Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words


I’ve briefly mentioned the story of a fellow getting his finger hacked off so the thieves could make off with his S-Class Mercedes. But images are far more powerful than words.

Google claims that the German reads “Forest worker…or S-Class owner?” I’d love it if someone could offer a translation of the German text in a comment.

(There’s a large version on Flickr; via Smartnuts.)

6 comments on "A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words"

  • Chris Walsh says:

    Biometric systems for personal identification hold risks for their users. This must have been discovered recently by a Malaysian S-Class driver, as thieves not only took his vehicle, but also hacked off his index finger, in order to defeat its integrated fingerprint scanning anti-theft system.
    This and other risks will shortly confront our visa and ID card owners, Edeka cutomers, and all others who have nothing to hide.
    Please complain to the Federal Minister of the Interior regarding the risks and side effects of biometric systems.

  • wire says:

    It actually says forest worker, the idear is that forest workers often risk cutting their own fingers off… now s class owners face the same risks.

  • I should be minded to translate Waldarbeiter as Woodcutter, because this carries extra meaning to those brought up on English translations of German fairy tales.
    Proper security systems require the ability to repudiate a password or other identity token, if it has been compromised or stolen. So presumably there will be proper and prompt mechanisms to repudiate your fingers or eyeballs when they have been improperly removed.

  • brainwise says:

    I agree with Richard. My first guess for the translation was “woodcutter” or “woodworker.” In addition to the fairy tale connection, woodcraft tools just seem to imply the constant threat of a cutting incident. And I’m sure many folks would not have to dig too deeply into their own school memories to find an image of a woodshop teacher who was missing at least one digit.

  • Adam says:

    In private email, someone suggested that “passport” is a better translation than visa in “confront our visa and ID card owners.”

  • Who Has Fingers That Short?

    PaybyTouch has arrived, and that finger in their logo looks awfully short to me. Maybe subconsciously, they know the truth? See my “Fingerprint Privacy” or “A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words” for some actual analysis, rather than silly…

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