Adeona: free laptop tracking software can even take a photo of the thief

Laptops / Notebooks, Software

padlock.gifLosing your laptop to a dirty rotten thief can be a painful experience, particularly if you work for the government and half the population’s names. addresses, and vital statistics were stored unencrypted on it, but now a new piece of free software aims to help you locate your beloved portable PC.

Adeona was developed by researchers at the Universities of Washington and California. This bit of software is installed on the laptop (before it’s nicked, obviously) and then sends encrypted notes to Internet servers about the PC’s location.

The Mac version will even use the built-in iSight camera to take pictures of the person who stole it (or possibly, the grandchild, OAP, or PC n00b that the scheming low-life palmed it off on to).

Though it can’t provide the exact location of the PC (most don’t have GPS in them, for a start) it will track the IP address, which can usually narrow down the search to a geographical location. Of course, it relies on the perpetrator going online, but then who doesn’t use the Internet these days?

Of course, there’s the concern of Big Brother knowing where you are, plus the fact that you still need to learn how to secure any valuable data on the computer, as tracking it is no good if someone’s nicked 20,000 credit card numbers.

(Via Yahoo!)

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Andy Merrett
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  • Nice idea, but one problem keeps me from installing it… the thief would have to boot my laptop and connect it to the Internet – which however he can’t do, as the whole system is encrypted and protected by a rather good password.

    Besides, most thieves would simply sell the laptop without ever switching it on anyway – and those that steal it to use it will probably reinstall it from scratch before hooking it up to the Internet, too.

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