Recovering a stolen MBP...hints?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Furner, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Furner

    Furner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    7,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    My fiance's brother got his MBP stolen over the weekend. Will Apple "blacklist" his mac or anything? Any other hints to try and get it back?
    I am monitoring iChat to see if they will auto-login so I can trick them into a video chat.
     
  2. quid

    quid I Piss Excellence OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Messages:
    50,352
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    california
    im pretty sure you can call it into apple that its stolen, but all they can really do is add that serial number to database of stolen stuff, :dunno:
     
  3. Figori

    Figori Taking BRC to the EXTREME. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere near Maxwell AFB, AL.
    Lojack.... Yeah... He might be able to call Apple, but he would have had much better luck if he had Lojack. I highly recommend it.
     
  4. IcyHot4Life

    IcyHot4Life Str8 Ballin'

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Inquire Within
    I really need to get around to it, but one of these days I'm going to set my MBP up so that if it gets jacked, it'll lock out all of my account information, but drop into an account I've set up to do a few things.

    First, the account would be configured for maximum connectivity, to make sure the laptop could get online as often as possible. So airport would be set to auto connect to base stations, etc. I'd probably also enable most sharing services for that account so that I could maximize the possibility of connecting to the laptop if it's online in a non-firewalled location.

    Second, I'd setup auto-login on a bunch of free internet services that people are likely to use, like audioscrobbler, etc. -- services where a user can change their info from the computer's client program, but I still own the account "keys", so I can see if they've put any personal information into these accounts.

    Third, I'd write a cron job or automator task to take pictures with the iSight periodically and e-mail them back to me, for obvious reasons. I'd also capture the IP address and maybe some other network statistics that would be helpful in tracking down the laptop. Getting the IP can be as simple as running a dynamic DNS daemon in the background of that account and then checking your dDNS provider for updates.

    Finally (and probably by far the most difficult), if I could manage to get the computer to do it, I would have it attempt to automatically connect to the VPN at my home whenever it gets online. If it can do this successfully, then I have a direct path to the laptop, even if it's firewalled. This means I can ssh in and do anything else I might need to do to determine who has my machine (including full grabs of browser history, etc.) Not to mention live screen viewing over VNC and real-time iSight captures.


    Yeah I should really get around to all of this someday :embd:
     
  5. IcyHot4Life

    IcyHot4Life Str8 Ballin'

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Inquire Within
    any updates on the stolen mac? :dunno:
     
  6. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Messages:
    63,949
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grande Prairie, AB, Can
    I am afraid Apple will not do a thing.
     
  7. YourMomOnRyeBun

    YourMomOnRyeBun New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4,722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Barry's turf... :-(
    How much is Lojack? One time fee? Or a subscription service? Sounds like a good idea...
     
  8. hurleyint1386

    hurleyint1386 Someone has sand in their vagina

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    3,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    $49 for 1 year, $99 for 3 years
     
  9. Blair

    Blair New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    8,532
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oregon
  10. Drloveless

    Drloveless Mac Crew

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronots
    you do realize its a simple hdd wipe and you ll never find it right?
     
  11. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    That's why the PC version of Lojack is better. It's built into many laptop firmwares/BIOS' so even if someone wipes the drive it reinstalls it and calls home. To make it the most worth-wild on the Mac you need to have your laptop set to automatically connect to open wireless which but you give up security to do that.
     
  12. IcyHot4Life

    IcyHot4Life Str8 Ballin'

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Inquire Within
    Open Firmware / EFI password FTW. 99% of people even with physical access to the computer won't know how to defeat it.
     
  13. IcyHot4Life

    IcyHot4Life Str8 Ballin'

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Inquire Within
    You've already lost all hope of security once an attacker has physical access to the machine, if they're determined enough. The best you is minimize risk in the event of theft. Anything sufficiently important should already be protected cryptographically. Personally I would take the security-accessibility tradeoff of a laptop that tries to maximize connectivity. Remember that you can compartmentalize a lot of that behavior through segregated accounts, one of which is set to act as a dead man's switch in the event that the computer is stolen. In most cases this can be made to be the only account that is accessible without a password.

    I definitely wish that something similar to PC Lojack was available / feasible on Macs, though...
     
  14. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2001
    Messages:
    11,865
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    BC, Canada/Stockholm, Sweden
    If I ever stole a mac, the first thing I'd do is wipe it. But then most criminals are dumb.
     
  15. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    Here's a new free option. Sounds promising and I like the fact that you don't need to use a central server and your info isn't available to anyone but you.

    http://adeona.cs.washington.edu/
     
  16. hurleyint1386

    hurleyint1386 Someone has sand in their vagina

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Messages:
    3,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I wouldn't say 99% because it's extremely easy to wipe the firmware password. But you are right, most people don't have any idea what they would need to do.
     
  17. Drloveless

    Drloveless Mac Crew

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronots
    oh well, sorry for your loss tho.
     

Share This Page