Feeds

Intel touts anti-theft tech for laptops

Notebooks won't run for Burglar Bill

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.