Stolen iMac recovered using Timbuktu and AppleScript

Found this over on Slashdot, where one computer user, used AppleScript on his sisters stolen iMac and the remote control ability of Timbuktu to eventually retrieve the stolen iMac, all from Mid october 2001 to Mid November 2001, with the final outcome being just a week ago.

An iMac and printer gets stolen from Mr. Bridges sister. He figures that if the stolen iMac ever connects to the net, he can somehow inject an piece of AppleScript into the iMac, to get rid of any personal and private files that were on the iMac and possibly try and locate the stolen iMac to boot.

Using some advice from known Apple Script guru Marc Myers and the helpful people of the usenet group alt.comp.lang.applescript, they come up with a script can delete all but the system folder of the stolen iMac.

All he needs is for the stolen iMac to be connected to the internet, for Timbuktu to alert him when the iMac is online (he's got a valid account and password for this) and then when the iMac is idle, he can do his work. He gets his wish, and injects the "Suicide Code", which, after a few attempts deletes whatever personal and private information was on the iMac.

The stolen iMac comes online later, using an AOL account (sister had changed the password on her dial-in account). Mr Bridges managed to change the AOL dial-in numbers to point to the sisters and his number, a sort of phone home...

As Mr bridges puts it... "Coincidentally, I've since gotten about 15 calls from a particular person I don't know, and my sister has gotten about the same amount of calls from the same person." (Unpublished number).

A happy ending... this number was passed onto the police, where an investigator located the stole iMac and printer, one female pled out to possession of stolen property and got a year's probation.

News source: unScripted @

View: Google's UseNet Groups archive - Remote-Nuke a stolen iMac?

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