Lenovo Adds ThinkPad Models with Remote Disable Feature
Simple command from a mobile phone disables the PC and sends text confirmation that it has done so.
By Cecilia Galvinalvin
Like taxes, cybercrime is up. In fact, according to the 2008 CSI Computer Crime and Security Survey, an independent research report from the Computer Security Institute, 42 percent of the 522 computer security professionals who responded to the survey reported thefts of notebook computers and other mobile devices.
But there are ways to fight back. In November, Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Lenovo announced that it planned to provide customers of some ThinkPad notebooks with a defense against authorized data access. Today, the Lenovo ConstantSecure Remote Disable feature is available on eight models equipped with mobile broadband1: ThinkPad R400, T400, T500, W500, X200, X200s, X200 Tablet, and X301. Lenovo worked with San Jose, Calif.-based Phoenix Technologies Ltd., a provider of embedded technologies, to develop the capability.
Here's how it works: Users send a simple text message command such as "kill laptop" via a cell phone to their mobile broadband-enabled ThinkPad. If the machine is turned off, it will automatically disable the next time it registers on the cellular network. A confirmation text message is also sent that indicates when the disable technology was successfully executed. To reactivate the laptop, users simply enter a pre-set password created when they registered their phone to the ThinkPad.
Remote Disable is supported worldwide wherever cellular phone systems support GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) SMS (Short Message Service) text message transmission. Click here to obtain the free ConstantSecure Remote Disable download.
To read the entire Computer Security Institute report on computer crime, go to http://i.cmpnet.com/v2.gocsi.com/pdf/CSIsurvey2008.pdf.