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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tracking Stolen Laptops

Recently there's been a lot in the news about people recovering their stolen laptops through remote tracking (i.e. NY victim uses remote to nab theft suspect). Several companies provide commercial products for tracking lost laptops including products like Computrace Lojack for Laptops and CyberAngel. There are also open source solutions such as Adeona, created by the University of Washington.

After reading about Adeona in Technology Review, I tested it and am impressed with the results. The software runs on Linux, Windows, and Macs. It uses a cryptographic key and password combination to access information. And, if you have a Macbook, Adeona can use the iSight camera to snap a picture of culprit. When connected to the web, Adeona periodically records information such as internal/external ip, the network access point, and router information. The software sends the encrypted results to the OpenDHT distributed storage service. You retreive the information by installing the Adeona retrieval software on another PC and using the cyrptographic key and password.

Adeona's setup is simple. I've been running it for a few days now and it's working beautifully. If you're looking for a simple solution and don't want to spend a lot of money, check out Adeona.


Luke Gedeon said...

Cool! Thanks for pointing out this software. It is something I would not have even thought of, but could be a life saver someday.

Lindylou said...

This is great! There is a high theft rate of US Government laptops. You would not believe the stories of people who have chased someone down to protect information. I know our government workers don't get this image much, but many do really care about protecting Americans and their information. It is almost to the point that workers are having to deadbolt them to their body for security. They should all have a self-destruct button with a code to insert. If someone runs off with it, put the code in, and watch it sizzle.

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