Lost or Stolen Laptop – Get it Back With Adeona (Maybe)

Survey results released this past week by The Ponemon Institute, which was sponsored by Dell, indicates that more than 10,000 laptops are lost, or stolen, each week at U.S. airports. Are you as surprised as I am?

Not surprised? Well, how about this astonishing statistic from the same survey: 65% of these lost or stolen laptops are not reclaimed, despite the fact that half the laptops contain confidential corporate information.

One can only hope that the data on these laptops was encrypted, although it seems when we read news stories about a lost or stolen laptop, the pattern seems to be as follows; – 200,000 (insert your own number here), bank account numbers, Social Security Numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth were on an unencrypted laptop stolen/lost earlier this week.

Other available statistics indicate that a laptop is stolen, not lost but stolen, every 53 seconds and 97% of stolen laptop computers are never recovered.

So what can you do to increase the probability that should your laptop be lost or stolen, you have a better chance that it will be returned to you, than the above statistics indicate?

Adeona is a newly released small software client for tracking the location of a lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary central service, and which is offered free by the Open Source community.

The developer’s website describes the application as follows:

Adeona is designed to use the Open Source OpenDHT distributed storage service to store location updates sent by a small software client installed on an owner’s laptop. The client continually monitors the current location of the laptop, gathering information (such as IP addresses and local network topology) that can be used to identify its current location.

The client then uses strong cryptographic mechanisms to not only encrypt the location data, but also ensure that the cipher texts stored within OpenDHT are anonymous and unlinkable. At the same time, it is easy for an owner to retrieve location information.

Stolen Laptop Pic from an onboard camera.

Quick facts:

  • Private: Adeona uses state-of-the-art cryptographic mechanisms to ensure that the owner is the only party that can use the system to reveal the locations visited by a device.
  • Reliable: Adeona uses a community-based remote storage facility, ensuring retrievability of recent location updates.
  • Open source and free: Adeona’s software is licensed under GPLv2. While your locations are secret, the tracking system’s design is not.
  • The Mac OS X version can capture pictures of the laptop user or thief using the built-in iSight camera.

System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X, Linux

Download at the developer’s web site: Adeona

Please note: I have been advised that these files are currently available for download.

For a primary on what happens to stolen information read, Another Advantage of Credit Cards, on my good friend TechPaul’s Blog


Filed under Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Mobile Applications, Open Source, Software, Surveilance Tools, Surveillance, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

2 responses to “Lost or Stolen Laptop – Get it Back With Adeona (Maybe)

  1. vajorie

    the files are unavailable for some reason. it’s weird. I wonder if they found a severe security vulnerability or something.

  2. Kris

    You can get it back!

    Putting a Rewarding Return label on your laptop can get it back safe and sound. It clearly states on the label “REWARD IF RETURNED” that way the finder has an incentive to return it.

    Plus, Rewarding Return pays for all the shipping and handling to get it back for you. It’s a great deal!