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GPS now built into all laptops?


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#16
CrazyIvan007

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I was watching one of my favorite TV shows, "Numbers". Built into the story line was a break-in at one of the character's home. They caught the theif by tracking a gps in a stolen laptop. One of the characters, who had been trying a far more complicated method of catching the theif, made the comment: "yeah, why didn't I think of that. GPS comes built into all laptops since 2005." I can't find any information about this on the internet. Do all laptops since 2005 really come with built-in GPS?


News media gets things wrong all the time. You see this with firearm related issues. You see this with politics. You see this with organized crime. You see this with ethnic, cultural, etc... news stories.

What they probably meant is that Law Enforcement Agencies are tracking stolen laptops by their IP Address, when they are connected to the internet, which would then work like a GPS system, telling them where the computer is located, because of the system relays and hubs throughout the cities and country.
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#17
123Runner

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My company laptop has a tracking device in it. Not exactly sure where. Probably built into the board/ flash.
But the thief still needs to access the internet to be caught.

This happened to me about 10 years ago. The local police walked right up to the door and asked permission to enter. The thief was so stupid that he said yes.
There on the table were the contents of the laptop bag (as I described), and other stolen items.
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#18
Abydos

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I use this on all my machines:
http://www.ipsneak.net/
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#19
captain casanova

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the idea seems likely enough to be believable. too bad its not; it would be pretty useful.
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#20
lavagolemking

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My company laptop has a tracking device in it. Not exactly sure where. Probably built into the board/ flash.
But the thief still needs to access the internet to be caught.

Probably LoJack or similar. It's software embedded into the motherboard/OS to phone home to one of LoJack's servers periodically and see if the computer is reported stolen. The software is run by the operating system and if it's ever removed/disabled the BIOS will reinstall it. When reported stolen, the software changes the calling feature to a much shorter interval and begins collecting details or (optionally) wipes out sensitive data. The police and Absolute Inc. then subpoena the ISP to find where the computer is connecting to the internet from. This is an optional component and it needs to be activated by the user from both Windows and the BIOS menu before it actually starts working, then it takes care of itself. I know this because I put very long and careful consideration into whether or not I was going to have it installed on my own computer before following through.

The GPS idea is unrealistic because of maintenance costs. Laptop battery lives are already short, and any sort of radio communication will noticeably reduce it. Also, having GPS tracking would be expensive to keep a subscription for, and thus infeasible to deploy without the owner's knowledge.
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#21
dsenette

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The GPS idea is unrealistic because of maintenance costs. Laptop battery lives are already short, and any sort of radio communication will noticeably reduce it. Also, having GPS tracking would be expensive to keep a subscription for, and thus infeasible to deploy without the owner's knowledge.

coupled with the fact that GPS usually doesn't work inside of buildings
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#22
Abydos

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IPsneak I linked to earlier, is the "free version" of LoJack. Not the same, but it costs nothing.
It doesn't embed into the BIOS, its just installed and will then run as a windows service. Some
might argue, that it is to easy to remove. Yes it is, if one knows what to look for. And of course
the location of the folder is protected by password and named something else.
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#23
lavagolemking

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Some
might argue, that it is to easy to remove. Yes it is, if one knows what to look for. And of course
the location of the folder is protected by password and named something else.

One word: "format"

I don't want to start arguing about what software is the best, but chances are if you require a password to get into Windows, the thief is not going to waste time/resources trying to crack it. He'll simply wipe it out (possibly after retrieving your files by other means) and reinstall the operating system. No installed programs will survive that, but if the tracking software is in your BIOS it will silently reinstall as Windows loads no matter how many times you re-install or remove it. Password-protected components aren't going to make a lot of difference unless you're protecting your files with whole-drive encryption or something.
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#24
Abydos

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You are fully correct. And I am not going to argue over which software is best etc. etc.
Not my style hehe :)

However. Knowing common thiefs, they are usually dumb enough to try go see whats on it.
And my surf PC (this one) is not password protected, but selective folders are.

But the point is, it is free, uses no resources and just sits silently til you instruct the IPsneak
homepage to search for it. So can you afford to not have it? A possible scenario may be you
are embarking on holiday to a foreign country. If just for 2 weeks, would you still not have it?
You can uninstall it just as easily as you installed it (It doesn't show in add/remove)


Cheers
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#25
Peter Munkholm

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I use this on all my machines:
http://www.ipsneak.net/


And thanks for using it :)

So far, on the actual stolen computer and recovery, IP Sneak is 2 out of 3, from the 1.000 users in it's 6 month existence.

But just generating 1.000 users has been an up hill battle. I have a normal daytime job and the software is freeware funded by donations only. It really means a lot to keep a steady stream of users comming in, to just generate enough income to support the hosting.

I'm currently running some AdWords campaigns, but it seems my PPC is just way to high to make a revenue that way. Still I have to try to gain some attention and hope that people like you continue to link and give the system good reviews.

The continued support form you guys is my bread and butter :)
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#26
rcramm

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Peter, your site just gt a thumbs up for stumble upon. I'll support something like that!! :)
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#27
Peter Munkholm

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Thanks. Everything helps :)

I try to scour the net to find blogs on the topic and put in relevant comments, but it is a tough business I'll tell ya. I like it though. Following comments and threads like this puts me in contact with my customers and that is something I really want.

BTW check you the new page design that I'm putting up right now :)

http://ipsneak.net/v2.asp

Edited by Peter Munkholm, 02 May 2009 - 08:47 AM.

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