All-new Prey coming soon: Enroll to get early access

The New Prey is cooking: Get early beta access

We’re excited to share with you one of our biggest secrets. For the last few months we’ve been thinking about how to make Prey bolder and tougher than Bruce Lee combined with Rambo and Terminator (from the first movie). It’s taken a while to put everything in place — almost everything has been redesigned and rewritten, actually — but we’re finally approaching Limit Break.

However, there’s still one piece of the puzzle that’s missing, and that’s you.

Before releasing this “New Everything” we’ve been breaking our backs with, we want to make sure every bit of it works as expected and there are no loose bolts. That’s why we decided to launch a private beta in a few weeks so we can get your feedback to see if there’s anything missing or that can be improved.

And yes, we’re not kidding about the “New Everything”. Probably most of what you’ve seen of Prey will be different in one way or another — for the better, of course. :)

So, are you up for it? Registration is now open for the brave men and women willing to take a part in this adventure. We’ll send the invites in a few weeks with all the info you’ll need to get early access to the new Prey, with all its new set of features.

Update: 2013-02-21

Signups for the Prey beta will be closed tomorrow February 23, so hurry up!

Control Panel: Four small, big changes


Aloha! We just pushed a new set of updates for the Control Panel that we think are worth mentioning. They won’t change your life but hopefully they will make it easier. Can you spot the difference between the previous version and what’s at the top?

Keep on reading for the answers.


Control Panel for mobiles ahoy!


As you know, recovering your stolen laptop or tablet is all about getting the right information on time, and of course, keeping a record of it. Chances are that if you ever lose sight of yours, it will probably happen while away from home — in a cafĂ©, on the bus, on top the Empire State, who knows. Thing is, you need a quick way to trigger Prey into sending the device’s location while on the run. And that’s one of the things we’ve been working on.


Kowalski, progress report

Just dropping a quick note to let you know about some updates regarding security and performance and awesomeness that we’ve made to the Control Panel.

Full HTTPS support


Until now, only the login and signup forms pointed to HTTPS endpoints — the rest of the site using plain HTTP. This was, in part, due to some of the assets being hosted on a non SSL-enabled domain, which caused browsers to complain about “insecure content”.

Well, not any more. The Control Panel is now fully HTTPS, from tip to end. Download links also begin with ‘https://’ as they should.


Now this is what we’ve been up to.


Hey everyone, glad to be posting once again over here. It’s been a while since I hit the “New Post” button on this blog, and god it feels good. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up on what we’ve been up to these last few months.


Prey 0.5.2: Keeping it tough

0.5.2 is out! A while ago we pushed this release update which includes a couple of security enhancements, lots of code cleanups and a small fix for On-Demand mode, as some people were having trouble switching back to On-Interval after going to stand-by mode. Lets take a deeper look at the changelog:

  • Response encryption: Prey now supports 128 bit AES decryption for response bodies, which means that all data sent by the Control Panel will be encrypted with a salted secret key, rending theoretical man-in-the-middle attacks impossible. We’ll be deploying this gradually during the next days!
  • We also added a check to prevent malitious code execution through config values in the response XML. (Issue #85)
  • Better way of knowing if On-Demand is still active or not, using timestamps from the keepalive pings sent by the server. This should fix the issue that prevented some users from switching back to Interval mode.
  • Lots of code cleanups, removed duplicate or unused stuff. We’re also switching backticks for $() calls, which is much easier to read.
  • Small improvements to the auto update process.
  • Initial support for Prey to be run as a non-root user. On Ubuntu we were able to run as a third user with some sudo permissions. Once we get it working on Mac we’ll switch over and not run Prey as root any more (yes, we heard you guys).
  • Support for SMTP servers which don’t require authentication. Simply leave the SMTP user/pass fields blank and you’re set. Passwords with spaces should also work.
  • Added a simple SMTP user/pass verification routing in check mode (Standalone users).

That’s about it! For the full commit list check out the comparison view on Github. As always, any questions or comments are welcome.

Happy hunting!

Click and boom: Instant Prey activation with On-Demand mode


Today is a good day for Prey users.

As you all know, one of the biggest differences between the PC and the Android version of Prey is about the way it’s activated. On PCs, Prey wakes up every X minutes and asks the server whether it should send a report or perform any actions. On Android phones, however, Prey doesn’t need to check as you can “push” that activation signal by sending an SMS message from another phone. In other words, while on phones you can locate your phone the very instant you want to, on PCs there’s always a lag that you need to wait for.

Turns out today we’re putting and end to that.

Prey 0.5 boasts a new “On Demand” mode which lets you request a report and trigger actions instantly from the Control Panel, even faster that you can say crack-a-lackin’. No kidding.


New notifications system: Active Mode gets a boost


When we launched Pro accounts, we included a new feature called Active Mode which lets you keep track of each of your laptop/desktop check-ins. It’s pretty useful. It lets you know when was the last time your PCs pinged the server, so you can know if they’re actually where they should be or not. Active Mode is automatically enabled on Pro accounts which means you only need to log into the Control Panel and take a look at the timestamps.

The only problems is that logging in is not automatic. And that’s not good.

In order to be truly useful, Active Mode should work on its own, without you needing to log in every time just to check if everything’s in place. And that’s exactly what we’ve done: we’ve redesigned the whole notifications system on Prey’s Control Panel to make it easier for you maintain. You can manage everything in one place and forget about checking in personally: Prey will simply keep you posted whenever something happens.

Take a look.


By popular demand, Pro accounts have arrived


About a year a half a little GPL laptop tracker was born. It was called Prey and it didn’t even work in Windows. Six months later, the Control Panel was launched, and some weeks later the first mobile client appeared. During this time, more than 800 commits from around about 20 developers were made, and there’s already support for all major OS’s, while new ones are on their way.

We’ve received some good attention on the media and nearly two million reports have already been gathered and sent to the Control Panel. The number of registered devices nearly tripled in the last five months, passing the 100.000 mark, and we’ve already needed to upgrade our servers exactly seven times. It’s really been a hell-of-a-ride and we’re more than amazed with the way things have unfolded.

Today we’re giving a new step towards making Prey not only better but also bigger.

We’ve been thinking about this for a long, long time, and we finally realized that you guys were right. There should be an easy way to track more than three devices with Prey. Yes, it’s time to get serious and to do things right. We’re launching today Pro accounts for the Control Panel, not only to help us cover the server costs an to invest in more infrastructure, but to insure a continuous development flow in order to keep making Prey what we all want. That is:

An open, free, robust, featureful and easy to use tracking solution for everyone.


Prey Control Panel, on crack


It’s been over a year since we launched the Control Panel and it was about time we made some changes. During the past months we’ve been noticing which things work and which needed to be looked at, thanks to the constant feedback we’ve received from you guys.

So, first of all, thanks everyone!

Here’s a brief list of changes we’ve made to the Prey Control Panel, which hopefully will make it easier for you to manage Prey and keep an eye on what’s going on with your stuff.

Here we go.