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Author Topic: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC  (Read 10689 times)

Nighted

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LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« on: June 20, 2007, 12:06:04 AM »
Quote
LocatePC is free software, and runs unobtrusively on your computer, with no icons, popups or saved emails. If your computer is stolen then the thief will not even know that LocatePC is running, and as soon as they connect to the internet a secret email is sent to you containing the details that you need to track your hardware.

Freeware from Iconico, who make some really awesome screen measurement tools.

Example email
Spoiler
Message sent: 7/19/06 11:43:06 (universal time: 7/19/06 19:43:06)
Computer's host name: John_Desktop
Logged in Windows account name: John

Found 2 network connection(s) on this computer (this list may be incomplete):
   1 Name: MyISP Type: Dialup modem Phone number: (555) 555-4321 User name: JSmith
   2 Name: BigCo Type: PPPoE Service name: MySvc User name: (empty)

Computer's web IP address reported by ip.locatepc.com: 216.239.142.3
   To learn more about this IP address, use the IP tests at www.dnsstuff.com.

Computer's local IP address(es):
   Adapter 1: 101.151.8.92

Computer's MAC address(es):
   Adapter 1 (ZX-11 Ethernet): 00-21-54-17-64-26

Trace route to www.locatepc.com:
Hop Name/IP Addr
   1 Router [101.151.2.1]
   2 101.151.8.92
   3 cust-quik.pdx.or.uspops.net [216.239.161.82]
   4 fe1-1-300.gw0.pdx.or.uspops.net [216.239.161.81]
   5 206-169-234-45.gen.twtelecom.net [206.169.234.45]
   6 core-02-ge-3-1-0-508.ptld.twtelecom.net [66.192.248.108]

Identifying information (owner name/address, computer model/serial number):
This computer is the property of:
John Smith
123 Elm Street
Anyville, NY 12345

Computer brand: ABC
Computer model: Megazoom 10000

------------------------------------
IF YOU RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE AFTER YOUR COMPUTER WAS STOLEN:
Show this message to law enforcement authorities. They may be able to use it to identify the ISP, and the ISP can probably find out which account was using the computer when the email was sent. This may lead to the identification of the perpetrator(s) and the recovery of your computer.

------------------------------------
This message was automatically created and sent by LocatePC v1.4.5
LocatePC web site: http://www.iconico.com/locatePC


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justice

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2007, 03:44:22 AM »
Great for college laptops I reckon. Thanks for the find.

Of course as always if the thief is smart enough they will just format it before connecting to the internet. However in most caes and in case of accidental losing work computers this could come in very handy.

steeladept

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2007, 09:15:00 PM »
Great for college laptops I reckon. Thanks for the find.

Of course as always if the thief is smart enough they will just format it before connecting to the internet. However in most caes and in case of accidental losing work computers this could come in very handy.

That is why I think some kind of MAC address tracker would be a better result...You upload your MAC address to a database and then if your laptop gets stolen, you send out a query looking for the address...

Tekzel

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 09:45:00 AM »

That is why I think some kind of MAC address tracker would be a better result...You upload your MAC address to a database and then if your laptop gets stolen, you send out a query looking for the address...

I don't see how that would work, since the mac address isn't used past the local subnet.  Even if the software intercepted each outbound foreign packet and inserted it in there somewhere it wouldn't be any more identifying than the IP address.

steeladept

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 01:21:51 PM »
I don't see how that would work, since the mac address isn't used past the local subnet.  Even if the software intercepted each outbound foreign packet and inserted it in there somewhere it wouldn't be any more identifying than the IP address.

What do you mean?  Are you certain that it is not used outside the subnet?  The IP address is just a packet that makes it easier to route from my understanding.  In fact, if IPv6 is used (not that it will be soon, but theoretically speaking), the MAC address (well part of it at least) is a part of the IP address.  Besides, with DHCP so common now days the IP address may get you to the city, but that is about as far as you can get reliably.  The MAC address, however, will get you to the NIC.  The only way to get around that is to clone a MAC, and it still becomes pretty site specific.

cmpm

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2007, 03:49:53 PM »
In order to reformat the laptop, one would have to open it.
If it's set to start upon opening would that make a difference?
One would at least get a location other then where it is supposed to be.

I have a son going to college this fall with a laptop.
Though he will be living at home,
this is his first year of college.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Nighted

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2007, 04:22:06 PM »
Tell him not to let it out of his sight and if he loses it you'll smack him so hard he'll get a speeding ticket going through China!

Worse case scenario, at least laptops are way cheaper now than they were 7 or 8 years ago. I could buy 4 for the price I payed for my first one in '98. Crazy.
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cmpm

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2007, 06:02:38 PM »
lol...Nighted...

He actually bought it himself with a perfect attendance record, the tech school and high school were in together on Computer type classes and he took them. He earned $450 towards a pc purchase of his choice.

With that and some of the money he already had, he got a laptop. He also has a desktop which we gave him for a graduation/birthday present. Which he built himself. He wanted to build it and he did a fine job.

Anyways, perhaps setting the computer to only boot from the hard drive. Lock out booting from a cd or anything else. Lock the computer if there are any hardware changes, like switching hardrives. All password protected. Put in the password and back to the way you want it.

A gps on it would be cool but perhaps too expensive.

Back to opening the computer and booting from the hard drive. On campus there is wireless. So it would have to be set to connect and send the e-mail immediatly before anything else I would think.

And perhaps pickup any unsecured wireless connection and do the same in case it is opened off campus. There are many unsecured wireless setups. I can pick up 2 in my neighborhood alone.

steeladept

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2007, 09:56:12 PM »
The problem I see on a college campus (or anywhere for that matter) is that by using IP address alone in a DHCP environment, it can be anywhere.  What's more a simple ipconfig /release then ipconfig /renew forces it to get a new IP address. Take that and move it anywhere without impunity, because your IP just got moved to someplace else.

So you simply log an IP address of where it is, eh?  Well reformat is simple to do without accessing the CD or HD as appropriate.  Either way, once there is no OS to boot to, you can reinstall an OS of any type.  Any software that did the tracking is gone and so is the IP addresses that it tracked.

What about putting it in the Hardware somehow?  Has anyone reprogrammed a BIOS without causing issues?  I don't know anyone who can, let alone do so for download without screwing up someone's PC.  Using a card instead?  Well first you have to have a slot, then a program to understand what it is doing (fixed again by a format), then you have to find it and install it.

These various issues is why I think it is almost worthless for any real thief.  No, to track it regardless, it must be done in the BIOS or some hardware level tracking independent of the OS.  A MAC address can be one example built into the NIC card.  A BIOS tracker could work if the computer supports it somehow (BTW:  Many could, that is how vendors track the serial number electronically to assist you via their web sites).  But again, to keep it independent, an outside source would need to query the hardware.  Some firewalls could block this, and hence a MAC tracker would make the most sense.  You can't connect to the Network without exposing SOMETHING that identifies your computer uniquely, and that is something a MAC address is designed to do.  Now, is Tekzel right about it being only on a subnet?  I am not sure, but I didn't think so.  Still, there is a way to do it, I just don't know enough details to say how.

seanchk

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 02:34:49 AM »
You might also want to take a look at a laptop bag that has anti-theft features built-in, I travel extensively and have been using a CourierSafe 100 secure computer courier bag, its made by a company called Pacsafe and aside from being a great bag it has a bunch of anti-theft features, steel cable in the shoulder straps that can be locked to a secure fixture, combination lock to secure the zippers.  They also make another very nice computer bag called the MetroSafe300 which I considered but went with the courier bag style.  Check out thier website at http://www.pacsafe.com

urlwolf

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2007, 03:33:09 AM »
anyone got this to work with gmail?

cmpm

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2007, 05:35:01 PM »
LocatePC runs on Windows Vista/XP/Me/98
You will need to have a POP email account for LocatePC to send you email. You can get a free POP account that works with LocatePC from AOL, Bluebottle, Gawab or @inMail24.
LocatePC can only send email if a user is logged in to the PC, and the PC is connected to the Internet.
LocatePC does not support HTTP proxy servers, mail servers that use SSL or SPA or IMAP (including Gmail and Hotmail), or email accounts that only work when the PC is connected to a specific ISP.
\

How would this compare to this-

http://www.lojackfor...jack-for-laptops.asp

I can't find where it says what types of e-mails Lo-Jack can or can't use.
And Lo-Jack costs $50 a year I think.

mikiem

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Re: LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2007, 12:21:15 PM »
FWIW I'd think that the methods you'd use should be tailored to the risk, and insurance is maybe something that should also be considered.

Personally I dislike laptop cases/bags primarily because they look like laptop cases/bags. The more worthless it looks on the outside, the less chance it attracts theives' attention, and you can find bags, particularly mil surplus, that look OK & are sturdy as L. Battery powered alarms are also cool [and cheap] -- hard to believe how nasty loud they can be. Cable locks are probably cool in a corp environ, & probably stop opportunity thefts elsewhere, but I wouldn't rely on that thin cable too much otherwise. In that way they're similar to LocatePC: probably better than nothing, but far from foolproof.

If someone wanted to design something: my idea for dorm/office security would include a USB alarm that went off if unplugged before being de-activated by a software key, and was triggered to go off if the laptop was turned off or the power unplugged without entering the same key. It wouldn't be foolproof either, but certainly would make stealing someone else's laptop suddenly more attractive.