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Adeona: Open Source Lojack For Laptops - page 3

Adeona Phones Home Stolen Laptops

  • May 6, 2009
  • By A. Lizard
  1. Make sure there is no access to anything you'd like to keep confidential in your computer for a potential thief, including passwords stored in your browser, especially to things like online banking and the web access to your personal/business e-mail. Most browsers support a master password for stored password access. This confines your potential loss to the cost of the hardware itself. Remember that remote access to your desktop means you don't need to keep confidential documents on your computer. If data is not on your machine, you don't have to worry about who gets it along with your computer whether your computer got confiscated by Customs on a border crossing or stolen from your hotel room.
  2. If you've got remote control software on your laptop that accesses your home or work computer, be sure this is as secure as you can make it. Cheap insurance is to call home and have your remote PC unplugged, then first chance you get change the password and encryption key.

Physical security:

  1. Don't let your laptop out of your sight if you can possibly avoid it.
  2. Use the locking slot with a good quality lock/cable; but only when you can't put it in a locked compartment that is big enough that it can't be removed casually. (a hotel safe, for instance) And remember that this is really good only for keeping honest people honest, if one doesn't care whether the laptop is intact afterwards, breaking off a chunk of the case to take it is easy enough.
  3. Register your laptop with JustStolen.net so if it's ever recovered, you might actually get it back.
  4. Consider getting a Stop Tag. This puts a label with your name and address on the computer, if the label is removed, the word STOLEN gets etched into the computer case.
  5. Get a laptop insurance policy.


Conclusion:

What direction should Adeona development take?

The disclaimer on the Adeona site with respect to Adeona operation needs to be changed to something on the order of "Adeona is extremely unreliable at this time, a revision is in progress, we are hoping to have this working sometime in July 2009" . Remember, this is security software, so people *need* to know that it can't be depended on at this time and that the problem is the software, not improper installation.

From my experience, my netbook wireless connection doesn't come up until *after* the user has logged in and desktop has loaded. If there's some way to bring the wireless up early in the startup scripts (e.g. S10 at runlevel 3) and to get Adeona to send a position update so that the software has already sent out a location report by the time a box in the hands of a thief gets to the login prompt... this would drastically increase the chances of getting useful information out of the program.

  • Once a stable and working software package is up, it needs to be packaged as binaries and either released to Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora repositories or the Adeona development team
  • should put up special purpose apt and rpm repositories ASAP on their site.
  • wishlist: that the software read internal GPS if the hardware supports it.
  • wishlist: add webcam capability to the Linux and Windows versions
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