track a stolen laptop via rsync

Aaron Morris aaronwmorris at
Thu Oct 19 23:46:59 GMT 2006

On 10/19/06, Jan-Benedict Glaw <jbglaw at> wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-10-19 12:19:57 -0700, jerrytown <folch at> wrote:
> > My wife's Windows XP laptop was stolen a couple days ago.  Every night the
> > computer automatically preforms an rsync to a Debian Linux computer (the
> > dumb-dumbs didn't steal that).  My question: if the laptop successfully
> > connects to the Linux box can you think of anyway I can use this fact to
> > track the computer (maybe an IP address from its location., etc.)?
> Sure. Get the IP address and the exact timestamps of the session. Then
> use whois to find out about the carrier this IP address belongs to.
> Then email their abuse account (usually abuse at and ask
> them for help.  If they're unwilling (most probably), go to the
> nearest police station with your evidence.
> MfG, JBG

I suppose this is way off topic, but anyway....

The police may not be much help since they are probably more concerned
with "more important cases."  Though, you definitely need to file a
police report.

If the ISP will not help you, which is probably not likely, find
yourself a lawyer.  A lawyer will be able to use the courts to compel
the ISP to reveal the identity of the person on their network
(probably using something like the "John Doe" lawsuits the RIAA is
using against file-sharers).

You probably won't get to send them to jail since [me thinks] this
would be a civil case, but you might be able to recover some of what
was stolen.

Aaron W Morris (decep) <aaronwmorris at>

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