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Thread: Laptop Theft

  1. #21
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankdidly View Post
    I dunno Man. I listened to Streaker's advice one time about electronics and it went bad. He told me how to install an electric fence and well, now I'm sterile.

    On a serious note, My buddy did have an electric fence and used to run wire from the fence, through his window, to odd objects of the house (door knobs, the fridge door, etc) I stopped going over there for awhile.
    Speaking of electric fences, here's a good troubleshooting tip for you.

    There are times that you need to troubleshoot the environment around you to solve problems. So when you're working somewhere, don't be afraid to look around the room, or listen for things because you never know what might be affecting the computer.

    A few years ago, I was working on a system at a Mennonite Farm way down in the middle of no where. The family was using some Mom & Pop ISP that only provided dialup service which was good, because they couldn't get broadband down there at all.

    I was troubleshooting why their connection would just drop off for no apparent reason. The house was fairly new, and the cabling looked like it was in decent shape inside the house. I tried all kinds of things, the cadence on the modem sounded good, and I couldn't hear any real noise coming through the modem.

    Then I picked up the phone and just listened to the dial-tone, I kept hearing this "tick tick tick tick" just a constant stream of them about once every 2 seconds or so. Then I looked outside and saw an electric fence they were using for their dairy cows.

    I asked them where their fence controller was located which of course, was in the barn. We walked out there and sure enough, there's the fence controller sitting right beside a phone line that was run into the house. The controller was inductively sending noise on the line, but it was very imperceptible noise, but enough that interfered with the modem communication. We turned it off and tested the connection, it worked fine. Turned it back on, the connection dropped offline.

    I told the farmer it would be best if he moved his fence controller away from that area, chances are, three feet would have been enough. He said he would and I didn't hear from him after that.

    Now, why did I connect the electric fence to the noise I heard on the phone? I knew that fences actually pulse the line instead of keeping the line charged, thus reducing the duty cycle and lessing the power bill.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

  2. #22
    Very good friend of the forum hhmatt's Avatar
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    On the subject of laptop theft, password protect your BIOS and any boot device if your laptop has this feature. This won't prevent you from losing your laptop but it will render it useless to anyone who takes it. Don't use easy passwords either. When I get laptops like this the first things I try are password and 123456. Its not my job to question where these come from but I make very little to no effort if I believe they are stolen and the owner had no clue about any password protection. I really personally do not know how to break these passwords. The bios can usually be reset but most laptops store any security features on a seperate chip that as far as I know cannot be reset.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhmatt81 View Post
    On the subject of laptop theft, password protect your BIOS and any boot device if your laptop has this feature. This won't prevent you from losing your laptop but it will render it useless to anyone who takes it. .....................................The bios can usually be reset but most laptops store any security features on a seperate chip that as far as I know cannot be reset.
    Take out the cr2032 battery off the Mother Board. That will remove the BIOS password.

    And theres another method that involves using "jumpers" on the MB as well to reset the BIOS password.

    And ...theres also a BIOS hex editor that will do the trick.
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  4. #24
    Very good friend of the forum hhmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Xploitz=- View Post
    Take out the cr2032 battery off the Mother Board. That will remove the BIOS password

    And theres another method that involves using "jumpers" on the MB as well to reset the BIOS password.
    This doesn't always work as I stated that some laptops store the security features on a seperate chip.

    Usually the jumpers are near the BIOS chip. If you read the board carefully most of them tell you which jumper does what.

    I have a IBM T21 sitting here that hasn't had the battery in for weeks now and it still has all the password protection it did when I got it.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhmatt81 View Post
    This doesn't always work as I stated that some laptops store the security features on a seperate chip.

    Usually the jumpers are near the BIOS chip. If you read the board carefully most of them tell you which jumper does what.

    I have a IBM T21 sitting here that hasn't had the battery in for weeks now and it still has all the password protection it did when I got it.
    I wonder if you removed this chip....if the PC would still function or not??

    Most security settings are stored in regular old volatile RAM...but this chip you mentioned may be a "flash" type or "non volatile memory" meaning that it saves this info until the next session. Or perhaps maybe theres an internal power supply elsewhere??


    Either way...have you tried a BIOS hex editor on it to remove the password?
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  6. #26
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    Depends on the laptop. Dell has little password jumpers on the systemboard that will wipe the password. Older Hp's had "chips" that you had to take out and replace (about 40$). IBM T21's are the same thing I believe. Some are easy, some are hard.

    Also, I think you could really EFF UP your bios with a bios hex editor if you dont know what you're doing. A lot of the newer laptops store the passwords in a part of the bios that can't be flashed. That's where they store computrace etc.
    I felt like bending the bars back, and ripping out the window frames and eating them. yes, eating them! Leaping, leaping, leaping! Colonics for everyone! All right! You dumb*sses. I'm a mental patient. I'm *supposed* to act out!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankdidly View Post
    Depends on the laptop. Dell has little password jumpers on the systemboard that will wipe the password. Older Hp's had "chips" that you had to take out and replace (about 40$). IBM T21's are the same thing I believe. Some are easy, some are hard.

    Also, I think you could really EFF UP your bios with a bios hex editor if you dont know what you're doing. A lot of the newer laptops store the passwords in a part of the bios that can't be flashed. That's where they store computrace etc.
    I knew it!!!

    Spanky,....You CAN make a serious post without sarcasm or joking!!



    @ Pureh@te....

    You owe me 10 bucks!!!
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    [CENTER][SIZE=4][B]Remote-Exploit.orgs Master Tutorialist.[/B][/SIZE][SIZE=6][B]™
    [/B][/SIZE]
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    [/URL]
    [URL="http://forums.remote-exploit.org/showthread.php?t=7872"][B]VIDEO: Volume #2 "E-Z No Client Korek Chopchop Attack Tutorial"[/B]
    [/URL]
    [URL="http://forums.remote-exploit.org/showthread.php?t=8230"][B]VIDEO: Volume #3 "E-Z WPA/WPA2 Cracking Tutorial"[/B][/URL]

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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankdidly View Post
    ....Also, I think you could really EFF UP your bios with a bios hex editor .....
    Yes, extreme care should be taken, especially when editing a BIOS whitelist, in my experience!


    I have USB and parallel port based dongles for removing BIOS passwords.
    These work on many makes/models of laptops, but not all.
    (Yes the p'port isn't used on laptops these days, but I still keep it for "oldies" )

    On the subject of a UPS, monitors aren't such an issue. It's laser printers you should never connect to a UPS

  9. #29
    Very good friend of the forum hhmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankdidly View Post
    Depends on the laptop. Dell has little password jumpers on the systemboard that will wipe the password. Older Hp's had "chips" that you had to take out and replace (about 40$). IBM T21's are the same thing I believe. Some are easy, some are hard.

    Also, I think you could really EFF UP your bios with a bios hex editor if you dont know what you're doing. A lot of the newer laptops store the passwords in a part of the bios that can't be flashed. That's where they store computrace etc.
    If you get a good bios editor it should have the options to backup and restore should you F it up too much.

    I don't even want to bother replacing a chip on a T21 it simply isn't worth it. I'll most likely end up being told to strip it down and we'll use the parts to repair or sell. I think I might've already started to strip some of the parts off of it. You won't find much on the internet on how to reset these security settings. Some of them are out there they are just not very easy to find usually.

    Most thieves won't go through this much trouble to get a laptop's security removed, and thats even assuming they have the slightest clue how. Simply put this should only be one prevention measure to take into the physical security of a laptop.

    I forgot to mention hard drive passwords also. They can be effective but not perfect.

  10. #30
    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Re@lity View Post
    Yes, extreme care should be taken, especially when editing a BIOS whitelist, in my experience!


    I have USB and parallel port based dongles for removing BIOS passwords.
    These work on many makes/models of laptops, but not all.
    (Yes the p'port isn't used on laptops these days, but I still keep it for "oldies" )

    On the subject of a UPS, monitors aren't such an issue. It's laser printers you should never connect to a UPS
    Yeah, the inrush current of a fuser starting up can normally release the magic smoke from a UPS in no time.

    Our lab wanted me to get a UPS to run the centrifuge and the autoclave, but I couldn't get a straight answer as to the inrush current for either one.
    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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