track a stolen laptop via rsync

Stuart Halliday StuartH at
Fri Oct 20 09:14:02 GMT 2006

> 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.)?

Record the ip address and exact time of the incoming packet and use
'Visual Whois' to see where the isp are in the world?


Print out the pretty pictures via Google Maps to see where the ISP is and
tell the Police. Basically help out the police by getting as much info as

They should be able to visit the ISP, examine their logs and get the
account details of the current user of that IP address.

Then the police can visit the home.
If it's a regular switch on every night, the police may be able to catch
the user red handed! They'll like that concept...

If the IP address is via ADSL or cable then it may be constant for a few
days. Did you leave a backdoor in your laptop? If you did, you could log
in and screw it up? :-)
Please note I'm not suggesting you infect the laptop with viruses. Honest
I'm not, no really I'm not... ;-)

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