Monthly Archives: August 2009

Laptop Theft Tracking Software for Mac OS X

Over the past 2.5 years or so, I’ve been developing a piece of software that allows tracking a stolen Mac laptop (works for Desktops too, though they are obviously less likely to get stolen).
Once installed on your Mac, it starts contacting my server in regular intervals to check whether it has been armed through a Web GUI. If it is armed, it starts sending screenshots and iSight captures, as well as network information like internal and external IP and available wireless networks, which you can then provide to the police in order to aid recovery of your Mac. So in that regard, it is very similar to software like e.g. Orbicule’s Undercover.

After 3 major releases of LTT and beta testing on close to 200 computers, I can now say that version 3.0.4 is very stable and runs well on both Tiger and Leopard, has no known bugs and is ready for widespread use. My current server setup can (theoretically) handle around 10000 simultaneously active clients. If you’re interested in testing it or if you would like to give your Mac some additional theft protection, please contact me so that I can set you up with an account to use the service.

Frequently Asked Questions

How secure is LTT?
All communication is done over an SSL-encrypted connection, so it is protected from being spied on and not prone to things like ARP spoofing or DNS poisoning.

How do you prevent unauthorized access to my LTT account, which could potentially be used for spying?
As long as you keep your password secret, there is not a whole lot you need to worry about. However, if somebody were to break into my server, I obviously can’t guarantee for it 😉 .

Why am I not receiving screenshots?
If the screen is asleep, screenshots are apparently not possible – this is not a bug in my software, it’s probably due to the way Apple implemented WindowServer.

Why am I not receiving iSight captures?
Either  the camera is in use by a different program or the laptop is being operated with the clamshell closed.