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Adeona - Open Source System for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop

Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California San Diego have unveiled an open source technology that may enable people to recover missing or stolen notebook computers—and, in some cases, maybe even take pictures of the person(s) who stole it.

Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go — there's no need to rely on a single third party. What's more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner's choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. Unlike other systems, users of Adeona can rest assured that no one can abuse the system in order to track where they use their laptop.

Adeona is designed to use the Open Source OpenDHT distributed storage service to store location updates sent by a small software client installed on an owner's laptop. The client continually monitors the current location of the laptop, gathering information (such as IP addresses and local network topology) that can be used to identify its current location. The client then uses strong cryptographic mechanisms to not only encrypt the location data, but also ensure that the ciphertexts stored within OpenDHT are anonymous and unlinkable. At the same time, it is easy for an owner to retrieve location information.

Adeona has three main properties:
Private: Adeona uses state-of-the-art cryptographic mechanisms to ensure that the owner is the only party that can use the system to reveal the locations visited by a device.

Reliable: Adeona uses a community-based remote storage facility, ensuring retrievability of recent location updates.

Open source and free: Adeona's software is licensed under GPLv2. While your locations are secret, the tracking system's design is not.

OpenSuSe user can use "1-click" installer to install Adeona - here

Setup / Configure Adeona:
1. Initialize Adeona and set your personal password:
# /usr/sbin/adeona-init -r /usr/share/adeona/ -l /var/log/adeona/
2. Move the generated files into the proper directories:
# mv adeona-clientstate.cst adeona-retrievecredentials.ost /var/lib/adeona
IMPORTANT: Please don't forget to make a backup copy of your location-finding credentials: /var/lib/adeona/adeona-retrievecredentials.ost
4. Start the service and enable it for the preferred run levels.
# /etc/init.d/adeona start
How to retrieve the location:
# /usr/sbin/adeona-retrieve -r /usr/share/adeona/ -l /var/log/adeona/ -s /path/to/your/adeona-retrievecredentials.ost -n 1

NOTE: Adeona has pseudorandomly scheduled updates and there may not be any location information stored in OpenDHT yet. Please wait about 1 hour before trying to do a retrieval.

Adeona will work as long as it is allowed connections on port 80 (HTTP) and port 5852 (for OpenDHT). Note that these are also required to be open for retrieval. Additionally, if one wants nearby routers reported, then UDP packets should not be dropped (this allows performing traceroutes).


Ananth Gouri said...

Awesome article man... Thanks... I like some of your articles a lot... :)

sebsauvage said...

Adeona is not reliable. They even state on their homepage that they "are not encouraging new downloads of Adeona.".

That's why I created Pombo.
Feel free to have a look.

DevOps said...

Pombo looks kool, I will surely try it out and will post the details.

daniel said...

I am going to check it out, but I feel like the last three posts were the same person.

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