Adeona offers independent stolen laptop tracking

Summary:Sorry: hit "post" instead of "save"; this backend system will be the death of me.I first came across Adeona last year when I was doing some external research, and it's only really just come to light.

Sorry: hit "post" instead of "save"; this backend system will be the death of me.

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I first came across Adeona last year when I was doing some external research, and it's only really just come to light. Adeona is an independent system which doesn't rely on any third party software or a central server; you install it and it works, nothing more to it.

No matter what you do to protect yourself; passwords, encryption, biometrics, firewall, and an anti-virus - you still have one major worry, and that's theft. The one thing worse than that, is mistakenly losing it, because that makes it your fault, and that's naturally worse than anything else.

Once you'd lost or had your laptop stolen, you relied entirely on the good faith of humanity or at the very least, a police force, to recover your device. Researchers at the Washington University and California University have joined up to create Adeona, named after the Roman goddess which guides children back to their parents.

Adeona offers unique and precise location tracking through IP addresses and GeoIP locationing positioning. Not only that, it provides information on access points if wireless connectivity is used, it uses traceroute on network routers to provide clues as to the location of the device, but if you're using a Mac, it can use the iSight camera to take photos of anyone who may be using it.

It's far from perfect. The user interface isn't great, a lot of the time it uses a command prompt/terminal window, and it's not always clear as to what to do next. I found myself using three different programs it had installed to get one thing, pass it to another, translate it there, and finally end up with somewhat recognisable raw data.

On the other hand, it's a powerful tool to use, and if you can use other projects out there to determine tracing your device from raw data, you'll find it pretty quickly. I'd say Adeona is great so far, but it certainly has some tweaks to go through; can't really fault it though, as it is a developing research project.

For those who wish to know more intracutely intricately how it works, they have a full documentation list available on the website.

Available on Linux, Windows XP/Vista and Mac OSX 10.4 and onwards, this is a definite must for the students who roam around campus late at night... or campuses with high crime rates really.

Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Linux, Mobility, Open Source, Operating Systems, Security

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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