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RE: Stolen laptop - how to increase security?

> I once ran across an old DOS utility that did something like
> this.  IIRC  It
> embedded itself into the bootsector and upon a certain keycombe it would
> throw a serial number onto the screen and play an audio code through the
> speaker (in case th monitor was no longer usable for whatever
> reason).  You
> were supposed to register the serial number with the company that produced
> the utility.  I think I still have the disk somewhere - I'll see if I can
> locate it.

I am really interested in setting up a system that catches the stealer while
in the act of stealing. I didn't find (yet) any system that does that.

I was thinking of something like that:

What about setting a system such as when the laptop is unused for a while,
instead of using normal apm service and suspend the machine, makes it run an
xlock, disable the apm services in a way such that they do not suspend the
machine automatically and start a 'laptop-protection daemon'. When the xlock
disappears, the daemon is stopped and the apm services are restarted (so you
might use the apm services yourself).

In the case somebody unpluggs the machine while under the xlock (without
giving the password), then the daemon would detect it and could start doing
some preventive action, such as:
- playing a sound with maximum volume saying "I am getting stolen".
- this daemon could also register to a fixed local server and do a ping
every now and then. If the ping stops before the daemon unregister to the
server, then server then can take other actions, such as sending SMS
message, starting a video camera, in the room, etc.
- other thing ?

The apm services down would make the stealer unable to use the hot keys to
suspend/stop the machine, isn't it?

This can easily be set in place I think. What do you think of that? I don't
think it is difficult to write.

> > I would appreciate any idea that could help us to increase our security.
> This idea might not decrease the odds of the laptop being stolen, but it
> will increase the chances of getting it back.  Open up the machine and
> engrave some sort of ID (driver's license number, SSN, whatever) onto a
> couple of places *inside* the case.  If your floppy / CDROM drives are the
> easily removable type, engrave them too (carefully, please).


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