Intel, Lenovo to foil laptop thieves
Chip maker Intel, computer manufacturer Lenovo, and security-software publisher Absolute Software today announced a joint program to equip select Lenovo laptops with anti-theft technology.
Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection hardware, part of the vPro Technology component of the Centrino 2 platform, will enable IT staffers to protect suitably equipped Lenovo T400 14.1-inch laptops through subscriptions to Absolute's Computrace security-software service. Although the announced security capabilities will be built into the T400s, their activation — and the Computrace subscription — will be optional.
According to Bob Galush, Lenovo's vice president for software and peripherals marketing, this hardware/software one-two punch will enable IT departments to "be confident their business notebook PCs are protected by an additional layer of security."
On paper, at least, Galush seems to have reason to exude his own confidence. As described in coordinated press releases from the three companies, an IT admin can choose to configure the anti-theft technology to lock an individual laptop if it fails to "check in" over the internet to the Absolute Monitoring Center within a specified period of time. Alternatively, if a laptop is reported stolen, an admin can designate it to be locked the next time it checks in.
Even without a Computrace subscription, the Intel Anti-Theft PC Protection hardware can lock a laptop after a predetermined number of failed password attempts or if it fails to check in after a predetermined period of time. If and when a stolen laptop is returned to its rightful owner, an admin can then unlock it.
Interestingly, the capabilities outlined by Intel, Lenovo, and Absolute stop short of those demonstrated in the anti-theft demo that Intel execs presented during the Intel Developer Forum in August of this year. In that demo, security measures included remote file encryption and the ability to snap a photo of the laptop-thieving miscreant using the stolen machine's webcam and then automatically email that image of the evildoer back to the laptop's corporate home. Perhaps these powers will appear in verion 2.0.
The first security-enhanced T400s will ship later this month — so if your personal finances are based on laptop-lifting larceny, it's time to step up your efforts. Or, at minimum, avoid Lenovo T400s. ®
beaten by dell...
designed for business dells have had computrace in the bios for years:
first dell latitude i bought was the x300 and that had computrace in the bios, since then have had the x1, D420 and D430 and they all have the computrace bios options too
there is only 1 form of absolute security for laptops - 2 part epoxying them onto some huge immovable object!
Just encrypt everything
Except /boot. Assign each laptop a unique password to even load up and encrypt the secret data again for good measure. Also, make putting the data somewhere unencrypted a cause for immediate termination.
Re: "@Jeremy, it's DATA Thieves Your Stopping"
Er, I hope not, since the sane way to protect data is to encrypt it or pull it down the VPN only as needed. (Take your pick. I'm sure both approaches have their place.) As for the hardware, I agree with Torben -- this is revenge technology and nothing more.
Of course, the fun really starts when someone manages to spoof the central server and remotely brick all the Lenovo laptops in the airport lounge. :)