Intel and Ericsson are planning to use text messaging to offer better security for laptops that are lost or stolen. Ericsson now plans to integrate Intel's new Anti-Theft PC Protection technology into its mobile broadband modules. This will allow a user or IT department to send an SMS text message to the laptop that will disable the PC and protect stored data. Lenovo and Phoenix Technologies are offering similar capabilities with Lenovo's ThinkPad notebooks.
are planning to use SMS text messages to provide an extra layer of security for
laptops that have been lost or stolen.
On Dec. 11, Ericsson announced that it will integrate Intel's
new Anti-Theft PC Protection technology into its mobile broadband modules.
The modules offer built-in support for HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) in
first began talking about its Anti-Theft PC Protection, which is built into the
earlier in 2008. On Dec. 1, Lenovo announced that it would offer
the Intel anti-theft technology with its ThinkPad T400 series notebooks. The
Intel Anti-Theft PC Protection is offered through the chip maker's Centrino 2
mobile platform and its
vPro chip bundle, which makes managing and securing a fleet of PCs easier.
Since more and more laptops are in use now, especially with business users
traveling in and out of airports, hardware security has become a major concern.
At the same time, a number of companies, including
Dell, are looking to offer security features that protect the data as well as
Now that the technology from Ericsson and Intel is integrated, a laptop's
owner or an IT department can send an SMS (Short Message Service) text message
to a notebook that has been reported stolen or missing. Once the text message
is received through the mobile broadband module, it is transferred to the Intel
Anti-Theft PC Protection technology, which can send a "poison pill"
to disable the PC.
If the laptop is returned, the user or IT department could restart the
laptop using a special password. The Intel anti-theft technology can also
encrypt the laptop's hard disk drive.
The Intel technology will work if the laptop's operating system is disabled
or if its power is shut off as long as the notebook is connected to an AC power
outlet. If the laptop is using battery power, the PC has to be "awake"
and connected to a LAN or WLAN to deliver
the poison pill.
An IT department can also set security policies so that the Intel technology
will kick in if the laptop detects repeated log-in failures or if the PC has
been disconnected from the corporate network and central servers for a certain
amount of time. Ericsson has also integrated the Intel anti-theft technology
with GPS technology that can lead a user
back to his or her laptop.
In November, Lenovo
and Phoenix Technologies announced that a similar technology that uses SMS text
is being incorporated in the firmware of Lenovo's ThinkPads. The
November announcement was separate from Lenovo's offer of support for Intel's
Anti-Theft PC Protection technology.
Ericsson will begin offering mobile broadband modules
that are interoperable with Intel's anti-theft technology in the second half of