How to set a laptop so you can find it after it has been stolen

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    • #6917
      caissyd
      Participant

      Hi everyone,

      I was wondering how I could recover my laptop in the event it gets stolen. What I mean is by being pro-active, I am sure I could install a few things so as soon as the thief connects to the internet, I would know where my laptop is.

      Of course, I will record the serial number and the keep the specs in a safe place, but what else? I guess I would need a service on my main server and a client on the laptop that connects to it. I was thinking of:

      1- Have a secure SSH server (with certificates, etc) on my laptop
      2- Have a client application also on the laptop that will “ping” one of my servers regularly so I can get the ip address.
      3- Encrypt personal information on my hard drive to limit the lost

      If my laptop gets stolen, all I would have to do is:
      1- Wait for a ping
      2- Once I have the ip, ssh to my laptop and start having fun!

      BTW, I have dual boot Linux and Windows 7. So the solution must work in both OS. Last thing, I assume the thief is a regular Joe Blow who will try to surf the internet without formating the laptop.

      What do you guys think?

    • #42938
      WCNA
      Participant
    • #42939
      caissyd
      Participant

      @WCNA: Ok, I didn’t search much before posting… But thanks, that’s exactly what I was looking for!

    • #42940
      WCNA
      Participant

      No problem. Glad I could help.

    • #42941
      eth3real
      Participant

      Okay, so I watched the video for Prey Project. This software seems easy to circumvent, though maybe not for the average thief.

      I know the first thing that I would do, would be to remove the hard drive, check for any goodies on a separate computer via a USB adapter, and then simply format it before putting the hard drive back into the laptop. The software never runs, and then is completely removed.

      This could also be completely bypassed by using a Live Linux CD or USB key. The software could be removed that way before restarting into the OS present on the hard drive.

      Of course, the average thief most likely would not know to try any of these steps, and other than that, the software looks pretty cool. 🙂

    • #42942
      eth3real
      Participant

      1- Wait for a ping
      2- Once I have the ip, ssh to my laptop and start having fun!

      I suppose it would also have to open a reverse shell, as you most likely won’t be able to get a direct connection from this, unless they plug the laptop directly into a modem.

    • #42943
      caissyd
      Participant

      You’re right eth3real, I didn’t think about firewall rules (my bad, currently doing 25 push-ups).

      So to be on the safe side, I would need my laptop to initiate a reverse shell on port 443 (again, to be on the safe side) and connect to my server. I should test this…

      Thanks again

    • #42944
      WCNA
      Participant

      Before I found prey, I had a script that went to whatismyip.com, grepped the ip and time and then emailed it to me everytime the laptop booted. All of these measures could be easily circumvented. Any thief with half a brain could make security measures useless but then again, if they had half a brain they wouldn’t be out stealing laptops, would they? Thus, prey is enough for me.

    • #42945
      eth3real
      Participant

      Before I found prey, I had a script that went to whatismyip.com, grepped the ip and time and then emailed it to me everytime the laptop booted.

      If anyone is using a similar system, try doing this instead:

      # curl http://ifconfig.me

      It returns only your IP address, so you don’t have to use grep for anything. It has other arguments if you want to return any other data, check them out. 🙂

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