Orbicule's Undercover

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lego8, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. lego8 macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2008
    Hi all,

    I'm considering buying Undercover for my MacBook Pro. One of my concerns is privacy. With the software installed, the people behind the scene at Orbicule could really invade an Undercover user's privacy. Plus the company isn't really established or owned by a larger company-- one day the programmers of the company could just get up and leave, rendering Undercover useless. And the company is located in Belgium, far away from America-- less reason to trust it.
    On the other hand, the program looks really awesome. But I don't know if I trust Orbicule enough to install it.

    I'd like to hear what others have to say, especially those who use Undercover.
  2. lego8 thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2008
  3. MadDog31 macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2007
    I believe there is a success story from one of our own on here if I'm not mistaken...I can't locate the link right now (busy at work).

    I'd like to know more about this program.
  4. deadpixels macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2006
    sorry, i can' really help but
    that's funny :rolleyes: because we can obviously trust everything that comes out of U.S :eek:
  5. lego8 thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2008
    You missed my point.
    U.S. based companies are held at a standard that I'm comfortable with. And as a U.S. citizen, I can only hold U.S. companies responsible for things they do wrong.
  6. deadpixels macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2006
    got your point right now i guess, if you're worried about personal data on your machine, you should not install that kind of software on your laptop neither should you connect to the net, but you knew that i guess. you could encrypt your hole HD using firevault. in worst case scenarion and your machine is stolen, at least they cannot read your stuff unless real muscle.
  7. PowerBookRelic macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2008
    I always find it funny that for both Lojack and this Orbicule software that their guarantee is that they will refund the price of the software. If my $2500 laptop is missing, a $49 check will not provide solace...

    Also, besides the privacy aspect, if a hacker or disgruntled employee got admin access to a system like this, they could render all laptops associated useless within 30 minutes of use, not a fan of that (via the screen darkening feature).
  8. lego8 thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2008
    I agree. I think I'll go with the simple, physical lock.
  9. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    I wouldn't want to run any tracking software on my laptop, especially if it is supposed to be hard to defeat and undetectable. A STOP sticker (http://www.stoptheft.com/site/products_security_plate.php) sounds like a good compromise, but I'm afraid it will be ugly, especially if the sticker is thick (I haven't seen one in person). I wonder if it would fit under the battery?

    I know you can put a firmware password on Apple laptops, but I read that it can be bypassed with physical access to the computer (I'm guessing there is some kind of reset jumper inside?). Is that true? I have a Dell laptop and the only way to reset the BIOS password is to call Dell, and they will only give you a reset code if you provide proof of ownership and if the laptop is not marked as stolen. I also have a password on the hard drive so it will not work in any other computer (not the same as encryption-- the hard drive password could be easily bypassed by replacing the drive's electronics board, which can be borrowed from an identical drive).
  10. PowerBookRelic macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2008
    So do those anti-theft techniques work on a Mac, or just a Dell? If so, can you elaborate so I can feel safer with mine :rolleyes:
  11. Apogee macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
    Are the licenses with these application transferable from Mac to Mac? I am thinking of buying this for better peace of mind too..
  12. kwestin macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2008
    MacTrak - Privacy Safe Alternative

    You might be interested in MacTrak from GadgetTrak ( a US company), it is a theft recovery solution designed specifically for OS X that does not rely on a monitoring center, with user privacy kept safe. The software also utilizes Wi-Fi positioning from Skyhook Wireless (the same as used by the iPhone and iPod Touch) to get location accuracy within 10-20 meters.

    The only information that is shared with GadgetTrak is if the device is stolen or not and this is something you control yourself, so you can test the software and do not have to call a monitoring center to activate.

    Once the software is activated the location is gathered from nearby wi-fi networks, as well as network information. The iSight camera is activated and takes a photo of the thief and then uploads them to your Flickr account, as well as sent to you via email. No images, location or network data is ever sent to GadgetTrak, only to the Flickr and email account that you specify.

    Here is a recent review from TUAW.

    Thank You
  13. Azagar macrumors member


    Nov 29, 2008
    San Francisco
    Unfortunately Apple's firmware password is not like a BIOS password. If the firmware password locked the logic board on our computers then they would be the comparable, but with physical access to a mac you can bypass the firmware password by just replacing the HDD with another that has an installation of OS X. There in lies the problem with all anti theft recovery software, doing this will also remove them, and until some company builds a hardware based recovery system (come on Apple GPS for my laptop!)

    I don't wanna make it seem like BIOS is the best protection either, with just a simple backdoor passwords or by removing the CMOS battery it all breaks down.

    We also have to realize most people who do steal laptops would probably not go through all this trouble. The first piece of software I got was undercover for my mbp, it is better then nothing and gives me peace of mind. As for the whole privacy invasion you mentioned, I will worry about our own government doing it like they have been before some small programing company thousands of miles away. ;)

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