Monday, September 29, 2008

Just in time for school: free Adeona service tracks stolen laptops

news you can use:


Free Adeona service tracks stolen laptops

As college students head back to school with gleaming new laptops, some will, unfortunately, see the last of their machine in a library, cafeteria or dorm room. And it's not just college campuses that are hot spots for computer theft, or just students who are the targets.

Newspapers recently reported that airports in the United States record hundreds of thousands of laptop thefts annually. Such thefts are not only expensive, they also often mean losing sensitive data.

Researchers at the University of Washington and at the University of California, San Diego have created a new laptop theft-protection tool. The software not only provides a virtual watchdog on your precious machine – reporting the laptop's location when it connects to the Internet – but does so without letting anybody but you monitor your whereabouts.

The tool is named Adeona, after the Roman goddess of safe returns, and is posted at http://adeona.cs.washington.edu/.

It works by using the Internet as a homing beacon. Once Adeona is installed, the machine will occasionally send its Internet protocol address and related information to OpenDHT, a free online storage network. This information can be used to establish the computer's general location.

On a Macintosh computer, Adeona also uses the computer's internal camera to take a photo that it sends to the same server.







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