Intel, Ericsson team up on mobile security for laptops

SMS sent to laptop will render it useless to thieves

Intel and Ericsson are offering to protect lost or stolen laptops by sending an SMS (Short Message Service) to the laptop will render it useless to thieves.

The two companies said Thursday that they are making Ericsson's mobile broadband modules -- which add built-in support for HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) to laptops -- interoperable with Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology, which is a part of the Intel Centrino 2 with vPro package.

Adding support for mobile networks increases the usefulness of Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology, according to Johan Falk, Strategic Relationship Management at Intel.

For the collaboration to yield useful results the work has to be integrated into what Ericsson calls a theft management service, which will become available during the second half of next year.

The service will be able to send an SMS to the mobile broadband module inside the notebook, which then securely transfers the message to Intel's Anti-Theft function inside the processor, which takes appropriate actions.

The service will also be able to take advantage of built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) support in the Ericsson mobile broadband module. The location function can, for example, be used to lock the computer when it moves outside a predefined area.

Here the two companies are working with Phoenix Technologies and Absolute Software.

The existing version of Computrace for Intel Anti-Theft PC Protection from Absolute Software can remotely delete data, using customized commands that target specific files or wipes the device clean, before disabling the computer.

Currently, it works with select Lenovo ThinkPad T400 models.

In February, Lenovo became Ericsson's first mobile broadband module customer. Since then, Dell and Toshiba have also signed up.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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