Since 2007 I have been involved in tracking stolen devices. I launched our first product in 2007 that allowed people to track stolen removable media devices using a specially designed USB based trojan that sat on the device. Through this we were the first to recover a stolen iPod, flash drive and other types of devices. We expanded our offering to the laptop realm, using Wi-Fi positioning paired with activation of the web camera on most laptops to take photos of thieves, the product was a bit hit and we have had a number of high profile recoveries:
We then expanded into mobile where we not only can track devices but also protect the data on them, we had a fairly high profile recovery lately when we broke up a theft ring targeting Sprint stores:
We recently launched another first of its kind, a specialized search engine that allows users to track cameras that were stolen, by searching for the serial number embedded in photos that are uploaded online:
Since we launched it in beta we have already had a number of recoveries, this one in particular is pretty interesting:
We actually have several more recoveries in progress that I will be able to discuss at Toor.
This will not be a commercial for my company, I will simply be discussing the technologies we use as well as telling some of the back stories behind these recoveries and what we have learned. For example we have broken up two organized crime rings as a result of our technology, as our software basically turns a stolen device into a trojan that has lead to solving other crimes including car theft, identity theft, larger fencing rings and drugs.
Ken Westin is the Founder and CEO of ActiveTrak Inc, the innovator of the popular GadgetTrak© cross-platform mobile security and data protection software. He is regularly reached out to by the press as a subject matter expert regarding mobile security and data privacy, speaks at conferences and provides training to law enforcement regarding computer security. His endpoint security research and tools are included in the Certified Ethical Hacker training materials and other publications.
Westin launched the first GadgetTrak product in 2007, which provided a way to track media devices such as iPods, digital cameras and external drives. He was awarded a patent for the technology in early 2009. The company was instantly profitable with a number of deals with hardware manufacturers such as Seagate and FLIR.
Under Westin's leadership the company has continued to innovate, launching the first ever patent-pending tracking solution for laptops that utilizes both the integrated web camera to capture photos of thieves and Wi-Fi positioning for location, resulting in a number of amazing recoveries. The company recently launched a new mobile security platform that allows users to track missing devices, capture photos and remotely wipe, encrypt and backup sensitive information. In addition the company launched an innovative free service enabling people to search the web for photos taken with their camera by serial number.
The company's technology has been featured on Dateline NBC, Good Morning America and many top news and tech sites including the New York Times, Forbes, TechCrunch, The Economist and more. The company was recently named in Entrepreuner Magazine's "100 Brilliant Companies".