August 10, 2005 3:45 PM PDT

Gateway puts a trace on laptops

Gateway is plugging two security devices into its machines, including a LoJack-style technology to help customers track down lost or stolen laptops.

The Mobile Theft Protection product is now available in Gateway's M250, M460 and M680 notebooks, the PC maker said on Tuesday. The hardware, which uses technology from Absolute Software's Computrace, promises to locate computers that have gone astray. It includes a so-called Data Delete feature that removes sensitive personal or corporate data by remote control.

Once the device is activated, Absolute guarantees the recovery of the computer. If the laptop is not recovered within 60 days, the customer may be eligible for a refund of up to $1,000.

The device is preinstalled in the laptops, but customers will need to add $99 to the price of the computer to activate the coverage for three years. The M250, M460 and M680 laptops start at about $700, $965 and $1,200 respectively, after rebate.

Gateway's other embedded security feature, now available for notebooks, is the industry's latest (and controversial) hardware security standard--Trusted Platform Module version 1.2. The technology is already included in Gateway's E-series desktop computers.

Gateway said the TPM chip helps encrypt data and manage passwords. The hardware includes secure authentication software to protect corporate networks by storing keys, passwords and digital certificates on the processor, the computer maker said.

However, critics have said a TPM could compromise the privacy of a computer user because there's an identifying number built into the chip. The technology could also restrict the use of some digital media by enforcing digital-rights management technologies. Developers of products for Apple Computer machines have recently begun to learn about the protection chip firsthand.

The Mobile Theft Protection device and the TPM chip represent a few of the ways Gateway is looking to better protect laptop computers. Earlier this month, the company revised its contract with Symantec to begin preinstalling a higher grade of antivirus software in its machines.

Laptop theft is on the rise. The cost of all the notebooks lost or stolen in 2004 increased to more than $6.7 million, according to the CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey.

Other PC makers are using various combinations of hardware and software to secure desktops and laptops. Lenovo, for example, sells its ThinkPad T42 with a biometric reader. Microsoft coordinated with chipmakers Intel and AMD for its last Windows software security update, known as SP2, to prevent viruses from overloading a PC with too much information.

18 comments

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Ok, so call me a troll
or a nitpicker, or whatever....but I am so tired of lazy reporting.

"Earlier this month, the company revised its contract with Symantec to begin preinstalling a higher grade of antivirus software in its machines"

It's the same "grade" of antivirus software..the NIS suite just includes extra goodies (like parental control, anti-spam, etc)....how is that a better "grade" of virus protection?

And before someone flames me, I already admitted I am nitpicking, so there is no need to point it out again.... :)
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, you'r ein the right. It's endemic...
Seems like most reporting is phoned in nowadays. No, real research or care to get it right. It's about quantity and the "angle." For instance, there is no "ID number" in the TPM. It's a vault in which you can place keys. Basically, added security to keep information you want safe and to guard your privacy to boot. But that's not a good enough spin, no controversy. God forbid with the phishing epidemic, thieves stealing personal identities, money pilfering, etc, that we would want strong, hardware-based security.

Bah.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Link Flag
More features
More features = better ability to fight viruses = better grade (perhaps, maybe, well OK - I dunno).

After all, it's all about taking a signiture file & applying it to what's on your machine - right. everything else is window (or even "Windows") dressing :-)
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
Ok, so call me a troll
or a nitpicker, or whatever....but I am so tired of lazy reporting.

"Earlier this month, the company revised its contract with Symantec to begin preinstalling a higher grade of antivirus software in its machines"

It's the same "grade" of antivirus software..the NIS suite just includes extra goodies (like parental control, anti-spam, etc)....how is that a better "grade" of virus protection?

And before someone flames me, I already admitted I am nitpicking, so there is no need to point it out again.... :)
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, you'r ein the right. It's endemic...
Seems like most reporting is phoned in nowadays. No, real research or care to get it right. It's about quantity and the "angle." For instance, there is no "ID number" in the TPM. It's a vault in which you can place keys. Basically, added security to keep information you want safe and to guard your privacy to boot. But that's not a good enough spin, no controversy. God forbid with the phishing epidemic, thieves stealing personal identities, money pilfering, etc, that we would want strong, hardware-based security.

Bah.
Posted by ordaj (338 comments )
Link Flag
More features
More features = better ability to fight viruses = better grade (perhaps, maybe, well OK - I dunno).

After all, it's all about taking a signiture file & applying it to what's on your machine - right. everything else is window (or even "Windows") dressing :-)
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
Here's A Free Solution
You don't need to go out and buy a new computer with a chip or Lojak, or anything else. Simply install disk encryption software and create an encrypted partition. Free public domain encryptors are available, and you can chose from a dozen different encryption algorithms. And don't forget to assign a login password to that laptop.

K.
www.techcando.com
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's A Free Solution
You don't need to go out and buy a new computer with a chip or Lojak, or anything else. Simply install disk encryption software and create an encrypted partition. Free public domain encryptors are available, and you can chose from a dozen different encryption algorithms. And don't forget to assign a login password to that laptop.

K.
www.techcando.com
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$1,000
Is that enough compensation? If they "guarantee" the recovery, shouldn't it cover the full price of the laptop as well as compensating you for the loss of data? They don't seem very sure of themself.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$1,000
Is that enough compensation? If they "guarantee" the recovery, shouldn't it cover the full price of the laptop as well as compensating you for the loss of data? They don't seem very sure of themself.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Best solution for notebook tracking
The best solution for mobile computer recovery in the event of theft is from "The CyberAngel" .. we use this on all our notebooks, and they have a stellar verifiable track record of recovery and working with law enforcement

see: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://profiles.send2press.com/cyberangel.shtml" target="_newWindow">http://profiles.send2press.com/cyberangel.shtml</a>

(heh ... don't confuse this product with a porn site called cyberangel... no relation!!) ;-)
Posted by Neotrope (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Best solution for notebook tracking
The best solution for mobile computer recovery in the event of theft is from "The CyberAngel" .. we use this on all our notebooks, and they have a stellar verifiable track record of recovery and working with law enforcement

see: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://profiles.send2press.com/cyberangel.shtml" target="_newWindow">http://profiles.send2press.com/cyberangel.shtml</a>

(heh ... don't confuse this product with a porn site called cyberangel... no relation!!) ;-)
Posted by Neotrope (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Best Solution for Laptop Tracking: Computrace
Computrace by Absolute Software has recovered over two thousand stolen laptops over the last few years. Many of the these theft recovery success stories are documented on the Absolute Software web site in the Theft Recovery Cases section of their web site www.absolute.com

Computrace is in the BIOS of many laptops of Lenovo (IBM), HP, and Gateway and is the best laptop tracking and theft recovery service. Keep in mind, 95% of thieves will put a new operating system on the laptop before selling it. Computrace is the only laptop tracking service which survives an operating system re-load.
Posted by dlegg (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Best Solution for Laptop Tracking: Computrace
Computrace by Absolute Software has recovered over two thousand stolen laptops over the last few years. Many of the these theft recovery success stories are documented on the Absolute Software web site in the Theft Recovery Cases section of their web site www.absolute.com

Computrace is in the BIOS of many laptops of Lenovo (IBM), HP, and Gateway and is the best laptop tracking and theft recovery service. Keep in mind, 95% of thieves will put a new operating system on the laptop before selling it. Computrace is the only laptop tracking service which survives an operating system re-load.
Posted by dlegg (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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