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Old 05-10-2005, 08:54 PM   #1
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Is it possible to track a stolen computer online?

My friend bought a brand new ibook laptop last Tuesday. Yesterday someone broke into her apartment and took the laptop and a flute (which is not worth very much). Cops came and wrote a halfassed report but, as anyone who had experience with this knows, they seemed completely useless. Didn't even dust for fingerprints. (I seriously wonder what is the money limit above which they would conduct a serious investigation?)

To make things really frustrating, she knows exactly who did it: her neighbor, known as a tweaker and drug dealer in her apartment complex, who accidentaly saw the thing sitting on the table couple of days before.
Maybe not him in person but his buddies. Of course, nothing can be proved.

My question is: is it possible to somehow track this computer when these as*holes connect online?

Last edited by frankie_DJ; 05-10-2005 at 09:03 PM.
Old 05-10-2005, 09:14 PM   #2
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Only if the person had some sort of software intended to facilitate traffic (which could be as simple as some sort of http request) would this be possible, as far as I know. Sorry. Unfortunately, this is one of those things you need to think of before you need it.
Old 05-10-2005, 09:22 PM   #3
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:38 PM   #4
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I wish there was. Brand new G5 got stolen out of my car while I was driving home and stopped off at a gas station to use the bathroom

Old 05-11-2005, 06:09 AM   #5
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2600 Magazine had an article not long ago (not in the most recent issue; perhaps Fall of 2004?) regarding a simple script that would help with this, if set up beforehand.

I'm sorry to hear about the current situation, but as others have said, unless there was something specific done before the theft, there's not much chance of identifying any electronic "fingerprint"
Old 05-11-2005, 07:00 AM   #6
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If she was on the internet before it was stolen, perhaps her NIC card's MAC address is on record with the internet provider. If someone has connected with the same provider, they may be able to locate it that way. If the computer is found in his possesion, the mac address may serve as proof that it is the stolen computer. Also, does the ibook have a unique serial number ( such as for the software or the CPU ) that could identify it when when the thief connects for an upgrade with apple?

A former co-working of mine had his apartment broken into. The person was still inside when he came home. (The thief jumped you the window to escape). The cops weren't very interested. He had his CD collecton stolen. Since he had such eclectic taste in music, he went to the record stores that purchased used cd's with a list of what was stolen. He go a call shortly after from one of the stores. He went back to the police, and they wouldn't do anything about it.

Last edited by jschiwal; 05-11-2005 at 07:05 AM.
Old 05-12-2005, 04:03 AM   #7
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Talking OMG, You guys com'n there is a way!


Last edited by XavierP; 05-12-2005 at 05:08 AM.
Old 05-12-2005, 05:09 AM   #8
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Edd(Hacker)^_^ - it is against the Rules of LQ to put up or offer advice on cracking pcs. Please refrain from doing this again.


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