GadgetTrak Blog

CameraTrace Recovers Stolen Camera & Wedding Photos After Hotel Theft
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

David Hoskerman and his family went to Florida for a wedding, staying at the high end Doral Country Club a well known stop on the PGA tour. David borrowed his father-in-law’s Nikon D80 and lenses ( valued at $5K ) to take photos at the wedding for the couple. David then left the camera in his room after the wedding as they enjoyed their remaing time in Florida. Then the unthinkable happened, a series of rooms were broken into in the hotel including David’s and the camera was stolen from. Several other rooms were also hit with laptops and other equipment taken with no evidence left behind, the police were at a dead end.

David found and contacted us, he uploaded several photos and we was able to extract valuable information assisting the detective working on the case to track the stolen camera down on Craigslist. The police setup a sting operation and recovered the camera at a McDonalds, along with other stolen property from the hotel. Not only did David get his camera back, but the wedding photos were still on the camera. GadgetTrak not only helped recover a stolen camera, but a lot of other stolen property and more importantly priceless memories of a couple’s special day.

Doral police were able to recover the camera as well as lenses and memory card with priceless photos.

GadgetTrak Recovers Phone Stolen From Wireless Store In 2 Hours
Monday, February 20, 2012

Yesterday a Sprint store in Grants Pass, Oregon had a display Samsung Epic 4G phone stolen. The device was removed from the secure cradle with a special tool, the surveillance video showed a suspect who had hit their store before, but this time they had another weapon in their arsenal. GadgetTrak Mobile Security is installed on all of the store’s demo units.

Immediately after staff realized the phone was stolen they activated GadgetTrak before they called police. Once activated we tracked the perpetrator to an Applebees nearby. The police moved in, once they pulled into the Applebees parking lot, the perpetrator ran leaving the newly purloined phone behind.

The police are still investigating the theft and now know who the thief is. The entire recovery took less than 2 hours from theft to recovery thanks to GadgetTrak Mobile Security, which is a new record for us. The Sprint store was able to act quickly, enabling tracking themselves and were able to provide the GPS coordinates to police over the phone as they changed.

The fact that GadgetTrak provides actionable intelligence right when the crime takes place has proven to be a significant factor in the recovery process. We are able to provide police with information immediately without requiring search warrants, or subpoena’s which in this case would have caused significant delay with today being President’s Day the process would not have started until tomorrow after which the phone would be long gone.

How GadgetTrak Handles Contact & Photo Backups
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It was recently discovery that social media startup Path has been uploading contact information to their servers without its users’ consent. The discovery was by Arun Thampi using Aldo Cortesi’s excellent mitmproxy tool which allows researchers to intercept data transmitted by apps to remote servers even if being sent via SSL. This discovery has led to quite an outrage online, as users were not told their address books were being uploaded to Path’s servers. To make matters worse if your contact information is on your friend’s phone your contact details including phone number are now sitting on Path’s servers. The information was not encrypted and there is no word yet how the information was being protected on the servers.

Mobile privacy is something that we hear at GadgetTrak anticipated and worried about early on. GadgetTrak Mobile Security uploads your photos and contacts to our servers, however we encrypt the data on your device with a privacy key that you choose with AES 246 bit encryption before data is transmitted over a secure connection. This model of backup is often referred to as “host proof” backup where not even we have access to our customer’s data. For example if we were subpoenaed for back up data by a government agency all we could provide is an encrypted blob, only our customer has the key to decrypt the data.

This approach helps ensure the privacy of our customers on several levels, first by not even allowing any employees access to the data. This ensures that your data is not used for any other purposes and ensures your data is kept private from ANY prying eyes. Second, if our systems were compromised the damage would be minimal as an attacker would not be able to do much with the encrypted data. This is just one step we have taken to help ensure the privacy and security of our customers, if you have questions regarding how we secure your data feel free to contact us.

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