Can ColdFusion Aid in the Recovery of My Stolen Macbook??
Back in February, someone broke into our house while we were at work (paying for all of the stuff they were stealing!). They kicked the door in and made off with a ton of stuff. They ripped flat screen TVs off of the wall mounts, took a Playstation 3, an XBOX 360, a PSP, tons of games and accessories, and two Macbooks.
One of the laptops was my new Macbook Pro (solid state drive and all!). The other laptop was my wife's Macbook Air. Obviously I reset all of my passwords when I realized the laptops were gone. But I left one password, the password on the AIM account for the Macbook Air. iChat was set to auto-login with the saved password so I figured, why not just leave it and see if it ever logs on. It was a long shot of course but I had nothing to lose. They'd still need to know the password to change it (or know how to pull it out of the keychain).
Last night someone finally signed on with the stolen Macbook Air. I quickly put together a ColdFusion template to dump the CGI scope out into an email to myself and then redirect to some recent photos on my website. Once I uploaded it to the site (and tested it out), I struck up a conversation with the person on the other end of the AIM account. I said something like, "Hey, just got the new photos up, check them out". People just can't seem to resist clicking links, especially when there are pics involved, so I was able to quickly and easily get their IP address and proof that they were indeed on a Mac.
Now, my insurance company has already replaced all of my stuff. My insurance company was absolutely great in the process (Thank you Nationwide for not making the process one of the nightmare stories that you hear from others). I am pretty sure that the person who stole the stuff is already in jail. They caught someone who admitted to breaking in to many of the houses around mine but he wouldn't admit to my house. (I have a funny theory about that which I'll save for the comments or another time) So at this point, my only motivation is that of trying to find the mother-load of stolen goods that were taken. It would all obviously belong to the Insurance company (and rightfully so since they have paid for it all) but I'm on vacation and what else do I have to do right?
After talking to the person who logged on with the stolen laptop, I am pretty sure that they are just someone who bought it after the fact; possibly without even knowing it was stolen. Furthermore, after talking to them, I really got the impression that they were a kid.
So as I said, I've got my stuff back already. That being the case, I'd feel pretty bad about taking a laptop away from a kid... even from a kid whose parent(s) are so cheap that they'd turn their kid into a criminal by buying them stolen goods to save money (possession of stolen property is a crime after all).
Of course I may be completely wrong and it's not a kid at all. But regardless, I'd be perfectly willing to let whoever it is KEEP the laptop if any info they provided led to the recovery of some of the bigger items… such as the Macbook Pro or the bulk of the remaining items.
If they sign on again, I hope that I'm able to get them to read this and that they are willing to work something out. If not, then I guess I have no choice but to turn their account information over to the detective on the case. I started to do that already last night but he was on vacation!