GadgetTrak Blog

GadgetTrak Expands Advanced Theft Recovery for Windows with Location from Skyhook Wireless
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Advanced Theft Recovery Software for Windows® using Wi-Fi Positioning & Flickr® Integration

PORTLAND, OR and BOSTON, MA – April 28, 2009- GadgetTrak Inc., innovators of anti-theft and data protection solutions for mobile devices, today announced the launch of PC-Trak for Windows. PC-Trak includes location-awareness from Skyhook Wireless’ Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) and integration with Flickr® to capture the location and photos of laptop thieves.

“Due to customer demand we have ported our advanced privacy-safe tracking technology which we pioneered on the Mac platform over to Windows. The software is design for the latest Windows based netbooks and laptops that have integrated web cameras and Wi-Fi,” said Ken Westin, founder & CTO of GadgetTrak Inc.

According to the Open Security Foundation, 32% of reported data breaches in 2008 were the result of a lost or stolen mobile device. As consumers carry more mobile devices, the risk of device theft increases. PC-Trak adds to GadgetTrak’s arsenal to protect today’s most popular mobile devices by enabling both PC and Mac users to track where their system is, who has it and even what they’re wearing.

“GadgetTrak provides highly accurate location lookups in urban areas and indoors, where laptops are most used after theft,” said Kate Imbach, director of marketing at Skyhook Wireless. “With today’s announcement, PC users are now able to take advantage of GadgetTrak’s highly effective theft-recovery solution.”

When a PC-Trak enabled netbook or laptop is stolen, the device owner can remotely activate tracking. GadgetTrak’s patent-pending software will then determine the location of the device with 10-20 meters of accuracy using WPS. The software will also use the system’s integrated web camera to capture images of the thief and send it with location and network information directly to the device owner’s Flickr and email accounts. The data will continue to be sent over time until tracking is disabled. PC-Trak supports Windows XP and Windows Vista, with Windows 7 support in beta.

About GadgetTrakBased in Portland, Oregon, GadgetTrak Inc. provides innovative and patented theft recovery and data protection solutions for mobile devices. GadgetTrak protects a wide-range of mobile platforms including Mac®, Windows®, iPhone®/iPod®, BlackBerry®, Windows Mobile® and portable media devices. For more information visit or call 1-888-594-TRAK (8725).

MacTrak Testimonial
Sunday, April 26, 2009

We received a great customer testimonial this weekend from Paul Richard

” All is working great! It successfully captured my image and sent it to both my gmail account and my flickr account. Excellent! Thanks for such an amazing piece of technology/software. You can be sure I will be singing your praises – for both the product and the great tech support – to all my friends and colleagues. Now I can take that business trip on Tuesday with some added peace-of-mind about my new laptop. ” – Paul Richard

Burglars Target Office Building in L.A. – 60 Businesses Affected
Sunday, April 26, 2009

In a bold, systematic hit on a landmark Ventura Boulevard office building, burglars stole scores of computers from at least 60 businesses there, taking machines containing sensitive legal documents, credit card numbers and the tax information of thousands of people.

The theft at the Chateau Office Building in Woodland Hills left accountants, a talent agent, property management companies, attorneys and other businesses in the three-story structure scrambling to assess their losses as police scoured the premises.

Deputy Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said that computers, some files and other items were taken from the 60 businesses.

The theft appears to be targeting data, as it was only computers that were stolen and the thieves left behind other valuable equipment, including monitors, faxes, copiers and printers. Several business owners and law enforcement concluded that the thieves’ target must have been the information contained on their hard drives, not property.

One business owner said the credit card numbers of 7,000 clients were stolen. Accountant Richard Levy said his stolen computer held the tax documents of 800 clients. Attorney Marshall Bitkower said only three computers were taken from his office, but “they had all kinds of stuff. Everything: people’s names, credit cards, clients, e-mails back and forth — who knows what.”

Source: L.A. Times

Cabinet data on stolen BlackBerry
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A BlackBerry sold by a homeless man to a student contains the personal details of cabinet ministers, top civil servants and police officers.  The police believe it was stolen from a car and that they have traced the owner, so far they believe the device was stolen  in September of 2006.

The student Darryl Curtis said it held hundreds of phone numbers, with data which led him to think it belonged to an ex-Sheffield council chief.

After paying £150 for the device, Mr Curtis discovered it held the numbers for Mr Balls, the Children’s Secretary, and the Foreign Secretary Mr Miliband, along with ex-deputy prime minister John Prescott.

Mr Blair’s number was not stored on the device. However, Mr Curtis said he found the National Insurance number, home address and computer passwords of a former chief executive of Sheffield City Council.

Public fears about the security of data held by public bodies have been heightened by a series of high-profile cases involving government departments and hospitals.

Had GadgetTrak Mobile Security been installed on this device, the government could have tracked the device as well as remotely wiped this sensitive information from it. According The Open Security Foundation, 32% of all data breaches are the result of a lost or stolen mobile device.

Source: BBC

Why GadgetTrak Practices Privacy Safe Tracking
Saturday, April 11, 2009

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.  But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” – 1984 George Orwell

We are often asked, why we choose to not have location, images and network data sent to our servers, or grant our staff access to customers’ systems. This is by design and has to do with our personal philosophies and a direct reaction to traditional theft recovery solutions which ask you to trade your privacy for security ( not unlike the Mafia ).

We have seen technology evolve at an alarming rate, our mobile devices have become smaller, smarter and more portable. The saturation of expensive portable electronic devices into our society makes them prime targets for thieves of course, particularly with the current economic downturn. However in addition to the portability of these devices, we have become more reliant on them, trusting these devices with our personal information, financial, medical and other sensitive information. To add to this complexity as these devices become more networked the data is many times not just stored on the device itself, but across vast data grids and across social networking sites.

This evolution of technology raises serious security and privacy concerns. Just a few years agowe would worried that a hackers or governments could track what websites we have visit, but now  mobile computing devices can track where we are at all times as well as use cameras to capture images of us. Today it is conceivable that we can be tracked wherever we go, both online and offline.

GadgetTrak has been a pioneer in the development of innovative solutions to curb device theft. GadgetTrak is the only company that has recovered stolen iPods using our patented tracking technologies.  GadgetTrak is also the first to combine the latest in wi-fi positioning with social media to assist in the recovery of devices, while still protecting your privacy. Competing theft recovery products rely on a more traditional and invasive methods, they have monitoring centers staffed with employees who can activate your web camera, access your files and other privacy and security intrusions. Some of these companies have had massive security oversights that have put their customers’ systems and identity at risk, many of these companies are not based in the U.S. and so many data protection laws that have been established to protect consumers are not recognized or respected and security and privacy are after thoughts in the product development.

When a company says that you should trust them with a backdoor into your system, you should consider what happend recently with U.S. Presiden Barack Obama.  Verizon employee accessed Obama’s mobile phone records, which is of course against Verizon’s policies and is highly illegal. Curiosity is a human trait, now imagine what could happen when an employee has access to thousands of customers systems including the ability to activate web cameras and access sensitive data. The weakest link in any security chain is the human one.

This software behaves similarly to what has been termed GhostNet which is a cyber-espionage network that infects computers for the purposes of providing a foreign government access to systems, the only difference is that instead of a government it is a company. As many of these companies are based outside the U.S. one could be paranoid and wonder if there would be any condition or situation where control of customer’s systems would be granted to government agencies, or what could occur if these companies monitoring center systems security is compromised and hijacked and given the security lapses by some this is more likely than one may think.

Some of these companies will say that they serve as the middle-men to your data and camera to better protect you, stating that only they know how to work with the police. This is a flat out lie. At GadgetTrak we also assist you in the recovery of devices and have an excellent recovery rate, being a U.S. based company we are also approached by law enforcement agencies regularly to provide assistance and training. The difference is that you get to choose what data is passed to us,  not a third-party, you are empowered to choose what happens to the data our software collects.  If a company is not transparent with what and how they are collecting data and say it is only they who can work with the police, you should be suspect.

GadgetTrak’s software has been designed to recover devices while still respecting privacy by not putting any back-doors into your systems, or having images, location or network data sent to us. You should never be asked to trade your privacy for security. At GadgetTrak we provide peace of mind, not only by ensuring the security of your devices, but also your privacy.

GadgetTrak Featured on KPTV Fox News 12
Monday, April 6, 2009

What I Learned from Having My Laptop Stolen
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tidbits writer and GadgetTrak customer David Blatner wrote a great article titled “What I Learned from Having My Laptop Stolen“. In the article David highlights why he chose GadgetTrak:

I would also recommend installing tracking software on your computer. Of the various options on the market, I picked MacTrak by GadgetTrak for my replacement computer based on several factors: I liked the company’s owner, whom I met at his Macworld booth; I don’t like the idea of a third-party company being the mediator between me and the tracking data (as other companies do); and I like the relatively simple and straightforward approach the software takes.

If my new laptop is stolen, I log into the GadgetTrak Web site and report it missing. The next time my computer pings their server, it sees the status and starts occasionally taking pictures (with the built-in iSight camera) and reporting its location (based on whatever Wi-Fi address the thief is using). Those photos and data go directly to me…

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    • Archives

    • Categories

    • Meta