Software that tracks a stolen computer

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by caspian, Jun 7, 2011.

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  1. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    On CNN there was a guy who's laptop had been stolen. But he had installed a software program called Hidden. It took pictures of the guy and also gave his location (GPS). My father has a building with a little office that was broken into recently and his laptop was stolen. Does anyone have any recommendations for a program that can track a stolen laptop? Better yet, does anyone know if there is chip that you could put inside of it? If they reinstall the OS then obviously the software will be worthless so I think a chip would be better.

    I didn't know where else to post this. It is not about the privacy of my father, but it is about busting the privacy of a thief.
     
  2. hugsy

    hugsy Registered Member

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    As far i know, all of tracker software has to have the OS running and needs some sort of outside connection.
    So if you want the tracker to call home, you will need to let the badguy to access the disk and to start OS, but that would give him the chance to reinstall the OS and with it delete the tracker app.
    If you want to prevent OS reinstalling, then you would need to have a bios password and system password (bouth are inside bios so to say) but that means no OS start and no tracker.
    How about Kensington Cable Lock for preventing Laptop being carried away. I know it aint best solution, but hey.. what is :)

    good read on the subject:
    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/07/open_source_lap.html
    http://www.absolute.com/en/lojackforlaptops/technology.aspx
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  3. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Here's a list of all I know for laptop theft prevention:
    Track stolen laptop: Prey
    Laptop Security: LAlarm
    Laptop security tips
    A.L.A.R.M
    Adeona
    ContaCam
    ThinkPad Anti-Theft Manager

    They're not all tracking programs though.
     
  4. x942

    x942 Guest

    Something you may want to look into is Intel Anti-theft You can track and even disable the laptop remotely if needed using the "poison pill".
     
  5. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    EDIT; I didnt realize J L listed this already, but maby this post might be usefull for someone else?

    Prey is a Free OpenSource Software that does exactly what you are requesting! I think the Free version only allows 1 device per account, and limits the amount of reports that can be stored to 10. A Pro home account is $5 USD per month and allows up to 3 devices like your laptop and 2 cell phones (Antroid), lets you store 100 reports per device, provides level 3 SSL encryption for All information sent that was gathered by Prey, Plus More.


    Screenshots of Prey

     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  6. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    This is probably the best Idea, I like the fact that it will render the laptop unbootable so it becomes useless to the thief even if they replace or reformat the HD..

     
  7. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    I think I like this. One question I have though concerns this:

    * No unauthorized access

    Fully lock down your PC, making it unusable unless a specific password is entered. The guy won't be able to do a thing!


    In this case, don't you want the thief to have some kind of access so Prey can do its job?
     
  8. 1chaoticadult

    1chaoticadult Registered Member

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    I currently use Prey. I like control panel they have.
     
  9. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I use Prey as well. Love the fact that it's multi-platform.

    @x942: Interesting, but too bad my Atom doesn't support it.
     
  10. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Thanks for those


    That looks intereesting, thanks.

    Yeah he definitely wants to catch them so I need real time monitoring, GPS, screencaps etc...

    I'll have a look at Prey, thanks.
     
  11. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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  12. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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  13. emmjay

    emmjay Registered Member

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    How do you know if your laptop has this feature? I have an Intel Centrino vPro which I was told supported the antitheft feature, however I do not know how to query my laptop to know whether or not it is there. Is it in the BIOS?
     
  14. redcell

    redcell Registered Member

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    As long as a computer has Sandy Bridge CPU (eg. Core i3, i5, i7) or vPro technology, it is traceable to Intel extent at least. Privacy freaks like me will certainly avoid such hardware.
     
  15. x942

    x942 Guest

    If I remember correctly you will have to contact intel to set it up. I haven't used it in a long time but when I did use it before there was a website sign up for it and than you could either call intel or report it stolen online.
     
  16. poof

    poof Registered Member

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    Some computers feature bios enabled computrace which is impossible to remove unless you write your own custom firmware and will automatically reinstall itself in the OS even if the disk is swapped out. If you install it software wise, it will install itself somewhere on the partition so that even if you reinstall the OS it will remain, but disk swapping will remove it. Both instances require windows though....


    The thing i like about computrace is that they have a dedicated staff of investigators (retired police) who can subpoena ip address in addition to the standard forensic techniques, and have a history of working with police forces (same company that makes lojack), because cops typically wont bother working with you for small things like this. Of course i havent had the chance to test how effective they are, so caveat emptor.
     
  17. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    Here is some extra info. It seems the services you set it up with are here.
     
  18. Spooony

    Spooony Registered Member

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    The only time a laptop will get tracked with extra ordinary methods are with high profile cases.

    Otherwise. Ensure it that should cover the serial number. When its stolen the police will add the serial number to the stolen goods database. Also put up a password that locks the bios and hdd. That makes it difficult to access your data. Manufacturers store that code on a different chip these days which means resetting the cmos won't reset it. You have to do it through a manufacturer or get someone to do it backdoor for you
     
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