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Browse Prior Art Database

PC Theft Deterrent

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000018723D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Aug-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Aug-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 57K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The invention is addition of a disablement method add to the Laptop that limits operation based on physical location. The client PC requires a heartbeat from the network (wired or wireless) to operate normally. Without the heartbeat enters a secure mode, which either disables the machine or requires a special password for normal use (based on policy)

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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PC Theft Deterrent

   Theft of laptop computers is a major industry problem. There are three basic means to protect the laptop assets.

1) Physical restraints:

     Physical cable locks provides protection, but is frequently not used due to cumbersome nature of constantly locking/unlocking and provide no protection in conference rooms, etc.

2) Data on HDD:

     HDD password are typically used to prevent booting the OS. However this does not provide a deterrent against someone stealing a laptop machine and replacing the HDD. One can steal a laptop and replace the HDD and obtain a laptop at one tenth the cost of a new laptop. Another means of securing data on HDD is encryption.

3) Power on Passwords

     BIOS passwords can be used to prevent machine from booting, but the user(s) must have knowledge of the password in order to use the laptop.

These mechanism are quite effective if the primary user is attempting to protect their laptop from being stolen by others. There is another user scenario in which the risk of theft is from the user and where these mechanism do not provide a deterrent. In the case of multi-user shared systems owned by a third party, the primary risk of theft is from the user. Such environments would be schools, libraries, certain user segments of large and small business (data entry), and retail. For this reason, deployment of Laptops as clients in these environments has been limited.

The ability to functionally disable a system based on system location is very desirable in a number of situations. However, the mechanism must be software independent and not defeated by changing the HDD. The solution must provide for a means to allow the Laptop to be used away from the office environment. This invention will allow the system to fully functional if appropriate action is take by the user. Based on policy, the user is thereby authorized to take the PC off premise or outside of the allowed area.

The invention is an addition of a disablement method add to the Laptop that limits operation based on physical location. The client PC requires a heartbeat from the network (wired or wireless) to operate normally. Without the heartbeat enters a secure mode, which either disables the machine or requires a special password for normal use (based on policy).

The first aspect of the invention is the creation on cli...