It’s getting more difficult to be a career laptop thief these days.
Intel and Ingram Micro today announced a new Anti-Theft service that will add a layer to current laptop security.
If you, like most of us, worry about losing your laptop to theft (or just leaving them in cabs) and having your personal data strung out for all to see, Intel’s Anti-Theft feature would be welcome news. Unlike current laptop security features, this service protects even before the system BIOS (the first code the computer runs to start up) boots up.
On purchase of the service, you will be required to register with Intel. This sets your locking status as well as your identity and password. When you lose your laptop, log on to https://atservice.intel.com/login.action to lock your laptop. That locks up the device and creates a secure data vault around the harddrive. As country manager for Intel Collin Tan told me: “You’ve just stolen a useless device.” Mr Tan says you could wipe the data on the harddrive but you would not be able to reuse or resell it — rendering it worthless. The harddrive can be only be recovered (if it hasn’t been wiped) by entering the correct password.
The system is, of course, not foolproof. If the thief knows your password, he/she could technically log in but because the system locks out the user at a preset time, he/she would have to log in every time. You could configure a hardware timer to trigger a lock down if the machine fails to ‘check in’ with a server at set intervals. It’s an extra detail to remember in your list of chores but you’ll be glad to do it if you’ve ever lost your laptop.
The Intel Anti-Theft technology is built into the hardware and is compatible with select 2nd Generation Intel Core processor-powered laptops as well as all new Intel-brand ultrabooks available from June. You can log in to the above URL, click on the FAQ tab to check if your laptop is compatible, or click here to check against this list.
Unlike other security software, this one doesn’t track or play a sound off your laptop; you can, however, enter a customised message to plead for the return of the laptop. Mr George Thangadurai, general manager, PC Client Services Division, PC Client Group, Intel Corporation said that additional features such as tracking will be left to their partners such as McAfee, Norton or Symantec to provide.
The Intel Anti-Theft service is currently only available at Challenger for S$39.90 for a one-year subscription and S$79.90 for a three-year one.