Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Preying on Laptops & Mobile Devices

On Monday my wife was telling me about a story on the TV programme “Robbed, Raided, Reunited” and then the co-Chair of the Redbridge NHW sent me an email about it.

The story was about a student who had his laptop stolen losing three weeks worth of heavy work on his course. The police found no DNA at the burglary scene and had given up. He then remembered that he had installed Prey on his laptop and so logged in to mark it as stolen. This activated the programme installed on his laptop which then took photographs of the thief and sent him back the GPS location where his laptop was, which was only 300 yards up the road. He phoned the local Police, gave them the GPS location and photographs, who said “thank you very much” and then proceded to improve their clear up rate by “visiting” the miscreant and arresting him. It turns out he was a convicted burglar who was out on bail and has now been returned to his cell at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. If everyone did it, they wouldn't be worth stealing.

Mark, of Redbridge NHW, has now installed it and says it’s pretty painless. I don’t know, I don’t have a laptop. To recap:

Prey lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing -- easily and all in one place. It's lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7.

Silent but deadly
Basically you install a tiny agent in your PC or phone, which silently waits for a remote signal to wake up and work its magic.
This signal is sent either from the Internet or through an SMS message, and allows you to gather information regarding the device's location, hardware and network status, and optionally trigger specific actions on it.

Go see for yourself, click.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks B21 - sounds a sensible and useful thing to have. If only there were something that could similarly track down and identify hackers.