General discussion


Tracking stolen computers

By Power Computing Inc. ·
Local law enforcement has contacted us to ask for help in tracking stolen computers. Is it possible to track stolen computers using the Operating System license or other identifiers on a system when they are connected to the internet by the thief?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -


by jdclyde In reply to Tracking stolen computers

Some software will actually hit the vendors website everytime the product is launched. Even if it isn't a web based program.

Also some manufatures I have seen will have a program load at startup called pinger that seems to check-in everytime the computer is turned on.

Collapse -

Here's a revu of several stolen PC 'dial home' SW

by Dr Dij In reply to Depends

Laptop trackers
Stealth software hunts for lost or stolen computers.

Collapse -

There are ways, and ways around it.

by jdmercha In reply to Tracking stolen computers

You can detect a computer on the Internet by its MAC address. But you will have to be on the same Internet segment of that computer or its destination address. Plus a clever hacker can spoof the MAC address or use a differnt NIC.

Dell assumes that anyone who comes into posession of a Dell computer will eventually connect to the Dell web site. If you can give Dell the service tag of a stolen computer, they will look for it.

Collapse -


by apotheon In reply to There are ways, and ways ...

Ya beat me to it. I was going to suggest the MAC address and talking to vendors, myself, and mention the problems with these approaches.

Collapse -

These computers....

by house In reply to indeed

will not be sold to experts. If the sellers are smart, they'd damage the internal nic, and use a PCI or PCMCIA expansion.

Collapse -

HP & ESN's

by dafe2 In reply to Tracking stolen computers

HP implemented Electronic Serial Numbers years ago. (Similar to Cel Phones)

It's a litle more dificult to get arround......but not fool proof.

They also have a Web site that gives you 'as shipped' configuration information when the ESN is supplied.....which can be compared/updated when logged on with the computer your checking on.

Collapse -

Just imagine

by LOLWTFROFL In reply to HP & ESN's

since Microsoft has tested having their os contact a central server on each bootup to verify legit software.

Imagine if intel hardwired sometine like that. I would pay the extra coin for that feature on a laptop.

Collapse -


by Jaqui In reply to Tracking stolen computers

newer laptops they are building gps into them.
that use a trickle from the battery.
so vendor can supply specific signal from serial number.

desktops ( pcs ) this would also have to be done for this simple a method.

Related Discussions

Related Forums