Digital 007: Outwitting the Thief


Over the Thanksgiving weekend I noticed the following Tweet from @DigitalRoyalty:

My friend’s laptop was stolen. He tracked the thief via @Backblaze for weeks & finally identified him on Facebook & Twitter. Digital 007.

I know our online backup service saves user data every day, but physical theft recovery? That certainly caught my attention and I asked for the whole story. The friend who had their laptop stolen, Mat Miller, replied:

I received a DM from @DigitalRoyalty that you were interested in hearing the story of how I identified the thief of my computer using Backblaze, here goes:

I was in LA on a work trip and my laptop was stolen from the trunk of my car. Bummed out for sure but o’well at least my data was safe! I was insanely busy over the next week so I was logging in to the dashboard and grabbing files as I needed them. Then, about 4 days after the computer was stolen, I saw that a new user had been created on my computer.

The name was “jack”. I clicked on the folder and noticed that the thief had failed to remove the Backblaze program from applications and his files were being uploaded! On the first day I had a picture but nothing else (wait for it Miller).

A few weeks went by with no specific details to nail him on (I must admit everyday was quite exciting) until last Friday. He added a college paper on his desktop with his full name. I googled his name and came up with his Twitter and FaceBook pages!

I’ve filed a report with the LAPD as of today so we’ll see how this pans out. Backblaze is amazing!!!

Mat Miller

Wow. Nice sleuthing Mat, thanks for telling us about it, and hope you get your laptop!


About Gleb Budman

Gleb Budman is a co-founder and has served as our chief executive officer since 2007, guiding the business from its inception in a Palo Alto apartment to a company serving customers in more than 175 countries with over an exabyte of data under management. Gleb has served as a member of our board of directors since 2009 and as chairperson since January 2021. Prior to Backblaze, Gleb was the senior director of product management at SonicWall and the vice president of products at MailFrontier, which was acquired by SonicWall. Before that, he served in a senior position at Kendara, which was acquired by Excite@Home, and previously founded and successfully exited two other startup companies.