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Where is my commputer

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi Experts:

I beleive I have an odd questions.  Last March my office was broken into, and robbed.  We lost about seven computers.  Most of them were new machines being prepared for delivery to clients.  My personal machine was also taken.  The advantage I had was that I had some remote software on it.  I waited, and checked for almost a year, and just recently it has become active on the internet.  I was able to obtain an IP address, and couldn't help but log in, and watch what this person is doing with my computer (mostly face book).  My questions is:  Is there a way to obtain an exact physical location of the computer (since I have full access to it)?  I am familiar with the limitations of the IP address i.e. general location (city and state).  For example:  If I'm using a computer, is there a way to determine where I am?  I have requested my local law enforcement to assist with the IP address, but they aren't too excited to help.  I'm getting nowhere with them.  I'd like to be able to give them the physical address.  Any suggestions?  Once again, I am familiar with the process of tracking via IP.  I'm looking for something like a GPS on your computers (i.e.  where am I).
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Question by:sntrouble07
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jamietoner earned 500 total points
ID: 34896293
If you can see they are on facebook you should be able to get there name which will help with the police. Here's a video from a "hacker" who had a similar situation and I believe it can help you out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4oB28ksiIo
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by:sntrouble07
ID: 34896308
It appears to be an office/company.  I do have the name of the facebook user, but I don't beleive it to be the owner.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 34896378
If you can install software via your remote connection without the user on the other end being aware this may help.
http://www.absolute.com/en/lojackforlaptops/home.aspx
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by:jamietoner
ID: 34896385
If it is an office/company their IT staff must suck since they never wiped the machine clean.
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Author Comment

by:sntrouble07
ID: 34896455
Ok.  I'll try it later today.  Thank you.
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Author Comment

by:sntrouble07
ID: 34912660
Well, I continue to not get a return phone call from the detective (claiming to be) working the case.  I did access the PC, and install the $40.00 "Absolute" software JamieToner suggested.  Unfortunately it works very similiarly to the ip address.  It does seem to narrow the location, but not by much.  I was really dissapointed with that.  Any additional help would be great.  I think if I give my (less than savvy) detective an address, it would help.  I've also installed a key logger.  We'll see how it goes.  Any other suggestions are very much appreciated.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 34913810
Have you contacted Absolute so they can get their recovery team involved?
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Author Comment

by:sntrouble07
ID: 34915483
I have not.  I will call them today, but I expect to ask for my money back.  Unless I'm wrong, it appears as though they will provide law enforcement with the ip address because they are unable to get a physical location.  I have already provided the police with that information.  I will confirm with Absolute before I request my money back.  I did get a phone call from the Detective this morning.  He claims to be waiting for the requested subpeona, and search warrant.  Good thing it's not a notebook, we'd never find them at this rate.  Once again, any additional assistance in finding a "physical address" via the ip, would be appreciated.  Thanks.  I'll update you with what Absolute says.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 34918747
The only way I know of to turn an ip address into a physical address is through the isp and that requires the subpoena that the detective is getting. Absolute is suppose to be the best in the business so I'll be interested in hearing how they respond. They specialize on laptops but I don't see why it would work with desktops, in fact it should be easier since they aren't really mobile.
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by:Contigo1
ID: 35006370
If you can access the Command prompt on the machine run ipconfig /all this will show the physical address for the NIC. If this does'nt work you can get it by going to Control pannel>Network and Internet>Network Connections then double click on the adapter and click details. The MAC address will be listed then.


Once you have the MAC address you can try doing somthing like is posted on this site

http://coderrr.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/get-the-physical-location-of-wireless-router-from-its-mac-address-bssid/
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