Password Protection and theft

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by czechmate, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. czechmate macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #1
    So, uh.. having a tough time tracking down my MBP that was foolishly left in the back seat of a cab last week.
    Now, i have done all the necessary reports and have done some research (posting and searching craigslist and ebay..) in order to victoriously be reunited with my lovely macbook pro.

    I am starting to get worried right now because i'm not hearing anything from the cab company or anyone that may have info to help me out.

    So, lets just say that this person that got in the cab after me (hah, or the cabbie) decides to keep this or sell this. This laptop is password protected, meaning no major changes or restarts can be made. This laptop is completely useless to this person.

    Now, i am new to mac's kind of, and i am not a tech-whiz.
    What possibly can be done to change a password or wipe the computer clean without any software or OS disks ? Is the person that has my laptop screwed ? Would this person actually purchase a new hard drive ??

    Ugh, im very very paranoid and worried still.
     
  2. Fuzzbear macrumors regular

    Fuzzbear

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    #2
    Im a mac newbie myself, but i assume they could wipe the OS if they got ahold of an OSX install disk. I could be wrong though
     
  3. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Location:
    Never Ender
    #3
    If the person buys OS X discs, he can just restore the computer.

    Now what I would do is this. Call the police and report it lost/stolen, give them a serial number and all that. Keep an eye out on eBay and such. Hopefully you will get it back.
     
  4. powermac_daddy macrumors 6502

    powermac_daddy

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    #4
    don't they have something that can track the IP.. then the ID of the computer? i might be wrong. but password won't do much, because he or she can just replace the harddrive.

    tell me if i am wrong.
     
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #5
    Isn't that the whole point?

    Realistically that computer is never coming back. The most important thing is that none of the vital data is recovered by the thief.

    Right?
     
  6. DocSmitty macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #6
    Pretty sure OS X has a built-in password recovery system (if you have the install disks) in case you forget your password. Whoever has physical possession of the computer would have an easy time resetting the password and gaining access to the whole computer, if they take the time to find out how.

    I would strongly recommend you change ALL your online passwords, especially if you saved any of them in your browser for example. In addition, consider any personal information that may have been saved (credit card numbers, etc) and make any relevant changes / notifications.

    I doubt you'll see it again, but miracles have been known to happen. I don't suppose there's a laptop analog to getting your wallet back without the cash in it? The good news is this was a crime of opportunity. If it was stolen off your person it would be much more likely that the thief would be after your personal information for identity theft.
     
  7. grailarbor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #7
    i tried using my mac restore disks on my friends mac and they didnt work... which leads me to believe that each set of restore disks is assigned to a computer...

    so, to my understanding, the thief wouldnt be able to recover the password unless you left the restore disks with the computer.
     
  8. rezenclowd3 macrumors 6502a

    rezenclowd3

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Undoing the work of Priuses: burning gas & rubber
    #8
    OS discs shipped with your computer usually ONLY work with that particular model.

    Take the above advice and change your user/pass for as many items as you can remember.

    2- next time order Lojack for Laptops

    Supposedly with this software even a reformat will not break its IP tracking capabilities. I have bought 3 years of support for $50 due to a promotion they had. There are other solutions out there, this is just the one I chose, mainly because if a reformat does not break the software, Lojack has a better chance at retrieving my stolen laptop/desktop.
     
  9. powermac_daddy macrumors 6502

    powermac_daddy

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia & Northern California
    #9
    i was thinking about that too. coz when i reinstall 10.5. it asked me for password.
     
  10. griz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    New London, NH
    #10
    DocSmitty is correct. If someone has physical access to your machine and they know what they are doing, they will be able to gain access to your data.
    Connecting the system in target disk mode to another system will usually get you access to most everything.
     
  11. Mr. Funsocks macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    #11
    Bummer dude.
     
  12. tYsopz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Location:
    Norway
    #12
    I would assume the worst and that the thief would have access to all data on the computer. Anyone can reset a password. Once someone has physical access to your computer, they can get anything they want from it. If they have some knowledge about computers they will also be able to read any passwords stored in preference files etc.

    Do as someone else said, change all your passwords AT ONCE. If the cab company can't trace whoever took the cab after you, I'm afraid you're out of luck. Theoretically one could trace a computer by MAC address for example, but I don't think is legal, and very few services log and check mac addresses anyway. And besides, I'm not sure if you can find out what your mac address you have, unless Apple has stored it, which I'm 98,5% sure they have.
     
  13. MarkW19 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #13
    Would using File Vault have stopped it from working in Target Disk mode, etc.?
     
  14. elmo151 Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    :eek: change your passwords
    :eek: if any personal data is on the computer, assume the worst, contact credit card companies

    my personal rule of thumb is not to keep anything on my laptop that is not encoded or that I want the world to see.

    assume the laptop is in the hands of an identity thief and act accordingly
     
  15. DocSmitty macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #15
    File Vault can protect information in a situation like this, yes. In addition, the firmware password option is your second best defense. That prevents someone from using OS X disks to change the admin pw, and also prevents target disk mode from being used.
     
  16. MarkW19 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
  17. DocSmitty macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #17
    Warning: READ THE INFO in this link before setting a firmware password. If you forget/lose both your administrator pw and the firmware pw, you are SOL. You will need to have OS9 install disks or have apple service it at that point :)

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106482
     

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