Absolute Investigations Monthly Roundup: Device Recovery Success Stories

By: Sarah Brooks | 2/10/2021 | 2 min read

As we were reminded when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop was stolen from her office during the siege on the U.S. Capitol last month, there’s no telling when a device – and the sensitive data stored on that device – can fall into the wrong hands. That’s why it is more critical than ever to have a permanent connection to every endpoint, as well as the ability to lock, freeze or wipe the device if at risk of being compromised.

To recover stolen devices and at-risk data, Absolute customers not only have a firmware-embedded endpoint defense platform and undeletable digital tether they can rely on… they have also have the Absolute Investigations Team. With years of experience working with law enforcement, their work has resulted in many impressive recoveries. Here are some recent highlights.

Hospital Theft

A hospital in Wisconsin determined a laptop was stolen when the Absolute platform notified IT of a change in the device’s operating system. Absolute investigators looked in the IP connections the device was now using to log in, and discovered a username which hospital IT workers determined to be the husband of a current employee. Rather than involve law enforcement, they chose to reach out to the employee directly who returned the laptop and move forward with internal discipline procedures for allowing someone to wrongfully use hospital equipment.

School Theft

A school district in Washington reported one of their laptops stolen after a student’s mother said the device had been taken from their home without consent. A few weeks later, Absolute received a phone call from an individual not authorized to be using the device requesting assistance in removing the Absolute agent from the device. After determining contact information from the email address provided, investigators provided law enforcement with the callers’ identification. Detectives discovered the device had been sold online and it was returned to the school.

Vehicle Burglary

An employee of a state agency in Louisiana reported a laptop stolen during a vehicle burglary. Using Absolute forensic tools, investigators found the laptop location to be where the device was originally reported stolen – in the employee’s possession. Providing this information back to the customer allowed their IT team to speak with the employee who realized they did in fact still have the device. The agency was happy to have recovered the device and the employee matter is being handled internally.

Office Burglary

Over the course of one year, one Absolute customer in Ghana had 65 devices stolen from their office. The theft was discovered using Absolute’s undeletable tether to every device. Further examination showed where those devices were, and device locations were provided to local authorities. Detectives were able to recover 31 of the missing devices… and for the devices that remained in the wild, the customer was able to implement a device freeze so their data was no longer at risk.

For more than 15 years, Absolute Investigations has helped organizations recover their stolen devices. Made up of former law enforcement professionals and other experts, Absolute Investigations uses forensics tools and techniques to locate devices at large and once found, they connect with local law enforcement to orchestrate their safe return. Learn more here.

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