Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

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Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

Postby timokugo » November 12th, 2012, 4:21 am

Hello all, My name is Timothy.
One week back, I lost my laptop a Dell Latitude D630 while at my University.
At University we have a wireless network with lots of Access Points.
I happened to have given my laptop a static IP address (172.16.1.43).
Therefore about 3 days back I used a software called WnetWatcher to search
for devices that were connected to the wireless network and I discovered my
laptop is one of them. This time with a different PC-Name (PETER), meaning the person
using the stolen laptop may be called Peter.

I talked to authorities who manage the network and I was told they cannot track such a person. Even if i have both the IP and MAC address of the laptop.

The background of our wireless network is that it is unsecured.

My question is that ; is there any way i can get to know the person who is using my laptop?
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Re: Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

Postby semicolo » November 12th, 2012, 9:05 am

I'm not a specialist but I think most access points should be able to list the connected devices and so you should be able to know on which access point your computer is connected, you then have a more restricted area to search.

Are you sure the IP is still linked to the right mac address? If I was to find a lost computer, first thing would be to reinstall the os and the fixed IP would be lost.
Also using fixed IPs on a university network is a bad idea, it's prone to collide with another computer.
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Re: Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

Postby ns9sjms0933j » November 13th, 2012, 12:32 pm

Hi, although I came to the forum for something else I saw the posting. I will say keep tracking for the IP in use so you know that someone at the university has your laptop. The laptop with a fixed ip can't be use just anywhere.
Once you are tracking the laptop you can ask the IT that manages the network for which access point is being used.
I believe you can continue investigating based on this idea.
If I am wrong then forgive me for intruding.
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Re: Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

Postby st2000 » November 13th, 2012, 7:19 pm

Fixed IP? At a university? That sound very unlikely. Ok, say it is as you say.

You can run "traceroute <IP_Number>". A staple command on just about any Unix or Linux system. This will get you back the IP numbers of all the "boxes" between you and the computer with that <IP_Number>. That is, if those boxes will respond. But even then, you would have to have some sort of knowledge of the network and where those boxes were. Sometimes the person setting up the network uses names that make sense. Like "comp_lab_2nd_floor". Other times they don't. Like "ciscio12394".

Next time consider installing a program that announces it's self. That way when the computer goes on line it will "say" where it's at. The best solutions use services which help track events even when you are not looking.

You didn't leave any back doors open. Say a telnet service or better an ssh service on an unusual port? Something so you could login when you saw it go on line?

-good luck
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Re: Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

Postby ChalkBored » November 14th, 2012, 10:12 pm

Traceroute is also known as the hacking tool tracert on Windows.
It should work the same way st2000 described.
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Re: Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

Postby slipfriction » November 17th, 2012, 4:11 pm

If you know the MAC address, why not fire up airodump-ng. Filter the MAC and watch the power levels, walk around until the strength peaks. It wont give you a pin point location but gets you as close as you can. Another advantage is that even if its not connected to the wifi network, you will still be able to see the nic probing for saved networks provided the card is on.

Same applies to bluetooth if you know the mac address, just sniff around! Good luck.
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Re: Can my lost laptop be tracked through a Wireless Network

Postby Willaim » December 29th, 2012, 10:48 pm

It is doubtful but I wonder if this guy ever found his laptop
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