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tracking my own laptop

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roajah

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Post Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:51 am

tracking my own laptop

Hello.

After my camera got stollen at the new years eve party, i thought that someday somebody would steal my laptop, and it's pretty expensive.

So i thought, there has to be a way of tracking it down by using the wireless and ethernet adapter [or whatever it's called, i never knew] adresses.

If so, what info sould i write down for safe keeping?
A friend of mine tracked me by my phone's IMEI, but he's not around to ask him about this. So, if that was possible, than this sould be easier.

Thank you.
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rattis

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Post Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:09 am

Re: tracking my own laptop

Tracking it down by IP address probably wouldn't be very effective, if the address is being natted.

See for you to install software to track the computer, it would mean the computer doesn't have it's drive wiped, the right ports are open on the outbound connection, and the program itself isn't discovered.

Personally I still want to put one of these on my laptop.

http://www.stoptheft.com/site/products_ ... _plate.php

As for handling of theft:
Insure you laptop
disable auto-login. Require an account to login to use it.
shutdown, don't suspend.
encrypt the hard drive, and use a 25+ character passphrase (you'd be surprised at how quickly you can remember it and how fast you can type it after a week or so).

*Edit: I forgot. Backup your important data off the thing.
Last edited by rattis on Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Armando

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:37 am

Re: tracking my own laptop

Hi chrisj,
Do you have a web server? or a hosting space?

0 cost solution: Write your own (hidden) tool to send the ip address and other information you may require to a specific PHP on the net every connection or every x minutes. (This is easily bypassable, but you would just require the thief to connect to the internet with your laptop once, to get a rough idea of where your laptop is).

This is of course something you can do as a small challenge and it could work well against people not interested in your laptop (someone who just finds it).

Keep in mind that :
1) Police hardly tracks such cases
2) The ip geo location is not reliable

You better full encrypt your hard drive with Truecrypt and watch it constantly.
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rattis

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:27 am

Re: tracking my own laptop

Armando,

Which is why I said, tracking by IP wouldn't be very useful. :)

As you pointed out, the police hardly tracks such cases. Geo-location isn't reliable. Any solution you put on the laptop is dependent upon the box not being wiped.

Which if you have it set up to require credentials to login, or full disk encryption it will be wiped.

From what I've read, the majority of the "steal the laptop" is about doing 1 of 2 things.

1) Getting something the fence / sell for money.
2) Getting a new toy you can't normally afford.
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Armando

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:01 am

Re: tracking my own laptop

@chrisj  Yup.

I would also add Identity theft. Imagine how is it would get for a terrorist to have access to a stolen laptop even for a few hours.

This is going to get even more serious with smartphones that are more and more capable of doing all sorts of things.
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Training for Penetration Testers
http://www.elearnsecurity.com

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https://hack.me
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rattis

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:07 am

Re: tracking my own laptop

Armando,

How many terrorists hang out in coffee shops or walking through the parking lots and streets looking for un-attended laptops
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hayabusa

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:04 pm

Re: tracking my own laptop

<chuckle>  chrisj...
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


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Armando

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:23 pm

Re: tracking my own laptop

How many people would ever hijack an airplane to hit the most powerful country in the world?

You consider a threat only after you have felt its impact on your skin at least once.

And anyway, terrorism was just an example to say: it's not just about losing your $500 or $1000 laptop or your data. There's more risk involved than you're used to think.
Founder and Lead Author of eLearnSecurity
Training for Penetration Testers
http://www.elearnsecurity.com

Founder of HACK.ME Free community based web app security virtual labs
https://hack.me
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Ketchup

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:06 pm

Re: tracking my own laptop

Last time I checked, Prey was still free:

http://preyproject.com/

The issue of course is that it has to be installed before your laptop gets stolen. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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hayabusa

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:32 pm

Re: tracking my own laptop

I've seen similar, but never prey, before.  Thanks for the link... I'll have to check that one out, myself.
~ hayabusa ~ 

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." - Sun Tzu, 'The Art of War'


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n1p

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Post Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:27 am

Re: tracking my own laptop

If all else fails, attach a kensingtion lock to your arm :P

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