November 25, 2008
Lenovo ThinkPad users can now shut down their stolen laptops via sms
Starting in 2009, Lenovo ThinkPad notebook users can use an SMS text message to shut down a laptop that has been stolen or has been lost. This new feature, called Lenovo Constant Secure Remote Disable, it was developed in conjunction with Phoenix Technologies to work with the ThinkPad’s BIOS. This new security feature allows a user to send an SMS (short message service) text message from a cell phone to a Lenovo ThinkPad that has been lost or stolen. Once the kill command is sent, either the lost or stolen ThinkPad is disabled immediately or the notebook is disabled after the PC has been turned back on, said Stacy Cannady, Lenovo’s product manager of security. Since hard disk drive, encryption will not work properly if the PC is running or in hibernation mode, this disable feature ensures that the data is secure by shutting the machine down and allowing the hard disk drive encryption to work. When the ThinkPad laptop is recovered, the user can restore the notebook, its settings, and the data contained on the PC by entering a password. To work, however, the stolen or lost ThinkPad must be in range of the user’s GSM network. The system is targeted at consumers who are worried about their laptops being stolen. For business users it enforces compliance issues, as users get a receipt back and ensure their laptop is safe. The laptop software works with the carrier-based software to disable the computer.
The software will be available free from Lenovo’s Web site. It will also be available on certain ThinkPad notebooks equipped with mobile broadband starting in the first half of 2009.