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By Askarel in en

Okay, i never ever got my laptop stolen, but reading this will just make you smile.

Many laptops and netbooks comes with a built-in low to mid-resolution webcam on top of the screen, normally to be used for video chatting. If you’re running Linux and you’re slightly paranoid, you maybe would like to see that piece of hardware put to some other use. 🙂

This script is monitoring the lid/screen switch of your laptop. Once someone open the screen, the script activate the camera, take a few pictures and send them back to you to an external e-mail address. Unlike the software used in the article linked above, this one is completely invisible, independent and works even when not logged in or without X running.


  • You must have a local SMTP server on the laptop: this server will handle the e-mail queue and retry sending to the external SMTP server if the network is unreliable. The script will consider his job done once the mail is gone to the local server. Setting up the mail servers will be part of another article someday.
  • There is a config file to set up in /etc/antitheftd.conf. There is only one variable that MUST be set: DEST_EMAIL with your destination e-mail address. You can set other variables, but the default settings are nice enough.

« It doesn’t get much better than their bringing us a picture of the guy actually using the stolen property, It certainly made our job easier. » Daniel Jackson, deputy commissioner of public safety, city of White Plains.

The code is here. Have fun !!

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by fs111, Frederic Pasteleurs. Frederic Pasteleurs said: #hsbxl Remember the script i was working on ?? Enjoy !! […]