New solution for disabling stolen laptops


August 10, 2003

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.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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