Firefox Add-on: FireFound locates your computer if you lose it and protects your private data from identity theft. - HotUKDeals
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An essential add-on

* Grand Prize Winner of Extend Firefox 3.5 **

FireFound is an add-on for Firefox and Fennec (mobile Firefox) that helps your find your computer (or mobile phone, in the case of Fennec) if it is lost or stolen. Every time your computer's location changes, FireFound sends a secure message to a central server with its current location. You can then log into the server and see your computer's current location.

All of the location data is encrypted, so no one can find out where your computer is without your password.

If you lose your computer, you can tell FireFound to clear your personal data (saved passwords, browsing history, etc.) if anyone starts your browser before you can retrieve it.

You can even run your own FireFound server; all of the code is open-source.

Note: All geolocation data is approximate, and should only be used as a guideline. If your computer has been stolen, do not try to retrieve it yourself - alert the police.

All Comments

(25) Jump to unreadPost a comment
Comments/page:
#1
Kewl.

:pirate:CJ:pirate:
banned#2
Think I'll try it to see where it thinks my PC is right now :)
#3
Interesting. :thumbsup:
#4
Interesting idea. Heat added for the listing.

However, if I was going to steal a laptop the first thing I would do would be to disable the on-board wireless connectivity in case the rightful owner had this enabled on boot-up. I certainly I would not try to connect to the Internet using the previous owner’s details (even if they had left the user name & password automatically inserted into the recognised forms through the settings in Firefox; that I would recommend should also be protected with a “Master” password).

If the laptop has been stolen for re-sale & the contents are not important to the thief, they may well either just re-format the hard drive or simply replace it without ever accessing it.

I have not tried this as a feasible practice, but I have been considering a different approach based on hardware, rather than software (such as a Firefox Add-on, or any utility that requires the laptop to be switch on). I have been thinking about using a Global Positioning System Pet tracking device (like the microchips that can be inserted just under the skin of a dog or cat) & attaching one inside the laptop case.

Should your laptop be stolen you can then ring the dedicated line (or use the web site facility) to track the computer without it being powered-up or even connected to the Internet at all.

In many cases it is not the loss of the asset that is the most valuable part of laptop ownership; it is the data that you have upon it.

If you regularly take your laptop away from a fixed location (or even if you do not depending on your domestic physical security measures) some form of automated data encryption facility for the hard drive contents may well be worth considering.

Although Mobile telephone handsets may not be able to be protected like this (if the casing is unable to be opened, or in doing so you may void any warranty with the original manufacturer) but desktop-based computers, video games consoles, personal video recorders, Hi-Fi equipment, & so on can all be protected by the use of a GPS Pet tracking device.

BFN,

fp.
#5
fanpages
Interesting idea. Heat added for the listing.

However, if I was going to steal a laptop the first thing I would do would be to disable the on-board wireless connectivity in case the rightful owner had this enabled on boot-up.


I doubt you are the average laptop thief somehow, most will be trying to sell it to someone to get £50 for some drugs within a couple of hours of it being stolen and then the people they sell it to will be trying to pass it on to someone cheap and will most likely not wipe any data.

Anyhow, better way to make your data inaccessible is use the hard disk security lock which is available on all good laptops and makes the hard disk useless unless you are a data recovery company/CIA/MI5/Mossad or similar. Unless you had some very valuable data (i.e. worth tens of thousands) then you'd be safe, and if you did have such valuable data on your laptop I'd expect you to have made sure it was encrypted.
banned#6
fat-pudding;7076732
I doubt you are the average laptop thief somehow, most will be trying to sell it to someone to get £50 for some drugs within a couple of hours of it being stolen and then the people they sell it to will be trying to pass it on to someone cheap and will most likely not wipe any data.

Anyhow, better way to make your data inaccessible is use the hard disk security lock which is available on all good laptops and makes the hard disk useless unless you are a data recovery company/CIA/MI5/Mossad or similar. Unless you had some very valuable data (i.e. worth tens of thousands) then you'd be safe, and if you did have such valuable data on your laptop I'd expect you to have made sure it was encrypted.

I agree that most thieves wouldnt even know how to re-format etc

I do like the idea of possibly being able to trace the location of your laptop though ;-)
#7
It sounds a good idea, but it also sounds like it could be a security risk itself.
If some disgruntled employee of FireFound has the ability to erase passwords, browser history etc at any time, what's to say they don't have the ability to upload those details to their own machine?
banned#8
timbo995;7078640
It sounds a good idea, but it also sounds like it could be a security risk itself.
If some disgruntled employee of FireFound has the ability to erase passwords, browser history etc at any time, what's to say they don't have the ability to upload those details to their own machine?

cos the login details are encrypted. read the FAQ
#9
fat-pudding;7076732
I doubt you are the average laptop thief somehow, most will be trying to sell it to someone to get £50 for some drugs within a couple of hours of it being stolen and then the people they sell it to will be trying to pass it on to someone cheap and will most likely not wipe any data.

Anyhow, better way to make your data inaccessible is use the hard disk security lock which is available on all good laptops and makes the hard disk useless unless you are a data recovery company/CIA/MI5/Mossad or similar. Unless you had some very valuable data (i.e. worth tens of thousands) then you'd be safe, and if you did have such valuable data on your laptop I'd expect you to have made sure it was encrypted.





Or just encrypt your whole system using truecrypt, I use this on my netbook as its the more likely of my systems to go walkabouts, even before the OS will boot the pass must be entered and no data is recoverable, even I am lead to believe with specialist forensic tools if used right.

Like others have said the true value lies in the data rather than equipment.
#10
Sounds like a great idea, but I just read this review...


WARNING about using "emergency data protection"

WARNING! ** Read this before you try Firefound ** ... I tried Firefound and set the "emergency data protection plan" to delete my passwords. Sounded like a good idea. The next time I restarted the browser it brought up a dialog box that said I had 10 seconds (SERIOUSLY *10* SECONDS!) to enter my username and password. I blinked a couple times to see if I had read that right, then tried to enter my username and password as quickly as possible. Needless to say, I couldn't do that in 10 seconds, so I lost all of my stored passwords. They're gone.

I had thought it would give me multiple tries, warnings, etc., before deleting anything, but nope, just 10 seconds and it's all gone. None of this is explained anywhere on any documentation for the plug-in that I could find in the plug-in itself or the website (actually there is no documentation currently as far as I could find).

This plug-in is a neat idea, but in it's current form it's likely to cause data loss to unsuspecting users.

Rated 2 out of 5 stars by dave on December 1, 2009



I'd be a panicker, lol
#11
risky download
#12
I had this idea too a few years back (using a Spyware style hidden app to send it's IP to a logging location) but never bothered going any further-doh!

Seems the FF plugin also incorporates some unwanted security that's maybe flawed.

I'd be interested to know if stolen computers have ever been recovered due to this simple technology (providing an IP address that can be passed to the police).

As already mentioned, most burglars are not exactly IT savvy and will just flog the goods on for a few quid's drug money.

What is most beneficial about this is that, if the police can trace 1 stolen laptop back (tracing the eventual owner of the stolen laptop is easy) to one burglar they will possibly find a great deal more stolen items, linking maybe to other crimes.
banned#13
ChipSticks;7092203
Sounds like a great idea, but I just read this review...


WARNING about using "emergency data protection"

WARNING! ** Read this before you try Firefound ** ... I tried Firefound and set the "emergency data protection plan" to delete my passwords. Sounded like a good idea. The next time I restarted the browser it brought up a dialog box that said I had 10 seconds (SERIOUSLY *10* SECONDS!) to enter my username and password. I blinked a couple times to see if I had read that right, then tried to enter my username and password as quickly as possible. Needless to say, I couldn't do that in 10 seconds, so I lost all of my stored passwords. They're gone.

I had thought it would give me multiple tries, warnings, etc., before deleting anything, but nope, just 10 seconds and it's all gone. None of this is explained anywhere on any documentation for the plug-in that I could find in the plug-in itself or the website (actually there is no documentation currently as far as I could find).

This plug-in is a neat idea, but in it's current form it's likely to cause data loss to unsuspecting users.

Rated 2 out of 5 stars by dave on December 1, 2009



I'd be a panicker, lol

well, that idiot did set off the emergency clean so the plugin did exactly what it said on the tin lo

shows it works
soso;7114264
risky download

nice post - NOT! :whistling:
#14
You can argue forever about the usefulness of tracking / bugging / encryption to deal with laptop thefts. They all work up to a point - and no, thieves are not usually smart enough to avoid them.

But what if the thief does not use Firefox? So as much as I like the idea, I have to say it should be a stand alone program.
#15
Apparently my PC is just off the coast of Somalia :?
#16
jpwb
Apparently my PC is just off the coast of Somalia :?


How do you find the location of your PC?
I've tried opening the KLM file with Google Earth - doesn't load anything...
banned#17
[SIZE="6"][SIZE="6"]heat[/SIZE][/SIZE]thanks
#18
I just started using firefox and I was going to go get this but after reading some of the posts I just might not!!!!
#19
Note: All geolocation data is approximate, and should only be used as a guideline. If your computer has been stolen, do not try to retrieve it yourself - alert the police.


Yh, right! I'll wrap network cable around my body and two desktop hard drives across both lungs and shout MAXIMUM ARMOR and run to the location with a cricket bat. Get a few of my friends to join me dressed similarly and then even better!
#20
Just installed it on my PC to see how effective it is.

I live in Edinburgh and it seems to think that my PC is is about 2 miles away, in a part of Edinburgh that isn't even served by my telephone exchange.

Either I need to adjust a setting or this isn't worth a jot as a locator in cities and large towns.

Still, if clearing data from lost or stolen laptops is what you need, this might be useful for some. :)
#21
fanpages;7076482
Interesting idea. Heat added for the listing.

However, if I was going to steal a laptop the first thing I would do would be to disable the on-board wireless connectivity in case the rightful owner had this enabled on boot-up. I certainly I would not try to connect to the Internet using the previous owner’s details (even if they had left the user name & password automatically inserted into the recognised forms through the settings in Firefox; that I would recommend should also be protected with a “Master” password).

If the laptop has been stolen for re-sale & the contents are not important to the thief, they may well either just re-format the hard drive or simply replace it without ever accessing it.

I have not tried this as a feasible practice, but I have been considering a different approach based on hardware, rather than software (such as a Firefox Add-on, or any utility that requires the laptop to be switch on). I have been thinking about using a Global Positioning System Pet tracking device (like the microchips that can be inserted just under the skin of a dog or cat) & attaching one inside the laptop case.

Should your laptop be stolen you can then ring the dedicated line (or use the web site facility) to track the computer without it being powered-up or even connected to the Internet at all.

In many cases it is not the loss of the asset that is the most valuable part of laptop ownership; it is the data that you have upon it.

If you regularly take your laptop away from a fixed location (or even if you do not depending on your domestic physical security measures) some form of automated data encryption facility for the hard drive contents may well be worth considering.

Although Mobile telephone handsets may not be able to be protected like this (if the casing is unable to be opened, or in doing so you may void any warranty with the original manufacturer) but desktop-based computers, video games consoles, personal video recorders, Hi-Fi equipment, & so on can all be protected by the use of a GPS Pet tracking device.

BFN,

fp.

a lot druggies just steal and sell on laptops without ever openign them, they tend to be a bit computer illiterate. odds are also a large percentage of people who buy from them are also computer illiterate, and will quite likely boot up the laptop from their home internet.

A better piece of software of this type could actually have worked. An instant email or message dispatched from the computer witht he ip address and other details everytime the laptop connects to teh internet might result in the new owners being found and the computer retrieved.
#22
oceanic
a lot druggies just steal and sell on laptops without ever openign them, they tend to be a bit computer illiterate. odds are also a large percentage of people who buy from them are also computer illiterate, and will quite likely boot up the laptop from their home internet.

A better piece of software of this type could actually have worked. An instant email or message dispatched from the computer witht he ip address and other details everytime the laptop connects to teh internet might result in the new owners being found and the computer retrieved.


The IP address alone is not sufficient as this may just offer the location of the Internet Service Provider machine servicing requests from each of the remote client machines.

Equally, not every Internet user connects from a fixed point (i.e. dial-up from various locations, not an ADSL [Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line] connection from a fixed location) nor has a fixed IP address but is offered a dynamic IP address from the DCHP [Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol] server on each connection.

My suggested works without the need to switch the PC on at all; maybe even when the machine is in transit between thief & buyer.

BFN,

fp.
#23
Fail - it located me to somewhere within the region of all of England and some of France
#24
ChipSticks;7092203
Sounds like a great idea, but I just read this review...


WARNING about using "emergency data protection"

WARNING! ** Read this before you try Firefound ** ... I tried Firefound and set the "emergency data protection plan" to delete my passwords. Sounded like a good idea. The next time I restarted the browser it brought up a dialog box that said I had 10 seconds (SERIOUSLY *10* SECONDS!) to enter my username and password. I blinked a couple times to see if I had read that right, then tried to enter my username and password as quickly as possible. Needless to say, I couldn't do that in 10 seconds, so I lost all of my stored passwords. They're gone.

I had thought it would give me multiple tries, warnings, etc., before deleting anything, but nope, just 10 seconds and it's all gone. None of this is explained anywhere on any documentation for the plug-in that I could find in the plug-in itself or the website (actually there is no documentation currently as far as I could find).

This plug-in is a neat idea, but in it's current form it's likely to cause data loss to unsuspecting users.

Rated 2 out of 5 stars by dave on December 1, 2009



I'd be a panicker, lol



Hmm....looks like its not idiot proof then!
#25
According to the program (which is on my laptop) my laptop is next door! That's pretty close (but maybe not close enough, if I want to avoid neighbourhood rows).

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