Feeds

Intel slips anti-theft tech into hardware to deter thieves

Vulcan pinch

Security for virtualized datacentres

Intel is building anti-theft technology into hardware in a bid to make life harder for laptop thieves.

The chip giant is incorporating anti-theft technology into laptops and network chip sets, and partnering with developers and hardware OEMs to deliver enhanced anti-theft technology. By placing crypto keys in hardware the technology will render a stolen laptop useless even if a thief swaps its hard drive.

Intel's anti-theft technology allows sys admins to brick a stolen computer via a "poison pill" message and, in turn, re-activate machines as and when a device is found. Machines that fail to log in for a specified period of time also get disabled. The latest generation of the technology, introduced at the Intel Developer forum last week, involves placing a GSM receiver in the hardware so that machines can be disabled without first going online.

Anand Pashupathy, general manager of Intel's anti-theft services business, describes the technology as a "vulcan grip" that suspends the activity of a notebook.

Intel is partnering with Absolute Software to deliver anti-theft technology to market on laptops and notebooks from HP and Lenovo. Lost and stolen laptops create a severe confidential data risk, the answer to which is not provided by anti-theft technology alone. Intel has signed up with PGP and WinMagic (announcement here) to offer full-disk encryption.

The chip giant has developed a logo for its Anti-Theft technology, which it reckons will act as a deterrent to casual thieves. In an exercise, 42 out of 100 laptops and notebooks went walkabout when left unattended in campus and Wi-Fi hotspots, a figure that shrunk to 12 per cent when the Anti-Theft sticker was displayed. Pashupathy compared the "visual deterrent" approach to the red flashing lights on car radios that indicate that the receivers will not work on other vehicles.

Intel is looking to partner with more security software developers and hardware manufacturers to bring the technology to market. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate
Belay that toil, me hearty, and park your scurvy backside
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.