GadgetTrak Blog

Clarion West Writers Workshop Laptop Theft – Follow Up Letter
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We received a nice letter today from Clarion West Writers Workshop:

Thank you so much for your gift of GadgetTrak for the PC, Clarion West has passed this gift on to the students whose laptops were stolen on July 4, 2008.

Because of your generosity, the students have gone from feeling stunned and devastated to feeling supported, encouraged and deeply appreciative of the big-hearted people in the Sci-Fi writing community. The emotional support from the community was as important to the students as the monetary support in getting the workshop back on track.

GadgetTrak iPhone Edition – Theft Recovery App For The iPhone
Saturday, July 26, 2008

We are happy to announce the success of the first GadgetTrak iPhone Edition beta, we are getting closer to launching. GadgetTrak iPhone Edition will work with both the iPhone as well as iPod Touch. GadgetTrak is utilizing the latest location capabilities of the iPhone platform to provide location information of your device in the event it is stolen.

Depending on the device you own location data will provide different levels of accuracy.For first generation iPhones, GadgetTrak will utilize the iPhone’s ability to identify location utilizing wi-fi networks in the area, the accuracy will vary, but in an urban area will provide accuracy within a 100 meter radius. If no wi-fi network is available and it is an iPhone, the cell towers will be used to triangulate location of the device as accurately as possible. With the new iPhone 3G, GPS is built-in to the device, GadgetTrak takes advantage of this to provide the precise location of where the device is over time.

We have a few other features which we may launch with version 1.0, or possibly in a later release, we will keep you posted. The application will be available in the iPhone App Store very soon, we will have a direct link on our site when it is posted.

iPhone Theft On The Rise – GadgetTrak To The Rescue
Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Daily News New York wrote a recent article discussing the fact that muggers are getting younger and they say the iPhone is to blame.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly stated “The explosive popularity of these devices has also made them inviting targets for thefts. Teens are commonly the culprits as well as the victims.

Juveniles accounted for 29% of the 7,340 robbery arrests and 27% of the 4,566 grand larceny busts this year, an 8% jump in each category compared to this time last year, police said.

Electronics – mostly iPhones, iPods and Sidekicks – were the stolen booty in 20% of the robbery arrests and 12% of the grand larceny arrests.

“A kid taking out an iPhone and using it is like waving around $300,” a cop source said. Kids agree.

In some cases, young thieves simply wanted their own iPhone. Older, more adept crooks could be trolling for personal data stored in iPhones – a shortcut to identity theft, other experts said.

GadgetTrak will be launching their iPhone theft recovery solution very shortly, the software will support both the iPhone as well as the iPod Touch adding to their existing solutions for classic iPods, mobile phones and laptops.

Clarion West Laptop Theft – Community Steps Up
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Seattle science fiction workshop Clarion West had four student laptops stolen from their residence hall on July 4th. Sci-fi writer and blogger Cory Doctorow alerted the community regarding the theft and donations to assist with the purchase of new laptops for these students flooded in.

We are happy to announce that GadgetTrak has donated GagdetTrak for Windows theft recovery software to these students to install on their new systems and data to protect it from any future thefts.

The loss of the equipment is quite a big deal considering is immense for these students as Doctorow mentions “Clarion West (like Clarion in San Diego) is a grueling, six-week intensive boot-camp for science fiction writers. Students often quit their jobs and save for years to attend and it goes without saying that they can hardly absorb the cost of a new laptop in the middle of the workshop”

Thankfully the community has come together to help replace the equipment, but one wonders what the data on these devices was worth, not in terms of monetary value, but value to the students whose works were on these systems, one can only imagine that it is irreplaceable. I can’t even fathom the work it takes to write a novel and the frustration of having it on a stolen laptop if there was no backup would be frustrating to say the least.

We wish the students the best and hope they write some amazing stuff on their new (and now protected)  systems, may we suggest a cutting edge science-fiction-mystery-thriller involving gadget tracking software ? ;-)

GadgetTrak Featured On King 5 News
Monday, July 21, 2008

Stolen Fort Lewis Stolen Laptop Recovered
Saturday, July 12, 2008

A 17-year-old Lacey, Washington teen faces a charge of possession of stolen property for allegedly stealing a laptop computer containing the personal information of about 800-900 Fort Lewis soldiers. Police said it does not appear that any data on the computer has been accessed.

The teen was detained after Tumwater police uncovered items from vehicle prowls, including the laptop, Tumwater police stated. On the 4th of July an Army employee reported to Lacey police that someone had taken a laptop and a 500-gigabyte removable hard drive that he left on the seat of his truck. The employee told police there was no classified information on the computer or hard drive. Still, officials were notifying soldiers out of concern that the case might put them at risk for identity theft, post spokeswoman Catherine Caruso said.

Tumwater police say the laptop was recovered after the 17-year-old called police on July 5th to report that his wallet had been stolen. The officers reportedly found marijuana in the boy’s possession and obtained a search warrant for his car, she said. Officers allegedly found stolen property and arrested the boy on suspicion of first-degree possession of stolen property, possession of less than 40 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, she said.

The next day, Tumwater police searched a Lacey residence where the boy was staying and reportedly found more property from a number of vehicle prowls. The property included financial documents, identification, credit cards, checkbooks, cameras, cell phones and golf clubs.

This raises some serious concerns regarding military security. Granted the data was stated to not have been confidential, however that a military laptop and external hard drive was stolen from an unlocked vehicle and was fond along with other stolen property including digital cameras, cell phones and other data raises serious concerns regarding endpoint security strategies. Many IT Directors still do not register the threat posed by mobile devices and lifestyle electronic devices in their enterprise.

The police and the military got lucky with this recent recovery. However, if GadgetTrak were installed on the laptop and external hard drive as well as the other devices such as mobile phones that were discovered at the perpetrators residence, the odds of recovery would have been greater as would the speed which the devices were recovered.

CIO Magazine – GadgetTrak: Tools for Road Warriors
Monday, July 7, 2008

CIO Magazine republished a story featuring GadgetTrak as a “Useful Tool For Road Warriors”

Laptop Theft & Sony PSP Theft Leads To Double Murder
Friday, July 4, 2008

Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, two French exchange students who were killed in London.

We hear a lot of stories regarding  gadget thefts, from stolen laptops, iPod theft, mobile phone thefts. Some are even quite brutal where “iMuggings” occur and violence is used in the process of stealing devices. However, never have we heard of such a brutal story involving the theft of gadgets that what has occurred in London.

Two French students were brutally murdered in London, apparently in a burglary gone horribly wrong. Two Sony PSPs belonging to the two victims were stolen from their flat. The same flat was burglarized six days prior and a Packard Bell laptop was taken from the flat, police believe the two events are related as it appears whoever stole the laptop returned with an accomplice.

The two victims were bound and gagged and stabbed more than 200 times, shocking police regarding the brutal act when the bodies were discovered on Sunday night.

This is one instance where I really wished GadgetTrak  was installed on the devices, although it would not bring the victims back or help the families of the deceased, it would help identify who commited the crime and bring them to justice.

Source: The Guardian

USB Flash Drive Containing Miltary Data Stolen, Recovered…Then Lost Again.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Japan’s military has confessed to losing a USB device that contained troop deployment maps for a joint Japan-US military exercise. Stay with me here, the USB drive was stolen, recovered, then accidentally thrown away.

In February of last year, a captain of Japan’s ground forces stole the memory stick along with 2,000 yen in cash and a 10,000 yen airline coupon. Japan’s military previously announced a one month suspension for the apprehended officer for stealing the cash and coupon, but never mentioned the USB drive to the public.

According to officials , the force withheld the information because they didn’t want people on the internet searching for the data. To make matters worse a lieutenant colonel borrowed this very USB device and lent it to a sergeant first class. The sergeant left it on his desk, where it was then accidentally tossed IN THE GARBAGE.

All three were reprimanded according to the GSDF. The data in question is considered sensitive, but not touchy enough to pursue criminal penalties just for losing it. The device has still not been recovered.

In both cases GadgetTrak USB would have phoned home with information regarding where the device was, who had it and other information. This would have helped to recover the device in both instances and ensure that the device was “simply lost” and did not actually find its way into nefarious hands.

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