Feeds

Intel touts anti-theft tech for laptops

Notebooks won't run for Burglar Bill

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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.

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.