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natom_cz

Anti-theft data collection while device is offline

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Hi,

 

release of v3.x was perfectly timed for me - yesterday, 2 weeks after installation, my son's phone had been stolen at school. I activated anti-theft over my.eset.com and managed to get location data and a couple of photographs, one of which showed the face... which was useful to get the phone back the next day. EMS proved very useful!

 

Based on this experience, I'd like to ask:

 

1. what's the application capable of when thief removes SIM card? In our case, the phone did not report back since SIM removal

 

2. is the app actively trying to connect to open wifi networks in order to establish internet connection?

 

3. if SIM card stays in and phone gets rebooted, i.e. SIM card's PIN is not entered, is the app able to use the SIM for internet connection? (I'm trying to figure out if it's maybe better not to use SIM PIN protection, but only OS password so that mobile internet connection is available after device is rebooted)

 
4. does the app continue collecting location info even when offline? So that it can report it once connected again? Is it collecting location data only when display is turned on or periodically even if the display is off? In our case, location updates stopped on 27.5. 13:54 (then the SIM card was probably removed) and later again on 28.5. 8:38 (however, it's 9 location updates in roughly the same position - it's not clear if 8:38 is time of measurement or time of data submission to the portal)

 

 

I'd like to get deeper understanding of how the app works, what's the best strategy to get maximum device protection (e.g. if to avoid SIM PIN) and what I can expect should any of our devices get stolen/missing again.

 

Thanks

Tomas

 

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Hi there, we're very happy that you have found your device using our product.

I've send your questions to responsible persons, and will answer them in short time.

 

regards

peter

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1, if you enabled SIM guard, a password would be required to unlock the phone after inserting a non-trusted SIM.

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here are the answers from EMS team:

 

1.       When the SIM is removed, we are trying to use WiFi if there is some known network. If there is no known wifi, we are not able to communicate with portal

2.       We are not trying to connect to other open networks yet. A lot of open networks require some authentication (at least click on web page in browser). Maybe in next version, we have some ideas.

3.       Unfortunately when you have PIN protected SIM card, we are not able to use it for data connection. Then we are again trying to use known wifi networks if available.

4.       When application detects suspicious behavior (wrong PIN…) it tries to make photos, get location and reports that suspicious state to portal. In suspicious mode it doesn’t perform device tracking. When you mark your device as stolen on Portal, we start device tracking. In that case application collects positions periodically and photos when the screen is turned on. If connection is not available, app holds that data and sends them when the device connects to network again. Portal should display time when the action was performed on device.

 

regards

peter

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Thanks a lot for the answers.

I'll deactivate SIM PIN checks on our phones as I'm able to block the SIMs through operator's self-care channels later. This shall increase the chance of phone communicating with the portal having the mobile data connection.

I hope that especially effort on point #2 brings some fruits.

 

Best regards

Tomas

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