more laptop security? or less?
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Thread: more laptop security? or less?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    Post more laptop security? or less?

    I am always looking for ways to secure my system both from the internet and from theifs. Therefore I am always looking for something new and cool.
    I came across this today

    http://www.time.com/time/columnist/t...0.html?cnn=yes

    These are some software solutions to track down a lost or stolen laptop once it is brought online. Only problem is it doesnt work if the hard drive has been wiped. My question then is why not run some form of service that checks for the MAC address'. This article also talks about a cool little device that sets off an alarm when a key chain gets so far away from your laptop. but nonetheless if you are paranoid here is one more thing you can track down your stolen equipment or someone can tell where you are at all times.
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  2. #2
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    Good question, but are you assuming that when a laptop is stolen they are going to keep the same info on the HDD and keep the same NIC? I'm not saying that a simple thief would be able to understand what a MAC address is or even how to wipe a HDD, but I'd hesitate to pay for something that is so easily undone.

    IMHO. If you don't want your laptop stolen, don't let it out of your site when you're out and about. And if you are really paranoid then you can always get one of those wrist leashes. A thief would have to yank your arm off to get away with it.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
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    wow, gave me a good idea to bring weapons on the plane.. hahah stick it in the bay of the cd/batter.... .... ... sorry i got off topic..
    Im Chris Bartholomew - 18 Years old

    TSeNg
    questions? Cxbartholomew@yahoo.com

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    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
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    wow, gave me a good idea to bring weapons on the plane.. hahah stick it in the bay of the cd/batter.... .... ... sorry i got off topic..
    Thats not even anything funny to be joking about especially with all the threats and such that are about. Either which way they would catch it when they scan your computer at teh gate.

    but are you assuming that when a laptop is stolen they are going to keep the same info on the HDD and keep the same NIC?
    I am assuming that you get the nic of the internal card and just assume that the theif/person they sold it to arent smart enough to go purchase a PCMCIA card for the sake of convience. again just a thought. But I like the idea of the leash
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  5. #5
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    The leashes are cheap. And as far as the internal NIC's go, a very small percentage of laptops have built-in NICs. Most still have dongle-type or combo PCCards.

    I agree that most thieves aren't smart enough to get a PCCard, though.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
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    The "non-technical" response

    KorpDeath makes some great points, although I kind of like my arms and wouldn't take the risk. If someone wanted my laptop that badly, they could have it, it can be replaced and it's encrypted anyway (and they'd be really disappointed when they'd finally decrypted it, there is nothing saved on the hard drives bar my shopping list).

    However, we cut laptop thefts 40% by switching from traditional laptop bags to laptop backpacks. It doesn't look like you are carrying a 1500 machine around so they get stolen less. We also made sure our users got notification of exactly how much their machine was worth, so they get a little sense of responsibility/guilt when they lost them.

    But I always get paranoid at airports, especially as they make you put them in the little trays now and your laptop is twelve feet away unattended while they hand scan you. Oh and Spyrus - they took the keyboard off my laptop, removed the battery, looked inside and also insisted I booted it up to prove it was actually a real laptop, rather than some sort of glamourous gun purse, last time I entered the US.

    Heheh I do still have an IBM luggable though.....it'd be easy to find out who stole that if it ever went missing - just look for the guy with the bad back.

    Rachel
    668 - the neighbor of the beast

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    Re: more laptop security? or less?

    My question then is why not run some form of service that checks for the MAC address.
    But there's always way to spoof your MAC-address.. That would make those trackers unusable

    Here's XP-method I found: http://www.astalavista.com/library/o...ddresshack.zip
    rdev - 01110010 01100100 01100101 01110110

    \"The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little while longer.\" - U.S. Navy Seabees

  8. #8
    Regal Making Handler
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    TSeNg brought up guns. but they can be compared to comps, the smaller the gun, the more dangerous. The smaller the comp the easier to steel. There is always a way round everything but you can make it very difficult for your average thief by making sure you set a good bios password, setting the bios to only boot from the c drive and having a good log onto os passward. That might knot stop your laptop being stolen but it will make it unuseable to all but those with a very good knowledge.
    I supose you could fit a tracker device.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  9. #9
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    One of the things I've heard about laptops recently is that manufacturers are making it impossible to run the machine without the original hard drive. And that the hard drive, once removed, becomes encrypted. It can only be opened in the machine it came with.

    I would think that the only true way to track a laptop is to have some type of beacon built on the motherboard. Something either soldered to the board or built into the CPU.

    Personally, educating your users on how to look after laptops is a good way to help cut down laptop loss.

    Englishgirl: I have a laptop backpack. They are great, just on helping the back anyways. My only problem is that I can't put much else in it after my laptop is in there (a panasonic tough book).
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