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Thread: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

  1. #1
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    Default How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Hello all I got home the other day to discover that I had been robbed blind, everything that is worth anything is now gone. Now my question is, is there anyway to tell where my laptop is because if I can find that I am almost positive that it will lead me to everything else. I unfortunatly didn't install any software that would make this easy so is there anything that is pre-installed on opensuse 11.2 that would aid me in this or am I s.o.l? Thanks

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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by threatingbehaviour View Post
    Hello all I got home the other day to discover that I had been robbed blind, everything that is worth anything is now gone. Now my question is, is there anyway to tell where my laptop is because if I can find that I am almost positive that it will lead me to everything else. I unfortunatly didn't install any software that would make this easy so is there anything that is pre-installed on opensuse 11.2 that would aid me in this or am I s.o.l? Thanks
    I'm sorry to read of your loss.

    IMHO this is not likely possible if you did not set things up in advance.

    But at the risk of us in our forum chatting about methods HOW to "close the barn door BEFORE the horse has gone" it might be useful for this (or a new thread) to discuss ways how to do this.

    I confess the only way I know off the top of my head is to (1) setup the web cam to automatically upload images to the Internet (to take images of someone using the laptop) and (2) I think it is also possible setup a cron job to automatically populate dyndns with the ip address of the laptop anytime the laptop is switched ON the Internet. BUT that must be done in advance. Also, my technique for populating dyndns with a cron job long since stopped working for me openSUSE-11.1, and I never bothered to learn why nor learn how to fix it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Yes that is what I thought, I've done extensive research on the issue and thought that I might be missing something...guess not, if I do retrieve it that'll be the first thing that I do...thanks anyway

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Having physical access to a machine as a big security risk aside, use of good security schemes usually prevents anyone from operating the Linux on the system without knowing exactly what they're doing. So only if they keep the system on and repeatedly try to gain access, run at boot routines may not even help with the webcam post to web technique. Of course if it has dual boot, the thief will have lots of ways to crack into the machine but ... this all said, most thieves will just wipe the Laptop hdd or try a disk sector scanner to try and access the data.

    A few years back, there was a GPS transponder built into models of the Compaq and Toshiba lines but it required a subscription. As far as I know it moved into obscurity but I might be wrong. How it worked, was the BIOS would look for the transponder code in it's set-up and if found would send a GPS transmit of the system ident. A GPS monitoring system would check the ident against local theft ident's and report the location of the stolen product in much the same way as GM's Onstar can report the location of a GM vehicle that has had a crash or been stolen.
    When your up to your a** in Alligators it's pretty hard to remember you intended to drain the swamp (author unknown)

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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    much the same way as GM's Onstar can report the location of a GM vehicle that has had a crash or been stolen.
    Great if you need, not so great when you don't!
    Hence I pulled the plug on my GM Onstar.
    Not that I get up to funny business. But I do prefer not to have my every move tracked.

    I'm sure sympathetic to our OP. There are some real 'tools' in this world and they really need to 'get a life'. I just hope you didn't keep all your sensitive files there.

    With the machines that come by me - I can tell you, most folk have no clue how to secure their info.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    But at the risk of us in our forum chatting about methods HOW to "close the barn door BEFORE the horse has gone" it might be useful for this (or a new thread) to discuss ways how to do this.

    I confess the only way I know off the top of my head is to (1) setup the web cam to automatically upload images to the Internet (to take images of someone using the laptop) and (2) I think it is also possible setup a cron job to automatically populate dyndns with the ip address of the laptop anytime the laptop is switched ON the Internet. BUT that must be done in advance. Also, my technique for populating dyndns with a cron job long since stopped working for me openSUSE-11.1, and I never bothered to learn why nor learn how to fix it.
    To try to kick start a thread on this, I surfed for a few minutes and stumbled across this:
    I have not had the chance yet to read up on these packages so I do not know anything about them yet.

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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu
    To try to kick start a thread on this, I surfed for a few minutes and
    stumbled across this:
    - 'Prey software ' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prey_%28software%29)
    an open source software package. Their website is 'here for Prey'
    (http://preyproject.com/)
    Hi
    I'm having a play with prey.... hopefully will get it packaged up and
    tested and on the OBS after the outage...

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel 2.6.32.12-0.7-default
    up 1 day 4:11, 3 users, load average: 0.11, 0.05, 0.02
    GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 256.35


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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    I'm having a play with prey.... hopefully will get it packaged up and tested and on the OBS after the outage...
    Thanks. I'll stay tuned.

    I confess to being curious.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu
    malcolmlewis;2181585 Wrote:
    > I'm having a play with prey.... hopefully will get it packaged up and
    > tested and on the OBS after the outage...

    Thanks. I'll stay tuned.

    I confess to being curious.
    Hi
    Here you go;
    http://software.opensuse.org/search?...ude_debug=true

    I have added a SUSE specific ability to do the configuration with
    the /etc/sysconfig editor in YaST (no command line necessary... )


    Logon to the website and set your system up first to get the API and
    Device keys to enter, then run the menu item, this will ask for the
    root password and setup a cron job running every 20 minutes. You can
    verify by running prey with sudo or login to a root shell and run
    crontab -l.

    You can then login to the website and configure the system.... I have
    yet to play with the standalone bit and may need to do more work on
    the rpm for that. But at least it's something to play with.

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel 2.6.32.12-0.7-default
    up 1 day 12:44, 3 users, load average: 0.51, 0.54, 0.29
    GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 256.35


  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to retrieve a stolen laptop

    Fantastic!!! Thanks Malcom.

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