You ever wonder what it would be like to put USB drives inside of brick walls? No? Well a man by the name of Aram Bartholl and a company EYEBEAM have created several of these around New York City. These have actually been around since October of 2012 so have definitely seen some use. Now what exactly are in these USB drives? Well in every drive or “Dead Drop” as they call them is a text file explaining it’s purpose.
In a way this is like a digital version of geocaching. Geocaching is where people will hide small containers of various items all around the world and they give you clues in finding them through hints, clues, and GPS coordinates. Dead Drops accomplish something similar but it could be with music, or pictures or anything digital that can fit on the USB drive. The term “dead drop” literally means when two people want to pass on items in secret but don’t have to meet to do so.
Hold on don’t go anywhere yet there are some risks involved!!
Now as awesome as this is we also need to be wary:
Vandalism: Without us knowing it the drives could be broken or in a disrepair of some kind. Whether it’s intentional or not just be aware if the drive looks broken. It might harm your port.
Fakes: It might look like a Dead Drop but instead is just a dummy and could potentially electrically damage any equipment that comes in contact with it. To avoid this you can use a USB galvanic isolation adapter.
Malware/Software Destruction: As we know in this world people like to take advantage of good things and this could be no exception. Whether it’s intentional or not malware and potential software destruction of dries can be spread through this too. If you are worried about it do your research on any potential Dead Drop in your area just to be sure if they are safe.
There is also a wireless version of this same concept. The most widely known one is called PirateBox. It was designed in 2011 by David Darts who is a professor at the Steinhart School of Culture Education and Human Development of the University of New York.
These are only ones that have been recently listed and made known to the public others are around too!
In New York there are a total of five of these and most likely will continue to grow. What will you share in the Dead Drops?