ipod touch and skyhook / track ip address

Posted on 2009-02-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-06
So my ipod touch got stolen, and I was looking up how to find it. Somehow, there is no possible way to find it except to report it stolen and hope the person tries to pawn it.

I was doing a lot of searching, and supposedly there is this software out there that will load onto your ipod touch, and it will report the ip address, computer name, and some other info when it is plugged into a different computer than you normally plug it into. The software actually stays on there if you restore the ipod. I didn't bookmark it and can't find it again.

So here are my questions:

1.) If I somehow had this software on my ipod before it got stolen, then I could only get my ip address, and I would have to supina their internet provider for the location. If it is so hard to find a location from an ip address, how does skyhook do it so easily? Skyhook is what ipods use when they have to use wifi and NOT G3 to find their current location. (Mapquest)

2.) If you can answer number one, I want to know if individuals can use various network information to pinpoint a location without corporate software?  (WITHOUT having to contact the internet provider). (or for free)

3.) Do internet providers always require a supina to get info?  I heard they sometimes just give out information if the threat is credible, or illegal activities are occurring.

You can also email jeffie@rams.colostate.edu

any single question answered would be appreciated.
Question by:jeffiepoo
  • 3

Expert Comment

ID: 23666418
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Accepted Solution

Eoin OSullivan earned 2000 total points
ID: 23667857
1. Skyhook uses a form of triangulation to locate the iPhone or Touch.  Every public WiFi mast has a unique identifier and the skyHook database has extensive information for WiFi mast locations in the US particularly.
Provided the device can locate more than one and preferably 3+ WiFi masts it is possible to quite accurately triangulate the position based on WiFi strength.

2. Yes, the iLocalis tool as the previous posting mentions (although this required a jailbroken iPhone).  I believe that there is also a program called Navizon that can SMS the location of the iPhone

3. ISPs and such are paranoid about breaching privacy so unless the information you require is EXCLUSIVELY your private information they are slow to assist.
Here's a story of a recovered stolen iPhone ..(and truck too!!) I guess it was the value of the truck that got the police to make the extra effort.

LVL 41

Assisted Solution

by:Eoin OSullivan
Eoin OSullivan earned 2000 total points
ID: 23667896
You might want to read a bit more of the legal arguments here .. and then get more frustrated as it confirms that AT&T and Apple are complicit in making NO effort to track or block stolen iPhones from being re-registered to new customers on their network.

If only products like this were already in the Apple Store


Author Comment

ID: 23668265
Well, they make no effort to "track or block stolen iPhones from being re-registered to new customers on their network" because it's good for business. The customer has to buy a new iphone, and the guy who stole it is now a customer. This is how it is for all cell phone companies.

JustWorking, it was not iLocalis, it was a program specifically for an itouch. It didn't track the location, it remotely sent you the ip address, hostname, computer name ect when it's plugged into a different computer.

Are there ABSOLUTELY no apps that use the "current location" feature on the built in maps app to remotely send you a location if it gets stolen?  An app like this would generate a LOT of money, and would be great. You could also have the app automatically take a picture when the accelerometer reports the thing is upside down and send this. Apparently you can even put software on a cracked ipod that won't get removed when you restore it. Why hasn't anyone done this yet?

My friend said he has apple care and they will track your phone for you and report it to the police - any comments on this?
LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 24343599
jhyiesla - the comments provided did answer the askers questions .. at least in part as there is not actual FIX to his lost iPhone problem.

Suggest a point allocation and split between ID:23667857, ID:23667896

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