Anti-Theft detection for mobiles not likely to emerge soon

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Intel points out storage shortfall.

The ability to add anti-theft technology for mobile devices is still a long way off, according to experts.

Talking to SC Magazine, Intel's Anti-Theft services general manager Anand Pashupathy claimed that as the company's technology is presently targeted at the Intel Core processor family (which can be found in mobile and desktop PCs), there are no plans to roll the technology out to mobile devices.

He said: “The phone is a modern device and has the same style as a computer, but the storage is small. With a laptop storage there could be a loss of gigabytes, so the risk is high.

George Thangudurai, general manager of PC client services at Intel, said: “People are more and more mobile and what is driving the adoption of anti-theft technology is ‘what if I lose it' or ‘what if my employee loses it?' What happens to the asset? The regulation requirements need to show that there are processes in place and what actions were taken.”

Last week Ericsson announced the launch of the F5521gw broadband module which is interoperable with Intel's Anti-Theft Technology version 3.0 to disable a computer remotely if it is lost or stolen, even if the operating system is not running.

The proactive security capability remotely disables a computer using encrypted text messages even when the operating system is not running (out-of-band). Pashupathy said: “The collaboration with Ericsson has yielded very robust security capabilities available to notebooks.

“Shortly after the PC is turned on, and even before the operating system is running, a missing PC can be disabled and/or located. When it is found, it can be very quickly and conveniently reactivated, all via encrypted text messages.”

Asked how companies can go about preventing the loss of devices, Pashupathy said it is a difficult risk to mitigate and it is hard to educate on as humans are involved. Thangudurai said: “With a phone you can change the SIM card, with a laptop it is a data issue and if a chip were removed, that would alert the Anti-Theft.”

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