sniffing

            But when Hum-Int fails (as in you keep saying, "No Comment"), then they call in the Forensics team.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: "No Comment"

              The police will suspect that you are a Programmer if you keep saying that.

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