Iowa Officer Develops New Software for Tracking Stolen Cellphones, Computers – News

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User screen from L8NT software. The company says its new tool can help officers recover stolen phones and computers. (Photo: L8NT)

User screen from L8NT software. The company says its new tool can help officers recover stolen phones and computers. (Photo: L8NT)

An Iowa City, IA, police officer has helped come up with a new computer program that can track stolen Wi-Fi-capable electronic devices like cellphones and laptops.

It’s something that’s unlike any other tools currently available to law enforcement, said Officer David Schwindt, who created the program, called L8NT (which sounds like “latent”), with developers Jeff Bromberger and Peter Scott.

That’s because the way police usually search for devices is by serial number, Schwindt said. Instead, he wants to use the device’s MAC address — which stands for media access control address — a globally unique identifier for Wi-Fi and internet-capable devices.

“Because we’re only focusing on the serial number they can’t just walk into apartments and start checking people’s stuff,” Schwindt told the Iowa City Press-Citizen. “With a MAC address, when they’re transmitting they transmit beyond the walls and out to the public streets and such.”

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