I’ve always liked LogMeIn Free for its simplicity, productivity for my colleagues at work that I could support in many situations that I wouldn’t be able to support otherwise but I’ve never seen this coming… One day my colleague who had LogMeIn installed on his computer called me with bad news. His laptop got stolen from his car and Police basically said to not have his hopes up too much. So he asked me if maybe by some weird luck the computer still shows up in LogMeIn. Guess what? It did! Last connection date was fresh, IP was different so it had to be thief’s IP.
After checking IP it turned out to be static IP address which was bringing bad news for me. I knew some random thief just doesn’t get to get it easily so it had to be: work IP, some local neighborhood network or some other case. If it would be dynamic IP police work would’ve been easier as getting address information from internet provider is quite simple. Why would it be harder to find who’s on the static address? You’re just going to find out :-)
So my colleague handed over the IP address to Police and after multiple calls, 2 months of waiting at which nothing was getting done finally they got the address they needed. So they went there and as I suspected it was local neighborhood network Admin who didn’t had a clue about any laptop and he had over 70 customers under this one little IP address and no monitoring capabilities.So back to square one. As I saw this getting nowhere I decided it’s time to act. I knew of a software called Prey which is able to take screenshots, camera view, and get more detailed information about computer and trying to find geo-location according to Wi-Fi networks nearby. There was only one little tiny problem… application wasn’t on the computer when it was stolen. So after thinking a bit I’ve enabled trial version of LogMeIn Central, trial version of LogMeIn Pro on stolen machine without the guy even noticing things and by using prepared version of Prey (Thanks to Tomas Pollak) I was able to silently deploy and install Prey on stolen computer! After 20 minutes first reports started flowing. I was back in business! I was getting nice screenshots and information about current local IP addresses, the only thing was the laptop camera stayed blank. Oh well, this would have been funny to see thief working on the computer After a few days of getting screenshots I found multiple screenshots with his Skype, Facebook logged in with his Real Name. So quick glance at his profile brought up the name and where he works! I was so happy (felt like a hacker that day!) I didn’t even notice that the other screenshot was so unfortunate for the thief because he actually was ordering his room at some hotel giving all his information including address and telephone number!
It was enough to get police running but there was one little thing missing. The IP Address wasn’t matching with location of his address. So to not scare him off by entering house that wasn’t involved Police went to his work (turns out he was the owner of this small car workshop) and literally scared him enough to go to his “current” place of stay and admit about the laptop (at which at beginning he tried to lie about). With his lawyer he only agreed to plead guilty to buying the laptop from 2 unknown guys. Who would believe it? Well police had no choice. He was accused of fencing (if that’s the right word) and is going to face this at court. And the laptop you ask? It’s back at my colleagues hands, and I’ve got the bottle of booze for all trouble :-)
In the end there's one little thing to add. I am a little security concerned guy so most of my laptops are heavily secured with strong passwords and some of them are even encrypted... but the success of this story wouldn't be possible if My Colleague wouldn't use the one of the strongest passwords for username Adam... it was adam as well for password :-) Otherwise it would be just wiped out already and that way computer was used by thief for over 4months so he didn't' see that coming for a long time!
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