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Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

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  • Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

    Okay. So my father had a bunch of stuff stolen from him last week, including an expensive touchscreen HP system. Likely, it's a bunch of less than intelligent local punks who knew how to get into his house.

    So, I thought I'd pick some brains to figure out how to find them. Since they're likely dumb enough to go online with that computer (or at least whoever they fence it to), I wanna know the best ways to track down the "new owner." Does Microsoft have a theft program?? One would think every time an MS update is done that along with the software being validated, so could ownership. After being stolen, MS could invalidate the OS and record the IP address and ISP. Then go from there... ;)

    The social engineering aspect would be just emailing my father's account (which I believe is auto-passworded) and tempting them to respond.

    Maybe I can get a remote assist to the box somehow???

    Aside from that... is there a way I can scan for a particular MAC address? Help me Obiwan Phreakobi, you're my only hope.

    I would like to find these bastards and make a few phone calls to unsavory types that would more than gladly teach them a lesson.

  • #2
    Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

    You're not likely to get anywhere from the information you currently have.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

      Originally posted by Celestial1 View Post
      You're not likely to get anywhere from the information you currently have.
      You lie. :)

      Mmmmk, those with solutions can PM me if need-be. I figured I'd have more than enough info. to trace someone.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

        Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
        I figured I'd have more than enough info. to trace someone.
        You don't. MS doesn't have the ability to track individual copies of its software -- consider how many pirated copies of Windows are out in the wild. More to the point, MS would never do any such tracking without a court order, and would likely fight tooth and nail if one were presented, since the privacy implications of them admitting to having such capability are quite staggering.

        There's nothing out there that I'm aware of to let you scan for MAC addresses in the great wide yonder, since devices do not broadcast their MAC addresses beyond an immediate connection, so you would need to be lookin for the MAC address of the router (or cable/DSL modem) the computer was plugged into. That's assuming you even knew the computer's MAC address -- did your father actually write that down??

        The most promising approach from those you mention is the last one -- remote desktop (not remote assistance). If you have remote desktop running on the other computer, you can connect to it, at which point it's essentially yours. The how of finding it at that point I leave to your imagination. Remote assistance won't help you at all, since the connection has to be initiated from the missing computer.

        PS. That's "white hat" not "white-hack"




        Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
        --BlackMirror
        <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
        Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
        --Blackraven93

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

          Originally posted by Gambit7 View Post
          You lie. :)
          I would never. The internet just doesn't work that way.

          Your best bets are to:
          1) Like Cheb said, Remote Desktop. Good luck getting in from there.
          2) Attempt the emailing thing. Probably not going to get you anywhere.
          3) Give up. Seriously. You've got nothing to go off of. It sucks, but you're only going to waste time attempting.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

            Also, I imagine your father has homeowners' insurance, which by default includes property insurance up to (usually) 10% of the total policy value. Make a claim and stop worrying.




            Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
            --BlackMirror
            <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
            Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
            --Blackraven93

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

              Actually there is software out there that'll basically act as a "LoJack" for your computer/laptop. Absolute produces one particular product called "LoJack for Your Laptop" as well as a more advanced version for desktops on and off your network.

              There might be free alternatives out there, but essentially LoJack for Laptops will communicate with the owner once it finds a open internet connection and uses geolocation (last I heard was via Google Maps) to sends you a location of where in the world your laptop was at the time of the internet connection. The software costs money and a subscription fee last time I checked it out.

              I only know of one person who ever used it and it worked as advertised. He bought a brand new Sony Vaio laptop for like $2,500. A week later he carelessly forgets it at Starbucks. Runs back to find it is gone and through the above software finds the location of his Sony and recovers it some 3 weeks later.

              As for your situation, you're SOL. Not even the above is enough I think in finding where that stuff went.
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

                Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
                Actually there is software out there that'll basically act as a "LoJack" for your computer/laptop.
                I was being an ass, and I retract my snarky comment.

                Acreo, what happened in the intervening three weeks? Is that how long it took the wheels of justice to grind through the case, or was that the time required to track down the laptop?




                Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
                --BlackMirror
                <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
                Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
                --Blackraven93

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

                  Originally posted by Cheburash View Post
                  I was being an ass, and I retract my snarky comment.

                  Acreo, what happened in the intervening three weeks? Is that how long it took the wheels of justice to grind through the case, or was that the time required to track down the laptop?
                  The guy was lazy and sat on the info for a week before he acted. It then took 2 weeks from reporting it to the cops, police reports, etc before he managed to recover his stolen laptop. The sad part is that he got it back with a broken screen and the battery was missing along with the laptop case and some of his work papers. Couldn't tell you what happened after that since I've lost contact with him.
                  |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                  TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                  Former 9th & 13th

                  Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                  Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                  SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                  TG Primer and Rules

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Finding a Thief: The White-hack Project

                    This just came to me, but check if the computer came with a tracking program. Some laptops and other more mobile computers will have some sort of program that you can access within the bios. This tracking program requires a monthly or yearly fee and it would require you to call the company to activate it. (from what I can tell, it tracks when and where the computer accesses the internet and what it does...)

                    I do not know if that computer had that tracking system on it, but I am certain that if it does, you should be able to activate it just by setting up a contract with the company that does the tracking. If you want to check the paper work and all of the other material that came with the computer, you might be able to find the information.

                    On my laptop, which is a dell inspiron, I have this tracking system, though it remains inactive since I did not set up a contract. I believe the tracker does not need to be activated within the bios. On my laptop, as far as I can tell, the tracking system can only be deactivated or put on standby, so all you would need to do is contact the tracking service provider, but to do so, you might need to contact the manufacturer along with going through all of your papers.
                    Last edited by BeSiege82; 06-27-2010, 01:33 AM.



                    Interested in listening to guitar playing and a good conversation, look for me on TS.

                    "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

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