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Author Topic: Phorp (Phone Home Robot Pro) - v1.00.01 - December 15th, 2006  (Read 16271 times)
mouser
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« on: December 15, 2006, 08:21:25 PM »

Phorp (Phone Home Robot Pro)
Open source for Windows/Mac/*nix/etc. Comes with precompiled Windows binary.

v1.00.04 - December 31st, 2006
  • Improved testapp.exe
  • Fixed bug in hash checking
  • Now includes a fun optional fake windows antivirus updater tray tool





WHAT IS PHORP?

Phone Home Robot Pro (phorp) is an open source program that runs on your pc or laptop, and periodically "phones home" to a server somewhere to check if it has been stolen, and gets instructions on what to do if it has been.

There are a lot of services you can buy that perform similarly to phorp, in that they connect regularly to a central server so that you can hopefully track them down when they are stolen.

In general, phorp is different from these services in that it attempts to be extremely lightweight and minimalistic, and in that there is
 no single service you need to subscribe to.

Instead, you can use your own web servers or ftp accounts as the home page for the program to phone home to and for you to leave instructions for.

It is extremely rare for a computer to actually be stolen or lost, so rather than installing a bloated program on your pc that tries to anticipate all the possible things you might need to be able to do if your pc is stolen, phorp works by checking a server for instructions from its master (you!).  Normally there will be nothing for it to do.

But, if your pc is stolen, you would upload some programs on your server for phorp to execute.  Assuming the instructions have been
 authenticated for security to prove that you uploaded them, they will be executed by phorp silently the next time it phones home.

What programs would you have phorp execute?  Well typically a good option might be to run a remote control program that would let you connect in and observe and control the pc.  Other choices might be to install a keylogger, or a program to erase all of your sensitive data.  The choice is up to you.



Download: Here.

Read:



NOTE: I put the 'Pro' in the program name because you have to be am IT pro to figure out how to use this program currently smiley  I plan to make a nice easier to use gui tray util for it later.  Right now it's a pure commandline tool you have to make sure runs automatically on your own.  Special thanks to Gothic for helping me get the Linux version working and helping organize the program.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 10:48:30 AM by mouser » Logged
Veign
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 10:07:09 PM »

Sounds very interesting...
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Arjen
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 08:52:31 PM »

This is a very interesting concept. Unfortunately this program isn't as easy to test as most apps, but I will give it a try when I get the chance!
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2006, 10:49:08 AM »

The new download includes a fake windows program that runs in your tray and pretends to be an antivirus tool that runs periodic "updates" which are really phorp calls.
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broken85
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2007, 12:36:33 PM »

pretends to be an antivirus tool that runs periodic "updates" which are really phorp calls.

That is so cool. Someone has been breaking in to my house and taking things for the past year or so, and the police haven't been able to do anything about it. When I leave for work, running this would not only help if it were stolen, but possibly help in locating the culprit behind it (or proving his guilt rather since I pretty much know who it is).

I had just heard about this type of program recently while visiting my mother, as she manages an online high school here in Wisconsin which recently spent a lot on a solution offering the same basic functionality (albeit that it's probably an enterprise-class solution which I believe includes 3rd party monitoring). They use it on all of the laptops they send to their students to help make sure they get them back after the class is over. I thought it sounded pretty cool, but put it out of my mind until I read about your app. Nice!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 12:40:25 PM by broken85 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 11:43:53 AM »

This is a brilliant idea.

You could have some real fun if the stolen computer had a microphone and/or a webcam attached.
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jharps
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2007, 08:49:47 AM »

Hmmm...nice idea, but...

I've never had a computer of any description stolen, and have never stolen one either! If this program runs in the system tray then surely that means that the person who stole your computer would have to discover your password to log into Windows/Linux/OSX or whatever. Surely any savvy robber who was after your data would just boot a linux liveCD (take a look at PCLinuxOS for example) and grab it that way or, if they're not after your data then wouldn't they just install a fresh copy of Windows/Linux/OSX with a reformat of the hard drive?

Just my two centabos worth...
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 08:52:00 AM »

it's a good point that if your pc is stolen by a smart computer criminal, they are going to wipe your pc clean before connecting to the internet.. but then, how many robbers fall into that category i don't know.

the point about them not being able to log into your pc is a really good one though -- if they can't log in, they will be forced to reformat.. wheras i'm hoping to trick them into not going to the trouble of reformatting so i can catch them online.. maybe this is the one case where it's smart to tape your password to the site of the monitor  tongue
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 09:00:34 AM by mouser » Logged
momonan
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2007, 09:51:29 AM »

Thiefs and robbers
Not that it matters to anyone, but, under the law (with some variation from state to state), when someone takes something from your house, or lifts it from a desk at school, this is usually called "larceny" or "theft" -- not "robbery."   A "robbery" happens only when the victim is present and is at least threatened.  So the person who takes something from your house without involving you is a thief, not a robber.

If you're a glutton for information, click here for more:
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 09:53:21 AM by momonan » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2007, 07:39:35 AM »

Hehe...good point momonan...but of course I was referring to the robbery of ones laptop, rudely ripped from ones hands, with scant regard to ones physical wellbeing, while one is out taking the airs on a sunny afternoon in Peckham, South London. With regard to the term "larceny" I don't doubt there is "some variation from state to state". However, I suspect you too fall into the category of Information Glutton and therefore I refer you to The Theft Act 1968 (1968 c.60), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theft_Act_1968

Isn't this world wide web a wonderful thing  cheesy
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