Web cam images undo MacBook thieves
You've been iFramed
A pair of clueless US crooks were brought to justice when they went online using an Apple employee's stolen laptop.
Edmon Shahikian, 23, of Katonah, and Ian Frias, 20, of the Bronx district of New York, were arrested and charged with burglary and possession of stolen property after their victim tracked them down. Kait Duplaga, who works in an Apple store, traced the duo thanks to software application installed on her stolen Mac, the New York Times reports.
Along with the Mac another laptop, flat-screen TVs and computer games, DVDs, MP3 players and a set of car wheel hubs were stolen in a burglary at the apartment Duplaga shared with two other people in White Plains last month. Almost all the stolen booty was recovered when police arrested Shahikian and Frias.
Duplaga used a feature called "Back to My Mac" to gain remote access to her laptop when the dynamic duo used it to surf the net. She saw that the pair of crooks were shopping for beds. Surreptitiously she activated a camera on her laptop which she used to take a picture of Frias, using an application called PhotoBooth. One of Duplaga's flatmates knew Frias, who attended a house party shortly before the break-in - a factor that led to his undoing when Duplaga turned over his picture to the police. ®
Keeping your laptop secure and garded by a "traditional system" is great but many laptop users only actually got a portable computer because it's, erm, portable! But otherwise yeah, my desktop pc weighs a tonne and is secured in a cupboard. It wouldnt be worth the burglar's time to free it (2nd hand value of an out of date cheap supermarket PC isnt all that...!).
Correction and why this is not so special
@Daniel B: RemoteDesktop terminates the current user session when it connects, so that is not going to help you much if you want to monitor someone else's session without them knowing.
The technology to accomplish this in a much more effective and automatic way than the way demonstrated with the Mac is not complex, it's just not commonly installed.
This will probably change pretty soon, for example what Lenovo is bundling with a lot of their new models:
@ Daniel B
The advantage of using Goto MyPC / LogmeIn type programs is that they don't require you to A/ Know the IP of the machine and B/ Have any port forwarding set up on the NAT router.