Monday August 11, 2003

Phoenix Technologies have released a new software application designed to disable and recover any stolen desktop or notebook running a Windows Operating System. "TheftGuard" is a Core Managed Environment (cME) application that represents the first theft deterrent application that cannot be removed or replaced by installing another hard drive according to Phoenix.

The solution is digitally registered and installed in the Phoenix cME FirstBIOS and the highly secure Host Protected Area (HPA) - a secure environment independent of the operating system.

If a registered machine is reported as stolen on the TheftGuard website, the next time the machine is connected to the Internet it will automatically send a signal which will verify it as stolen. The machine can then immediately be disabled, the IP address can be captured for tracking purposes and the data on the hard drive can even be deleted.

Since TheftGuard is enabled through Phoenix cME FirstBIOS, the application will still be able to check for integrity of the application components even if a new hard drive is placed in the system.

Statistics from the US leave little doubt as to the scale of the problem - the 2002 FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey putting losses due to theft of laptops alone at an average of US$89,000 annually per corporation.