April 11, 2006 5:20 PM PDT

Service remotely encrypts or deletes data

Desktop management service provider Everdream on Tuesday announced a service that makes it possible to encrypt or delete data even after a laptop has gone missing.

The new Everdream "Theft Recovery Managed Service" allows organizations to retain control over lost or stolen PCs and laptops, the Fremont, Calif., company said in a statement. The service also can assist law enforcement with the tracking, locating and recovery of computers, the company said.

When a missing PC is connected to the Internet, it automatically contacts Everdream. This triggers encryption or deletion of data on the computer, based on the customer's setting, Everdream said.

At the same time, information on the Internet connection used by the lost computer is stored. This can help locate and recover the PC, Everdream said. The service won't work, however, if the computer's hard disk has been formatted, because the Everdream software resides on the hard disk, an Everdream representative said.

Sensitive data stored on PCs has become a hot topic, particularly since data breach notification laws have been passed that require notification when such data is lost. Recently, a Fidelity Investments laptop with information on almost 200,000 current and former Hewlett-Packard employees was stolen.

The theft recovery service is in addition to Everdream's other services, which include asset management, software distribution, online backup, virus protection and patch management. The new service costs $6 per computer per month and requires at least one of the other services, the representative said.

Everdream manages more than 140,000 desktops for clients including ADP, Korean Airlines, Midas, Salesforce.com, Sonic Automotive and Sylvan Learning Centers, the company said.

See more CNET content tagged:
Everdream Corp., laptop computer, PC, hard drive

6 comments

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Good idea - bad execution
While this sounds like a good idea, it still depends on the boot disk not being replaced or formatted. If you stole the laptop and want to sell it, you'd probably reformat it first. If you stole the laptop and want its secrets, you'd probably remove the disk and copy off its contents first. Laptops running XP Pro and Mac OS X are almost certainly password-protected at login - reformatting or replacing the disk to get around this appears to be step one. This product appears to only be good for "sting" operations to find rings of laptop thieves.
Posted by network247 (18 comments )
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I agree. But further: this is just plain STUPID
Like spam, this business model prays on the techno illiterates' fears, while providing nothing of value and taking money for it.

If I want your data on the laptop, the first thing I do is to remove the harddrive by removing two little screws. Than hook it to a pc with diagnostic software.

A better idea would be to sell a virus to users that would activate if the harddrive's boot password is not inputed correctly - deleting files. The virus would also replicate to a host PC if the harddrive is removed and plugged into another PC. Without the user's password, host PC would also be wiped.

And thanks to Sony, I'm now trying out a rootkit that does just that :)
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
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Barn. Door. Horse.
This is a classic example of closing the barn door after the horse has gone.

Why not run full-disk encryption software on the PC from day one?
Posted by perdenab (1 comment )
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It could backfire!
If somebody purposefully hacked a system and reported a NOT missing PC as missing... and all of a sudden ALL of that data turned up encrypted or missing... that would more or less be similar to a DoS attack... but with a new twist offered by this new service.

I guess only the future holds the answer though!

FWIW
Posted by wbenton (522 comments )
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Additional protection
Supposedly, when it comes out, Vista will come with whole disk encryption as well. This sort of technology is soon to come baked in. However, using an additional layer of protection is smart. Taceo has remote laptop security over rights managed content, read more:<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.essentialsecurity.com/pressroom/press_releases/pr_taceo16.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.essentialsecurity.com/pressroom/press_releases/pr_taceo16.htm</a>
Posted by 209979377489953107664053243186 (71 comments )
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New Service! Apple iBomb
Want to protect you Mac or Windows laptop? Think data encryption doesn't get the job done? Well try Apple iBomb! Just insert inside your computers card slot. Then on any computer create an iDetonate account with iTunes. If your laptop disappears, just put in the ten digit code and then the thief will have ten seconds to back away. At the end of ten seconds, it explodes, incinerating anything within ten feet. And, if that unlucky robber attempts to take the card out, he won't be feeling to good either, as that sets off the fail safe. Buy it now, only $99.99. Also, try iBomb mini for the iPod. Syncs with iTunes for a musical death.
Posted by hahne59 (33 comments )
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