GadgetTrak Blog

How GadgetTrak Built NSA Proof Backup
Monday, April 7, 2014

With all of the recent media regarding NSA snooping on the world’s internet activities, it is an opportunity for us here at GadgetTrak to say “we told you so”. When we built our backup service for Android devices we were rather paranoid with regards to how we would go about storing customer information such as photos and contacts in the most privacy safe way we could.

The best way to secure customer data in the cloud is to not store it at all. Next, if you are going to store information in the cloud do it in a way that not even your administrators can access it, or anyone in the company for that matter. We did this by providing a “privacy key” that the customer enters when they setup their device, this encrypts all of their data before it is even transmitted to our remote servers. The data then sits on our secure servers encrypted.

The data is encrypted in transit and at rest. If the NSA or someone tried to snoop on the connection, or if the customer uses insecure wi-fi the data is still encrypted across the Internet. If the NSA or other government body asks us for the information they would get an encrypted blob. The agency would have to get the key to decrypt the data from the customer as it is not stored anywhere on our servers, only the customer knows it.

GadgetTrak Unveils Theft Ring In Mississippi & Alabama
Sunday, March 31, 2013

A GadgetTrak customer had his iMac stolen along with other possessions during a house burglary in Mobile, Alabama. GadgetTrak software was activated and within a few days the device was tracked to a trailer park in Moss Point, Mississippi and sending back photos and other information that was provided to law enforcement. To verify location GadgetTrak worked with law enforcement to file a subpoena with AT&T to get specific address connected with the IP address the software was sending back.

Once the address was confirmed, the police went to the location and not only recovered GadgetTrak’s customer’s iMac, but also stolen property from at least four other homes. A gun that was stolen during the burglary was not present, but the police were able to identify who had it, as well as others involved and over the course of several days additional arrests have been made.

This is not the first time that GadgetTrak software has led to unveiling of theft rings. Law enforcement appreciate the data that GadgetTrak software provides because in many cases the stolen device is a trojan horse into a larger theft ring, or the discovery other crimes.

GadgetTrak Recovers Computer Stolen By Delivery Driver – Cardiff, Wales
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A medical technology e-learning company in Cardiff, Wales has recovered a SONY VAIO all-in-one desktop thanks to GadgetTrak. A delivery driver decided to steal it as an early Christmas present to himself. The system was being shipped to the company by a client after they were not able to troubleshoot an issue after logging in remotely to the system from their office. The machine never showed up so they contacted the delivery service to check in and they were told that the devices was “lost”.

But that same day they notice that the machine goes online and that they are able to access the device remotely, so they installed GadgetTrak and activated immediately and were started getting location data and snapshots of the delivery driver. The information was provided to the police who were happy to receive a pile of evidence regarding the case including the location and photo of the thief. The police recovered the computer at an apartment complex in Cardiff and the delivery driver confessed to the crime. The computer is now in police custody and is being returned to its rightful owner this week….just in time for Christmas.

GadgetTrak Tracks Stolen Macbook From Kansas to Mexico….and Back
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When Jeff B. purchased a brand new MacBook Pro for his daughter who was heading off to college, he installed GadgetTrak on it “just in case”. He had no idea the journey the laptop was about to take and that GadgetTrak would document the journey. Shortly after the purchase of the laptop in October of last year it was stolen from his daughter’s apartment in Lenexa, KS. The thief took the laptop and some, but left behind his fingerprints from which the police identified the perpetrator who has been on the run from police for quite some time.

Jeff logged into his GadgetTrak account, activated tracking and waited as the trap was set. There were no connections until four months later when in January, Jeff started receiving tracking reports, from Leon, Mexico, a small town 200 miles Northwest of Mexico City. The photos were not of the known thief, but a young lady.

Jeff contacted the detective in Kansas City who handled the case to see what could be done to recover the laptop in Mexico. He was told there was little that could be done at this time due to the Mac being physically located outside the US borders. So Jeff left tracking on and waited while he continued to receive reports from the device. The stolen MacBook still had his daughter’s username and apparently the new owner did not know how to change it. She brought the computer into the local Mac Store in Leon where GadgetTrak captured several photos of the technician assisting her and a new account was created with her name. Now Jeff had the full name of the person who had possession of the Mac.

Finally Jeff’s patience paid off last month when the location of the device appeared back in Kansas City. The photos show that it was the same person who had it in Mexico, but appeared to be visiting someone in Kansas City over the Thanksgiving holiday. Jeff contacted the detective again that had worked the case and he sent a team of officers to the scene. The serial numbers matched and the laptop was successfully recovered. The unsuspecting young lady who had purchased the ‘used Mac’ had no idea GadgetTrak was installed and monitoring. She told the detective that she purchased the laptop from someone for 600 peso (roughly $46), a pretty good deal for a one month old MacBook Pro.

This was not a quick recovery due to the international nature of the theft and sale, but it was returned to the rightful owner, after 414 days and 2,650 tracking reports later.

GadgetTrak Announces First Mobile Security & Tracking Application for the Amazon Kindle Fire
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PORTLAND, OR– September 11, 2012 – GadgetTrak, the leading innovator of theft recovery and data protection solutions, today announced compatibility with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the first mobile security and data protection solution for Amazon’s flagship device and a partnership with Skyhook, Inc. to enable accurate location on its Kindle Fire app. GadgetTrak Mobile Security brings location tracking, remote alarm activation, encrypted backup and data wipe to the Kindle Fire line of devices.

The patent-pending GadgetTrak Mobile Security platform is the first cross-platform mobile security applications that not only tracks stolen devices, but empowers device owners and administrators with the ability to encrypt, backup and wipe sensitive data from devices. Since launching last year GadgetTrak Mobile Security has won awards from CTIA, MIT, Mobile Star and others.

To build the best of breed application GadgetTrak partnered with Skyhook for location services and Urban Airship for push notifications. Utilizing the combination of services, GadgetTrak Mobile Security provides reliable location and near-instant activation while conserving battery life on the device.

“GadgetTrak is a great example of an innovative use of our technology, utilizing our location services to provide tracking across platforms regardless of the device they are using.” said Maggie Taylor, marketing manager at Skyhook. “GadgetTrak’s implementation provides consistent location quality across all types of devices while saving on battery life.”

“The loss of mobile devices is quite stressful for consumers as we’ve all become so attached to them,” said Mike Herrick, vice president of engineering, Urban Airship. “GadgetTrak offers an elegant solution to track devices down and minimize the exposure of personal information, and we’re happy to power cross-platform push messaging for it.”

GagetTrak Mobile Security is available for Kindle users as a direct download from GadgetTrak’s website and will be available in the Amazon Marketplace soon.

About GadgetTrak
GadgetTrak is an innovator of location tracking and data protection solutions for laptops, smartphones, and portable media devices. The company’s award winning, cross-platform GadgetTrak software delivers the most advanced tracking and data protection available for consumers and businesses today. This year the company was named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Top 100 Brilliant Companies” and has won awards from CTIA, MIT and the Mobile Star Awards for their innovative security solutions.

About Skyhook, Inc.
Skyhook is the worldwide leader in location positioning, context and intelligence. In 2003, Skyhook pioneered the development of the Wi-Fi Positioning System to provide precise and reliable location results in urban areas. Today, Skyhook provides positioning to tens of millions of consumer mobile devices and applications. For more information visit

GadgetTrak Recovers Stolen Laptops & Unveils Identity Theft Ring – Phoenix, Arizona
Thursday, June 21, 2012

A mortgage company based in Phoenix, Arizona purchased a business pack and installed GadgetTrak on all of the firm’s computers. Two weeks ago their offices were hit and multiple laptops were stolen, along with customer files and other property. Thanks to GadgetTrak one of the computers started sending back location data and photos of one of the suspects almost immediately. The police were able to move in quickly and recover the device and arrest one of the suspects. After a few more days another device started sending back information, the police moved in to recover the device and it ended up being the leader of an identity theft ring. In addition to the laptop many of the customer files stolen during the burglary and drugs were discovered.

This case like many we deal with involved methamphetamine, something we have learned is a key influencer to the rate of property crimes. When we see cases like this we believe it is a tragedy, people who would not normally be involved in criminal activity are driven by addiction and desperation. Laptops, mobile phones and other devices are often targets for meth users as they can easily be sold or directly traded for meth and identity theft is also an easy way to get money quickly for the drug. We have made another donation to The Meth Project, as we believe it is a great organization providing a great service educating people particularly kids about the dangers of meth use. Our goal is to help prevent theft and keep our customers devices and data safe and this is just another way to accomplish this mission.

GadgetTrak Recovers Laptop Stolen During Burglary – Pomona, CA
Monday, June 11, 2012

In May, GadgetTrak customer Ben’s house was robbed in West Covina, California and his new Toshiba Satellite laptop was taken along with several other possessions from his family’s home. Within 24 hours the GadgetTrak software started sending information back to Ben including location and photos of a suspect. The device was tracked to campus housing at the California State Polytechnic University.

The West Covina police acted on the information GadgetTrak provided and recovered the laptop this past weekend. The suspect claimed to have purchased the laptop from someone in a parking lot, however the investigation is ongoing. We are just happy that Ben got his laptop back and hopefully the clues GadgetTrak provided can help recover the rest of his family’s possessions and bring thieves to justice.

GadgetTrak Recovers Laptop Stolen During Burglary – Albuquerque, NM
Thursday, May 17, 2012

GadgetTrak customer Chris Ortiz recovered his mother’s stolen laptop after burglars reportedly stole $4,000 worth of items including an HP laptop with GadgetTrak installed. GadgetTrak captured photos and location of suspect Diego Torres. It wasn’t the first Chris Ortiz’s mother had her home burglarized, so he decided to be proactive and installed the software to help his mom and it paid off.

“As I was driving I remembered I had installed tracking software on the computer I had given her, I activated the software,” Ortiz said. “After a couple times of him opening it I was able to see his house, his bedroom and then I got a photo of the guy himself.”

Copy of Diego Torres warrant


GadgetTrak Tracks Stolen Laptop From Burglary In Corvallis to Seattle
Thursday, April 26, 2012

A GadgetTrak customer in Corvallis, Oregon had his new 13″ MacBook Pro stolen from his house along with other valuables. After a few days after activating tracking, reports started coming in from the device along with photos. The laptop went on a bit of journey as it moved North all the way up into Canada. The stolen MacBook finally ended up at a Seattle, WA residence and the police recovered it just this week. The information has led to a continued investigation that is still ongoing, as the device appears to have been fenced along with other stolen property.

Camera Stolen During Brazen Craigslist Theft Tracked By CameraTrace
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In June of 2010 Eric posted items for sale on Craigslist before his move from Virginia to California. One of these items was his Canon EOS 7D. Shortly after posting someone called to to take a look at the camera and an appointment was made to meet at his home. He pulled the camera bag out which housed the camera and lenses and was opening it when the potential buyer snatched the bag from his hands and ran. Eric chased after him, but the thief jumped in a car where a driver was waiting and sped off.

A police report was filed with Detective J. S. Turner of the Fairfax County Police Department. They tried tracing the phone number that the thief had called from, but it mapped to a pre-paid SIM card. They tried tracking the IP address from the emails but that led them nowhere as well. Eric gave up and continued with his move believing he would never see his camera again. Then he heard about CameraTrace, he searched his stolen camera’s serial number and found several photos that were taken just weeks after it was stolen, posted on Flickr.

The photos were of a couple driving and smoking marijuana while driving in their car, apparently on their way to a concert. The Flickr profile provided additional information, we assisted police by providing additional information on the suspect including phone numbers, addresses, social media profiles and several other photos of the suspect including photos of him holding a gun and more photos of illegal drugs. We also found more photos taken by the suspect with several other cameras which were also provided to Fairfax County Police Department.

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