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Super Secret Software Saves a Stolen Laptop

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posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:04 AM
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It's cool that this guy was able to regain possession of his Mac Book..

What isn't so cool is how the local PD handled the case.. Using the app called hidden the victim was able to give the PD all the info they needed to end this case quickly..

It was only after Good Morning America gave the department a call that they decided to do their job..



pcmag.com

Stolen property is not easily found. Fortunately, Joshua Kaufman put a safeguard in place in his laptop that aided police in a search for it. The software led to the arrest of Muthanna Albedashi, a 27-year-old taxi driver, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting.
The app is called Hidden. It functions by tracking the laptop's movements through collecting network data and taking photos of the culprit and screenshots of the computer in use.
Kaufman's laptop was stolen on March 21. He filed a police report with the Oakland Police Deparment that same day, and he began to use Hidden to collect photos and location data. Much to his dismay, there was little progress with his case.


Thumbs up to Mr Kaufman for using the internet to tell this story and finally get some action.




posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:17 AM
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The ease of breaking the software leads me to worry about privacy, it's essentially a multifunction tracking system. All it takes is one unpatched vulnerability and anyone can track you and spy on your actions. I'll admit that it has it's uses but I prefer this man's methods better:
www.securitytube.net...

And all it takes is for people to take the time to learn about their computer. Knowledge is power and a program will never change that.

Edit: Real story starts around 3:10, first is just a story to take up time before the talk would actually begin.
edit on 2-6-2011 by j35us because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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Thars ridiculous! You'd think they'd jump on the information he was giving them. Then again, more paperwork if they make an arrest.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:23 AM
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It sucks that in order to do thier job the police had to get a call from the media. It just shows they are not concerned with the citizens unless it suits thier own purpose or in this case covers thier own behind. they are not trying to prevent crime but rather catching them after the fact, which leaves everyone else vulnerable.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:34 AM
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Link to the app:

Hidden

i prefer this one though:

Prey Project



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 11:39 AM
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And the first time nude pictures are posted because of misuse of this application, everyone will be up in arms. And it WILL happen.

I'm all for security, but this isnt security. This is lack of privacy.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by captaintyinknots
 


it's already been done, and i don't see the public being all up in arms and throwing their computers away. not when they're still trying to figure out what to think of lady gaga's latest music video.

Students being watch by school district on webcam



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


Forget about those who are whining about lack of privacy. These are the same people who won't carry a cell phone because it is a potential spy tool (rightly so, maybe).

Thing is that with or without this software, an electronic device can become a tracking device.

At least here we've got the owner of a device able to use it for a useful purpose!

Good for the owner! Good for the software!



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:16 PM
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I could see a feature like this being important in certain circumstances in which sensitive material on a laptop could be considered proprietary.

I'm just curious about something, how do these apps. work on dual-boot setups? As an example: if it's download on Windows but Windows is never booted, could it still be remotely activated? Just thinking out loud...

ETA: Interesting that the Police were given all the info. they needed to recover stolen property and yet, didn't due to "lack of budget" and manpower. More interesting that it took a public blog gone viral to get action taken against the thief.
edit on 2-6-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by daynight42
reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


Forget about those who are whining about lack of privacy. These are the same people who won't carry a cell phone because it is a potential spy tool (rightly so, maybe).

Thing is that with or without this software, an electronic device can become a tracking device.

At least here we've got the owner of a device able to use it for a useful purpose!

Good for the owner! Good for the software!


TO me, it has nothing to do with 'being tracked'. It has to do with someone having the outside ability to control the camera on my device, and to record me in compromising positions.

Just turning on an electronic makes it track-able. There is no way around that.



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi
I could see a feature like this being important in certain circumstances in which sensitive material on a laptop could be considered proprietary.

I'm just curious about something, how do these apps. work on dual-boot setups? As an example: if it's download on Windows but Windows is never booted, could it still be remotely activated? Just thinking out loud...

ETA: Interesting that the Police were given all the info. they needed to recover stolen property and yet, didn't due to "lack of budget" and manpower. More interesting that it took a public blog gone viral to get action taken against the thief.

edit on 2-6-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)



Because the programs are OS dependent, the program have to be resident in memory and in a dual boot config would require the program to be loaded in both OS configurations in order for it to be activated.

It is using what is called polling where a program watches a communications port for activity and hence as to why the program needs to be loaded and resident in memory in order to be activated and to take photos,respond etc.

The Police are revenue agents. If it doesn't translate to easy bonus points aiding in their next performance appraisal as in writing traffic tickets they aren't interested. They would much rather consume donuts,sip coffee and discuss sports.




posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by nh_ee
 


K ... I was just wondering how much of a moron this thief was (would not the first thing be to wipe the HD?) and also, how dependable an app. like that would be to the user. As I mentioned, I can see something of value in using this type of security in situations where sensitive material would need to be protected (one among many obstacles) but can't really see the interest in having something like that on my personal laptop but then, I don't have thousands of dollars invested...


edit on 2-6-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 



I was kind of chuckling too in that Thieves aren't generally known for their intellect....at least when it comes to computers.

Any savvy computer dude would be able to spot the process unless hidden and/or trace the communication activity via the comm ports or sockets.

Simply because it eats up CPU ....the biggest indicator that you have a background task doing something unknown to the user.

If said thief was smart, he'd locate the rogue non essential program in the process table and uninstall it or better yet completely wipe the hard drive and reinstall a pirated (since he's a thief) version of Mac OS X and/or Linux.



edit on 2-6-2011 by nh_ee because: Edits and typos....OK ?



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by captaintyinknots

Originally posted by daynight42
reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


Forget about those who are whining about lack of privacy. These are the same people who won't carry a cell phone because it is a potential spy tool (rightly so, maybe).

Thing is that with or without this software, an electronic device can become a tracking device.

At least here we've got the owner of a device able to use it for a useful purpose!

Good for the owner! Good for the software!


TO me, it has nothing to do with 'being tracked'. It has to do with someone having the outside ability to control the camera on my device, and to record me in compromising positions.

Just turning on an electronic makes it track-able. There is no way around that.


Underlined above just cover the camera when you have your special time!



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 02:14 PM
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I was thinking along those lines as well, as ATS member Toreishi had pointed out, with the high school laptops incident.

I forsee employees providing laptops from their employers and then the employers monitoring how they're used....

For example...

My younger brother just recently began working for Google and he is all excited about them giving him a new Macbook Air....

I'll have to forward this article to him.... and make sure he checks his process table.....as well as CPU utilization for any questionable software running in the background...and to cover the camera !!!



Konnichi-Wa !
edit on 2-6-2011 by nh_ee because: typos



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by daynight42
 


This is ATS, so it's expected to see a wide variety of takes on this news..

Me, I just see a guy who was just trying to protect his investment, and in this case, the use of that app appears to be the sole reason why the man had his property returned to him. That and his vigilance to use the web to get his story out there.

I am more concerned with how the PD, given all the information the man had supplied them, appeared to be of no help until the media gave them a ring..



posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by wmd_2008

Originally posted by captaintyinknots

Originally posted by daynight42
reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


Forget about those who are whining about lack of privacy. These are the same people who won't carry a cell phone because it is a potential spy tool (rightly so, maybe).

Thing is that with or without this software, an electronic device can become a tracking device.

At least here we've got the owner of a device able to use it for a useful purpose!

Good for the owner! Good for the software!


TO me, it has nothing to do with 'being tracked'. It has to do with someone having the outside ability to control the camera on my device, and to record me in compromising positions.

Just turning on an electronic makes it track-able. There is no way around that.


Underlined above just cover the camera when you have your special time!


You're missing the point.



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