Feeds

Intel touts anti-theft tech for laptops

Notebooks won't run for Burglar Bill

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

IDF Intel today announced an initiative it hopes will make it much less desirable for criminals to steal laptops. The aim is to build the ability to lock down a machine's storage - and possible even the processor itself - if it's pinched.

Intel Anti-Theft Technology (ATT) isn't yet ready for incorporation into new machines, but with research showing that even consumers now rate data protection second only to performance among the list of desirable attributes new laptops should possess, the chip giant clearly thinks it's time to get moving on this issue.

Because it's early days for the technology, precise details are slim - Intel's Mobility Group chief, Dadi Perlmutter, today could only give a very broad overview of ATT. However, the initiative will seek to put in place hardware within the system to disable laptops booted without authorisation and to prevent access to stored information.

Hard disks with on-board data encryption already exist, but Intel clearly hopes to encourage more storage vendors to do so, and to add the technology to solid-state drives too.

That secures data but it doesn't discourage theft - encrypted drives can be replaced - so the ability to tie actual system operation into the OS login process or a password entered earlier in the start-up sequence could deter criminals in the first place by making the hardware itself valueless if stolen.

Perlmutter hinted Intel is also looking into incorporating tracking technology into ATT, though that takes the add-on beyond the hardware and into the service provider domain.

Not that Intel is devising ATT on its own. System suppliers Fujitsu Siemens and Lenovo, Bios maker Phoenix and malware basher McAfee are also working on the project, the chip giant said.

The results of their work are expected in Q4, though whether that's in shipping laptops or as a technology computer makers will subsequently be able to adopt remains to be seen. The timing suggests the latter: it's just ahead of the time we'd expect Intel to refresh its Centrino platform following the debut of Centrino 2 - aka 'Montevina' - in May this year.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.