Absolute Software Turns Computer Theft Disasters Into Recovery Successes

August 31, 2010

Vancouver, Canada: August 31, 2010 – Absolute® Software Corporation (“Absolute”)(TSX: ABT), the leading provider of firmware-based, patented, computer theft recovery, data protection and secure computer lifecycle management solutions, today shared the details of several recent computer theft recovery investigations, including: a construction company's laptop that travelled from Texas to Ohio, a recovery that helped nab a burglar, and a student laptop that was stolen several times over. With Computrace® and LoJack® for Laptops persistent IT asset management, theft recovery and data protection solutions, Absolute turns would-be computer theft disasters into recovery successes.

"Because of our persistent technology and ability to gather evidence from stolen computers, we're able to recover computers on behalf of our customers and help give them peace-of-mind," said Lyle Singular, vice president of recovery services at Absolute Software. "Without the Absolute Theft Recovery Team's understanding of the requirements of the criminal justice system, some of these computers would probably have never been recovered and the suspects never captured.”

Four Days After Theft, Laptop Finds Its Way Home

Phyllis Proctor Leao thought the locked trunk of her car would provide a safe haven for her laptop while she was out for the evening, though unfortunately, an opportunist thief lurked nearby. Returning to her car a few hours later, Phyllis made the disheartening discovery that her laptop was gone.

Phyllis was able to notify police and file an online theft report with Absolute that night. In less than 24 hours, she was contacted by authorities who explained how Absolute had provided all the information they needed to exercise a search warrant, recover her computer and charge a suspect with the theft.

“Before I even had time to really panic, police called to say they had my laptop back. Thanks to them [the police] and Absolute, the whole ordeal was over in four days,” Phyllis explains. She adds that, in light of her experience, “I will definitely be putting LoJack for Laptops on my son's laptop while he’s at university!”

Hot Company Laptop Hops State Lines

Texas-based general contracting firm SpawGlass knows that a mobile and often remote workforce means its laptops are highly susceptible to theft. The company deployed Computrace not only for its ability to help manage computers for daily IT tasks even when computers are with travelling employees, but also for its proven theft recovery abilities.

These abilities were soon tested after a laptop was stolen from an employee’s truck. Although it was originally nabbed from a parking lot in Texas, Absolute facilitated the recovery of the device in Ohio. It turns out the thief sold the computer online shortly after the theft.

“Computrace allows us to track laptops across the country,” says Keefe Andrews, IT help desk supervisor for SpawGlass. “Even after a machine is stolen and sold outside of Texas, we are confident it can be recovered.”

Robber Busted, Computer Recovered

A relaxing weekend away turned into a frightening ordeal after Michael Leegstra returned home to a ransacked house. A robber had made away with many of his valuables, including all electronics in the house and his beloved laptop.

Although police caught the thief days later, the stolen items had long been sold off. “Even after I learned that the suspect was found, it was not comforting knowing my laptop was still out there,” Michael explains. “And although I was in contact with the Absolute Theft Recovery Team from the beginning, I have to admit – I did not fully believe I’d even see my computer again. Well - I was very wrong!”

The Absolute Theft Recovery Team diligently traced the stolen laptop as it changed hands from thief to unauthorized user until they had enough information to facilitate the recovery and charge the suspect with burglary. Michael was notified soon after.

“I was so excited, so relieved, and so convinced that LoJack for Laptops is the real deal. If I didn’t have this software on my laptop, I would not have seen it again - plain and simple.”

Laptop Left on Plane in England, Stolen, Recovered

Calvin Otta was flying into Manchester, England from Chicago. As he left the airport he realized he’d left his laptop in the seatback pocket on the plane. When the computer couldn't be found, Calvin reported it as stolen. The laptop was later recovered using Absolute's proprietary theft recovery tools at the home of an airline employee, who was then arrested and cautioned.

Student Laptop Stolen, Re-Stolen, Recovered

Stephanie Stone felt the same, false sense of security shared by most computer owners. “I never thought my laptop would be stolen from me,” she explains. Unfortunately, it took just minutes for her computer to be lifted from a university auditorium. “It was a terrible feeling,” Stephanie recalls, “but I calmed down a bit after remembering that I had purchased LoJack for Laptops when I bought my computer.”

Upon receiving Stephanie’s theft report, Absolute began to track the stolen device. The Theft Recovery Team identified an unauthorized user, who they determined had recently purchased the laptop online – presumably from the original thief. Police paid this user a visit to find out more information.

Unfortunately, officers were just a bit too late. As it turns out, the new, unauthorized user was also a victim of laptop theft. Just days after she purchased the laptop online and before police arrived, the laptop was stolen yet again – this time from her bag while she shopped.

Luckily, the laptop turned up in a store restroom the following day, and with the help of Absolute information, police were able to track down the original thief. The laptop was recovered and reunited with Stephanie.

“I am so glad that I have LoJack for Laptops because it gave me peace-of-mind,” Stephanie says. “Without it, I would not have received that phone call telling me that my laptop was waiting for me at the police station. Talk about relief!”

How Computrace Technology Works

Computrace and LoJack for Laptops are powered by the Absolute Software patented Computrace persistent technology. When embedded in the firmware of computers from leading computer manufactures,* Computrace can survive operating system re-installations, as well as hard-drive reformats, replacements and re-imaging, helping to ensure that the service is there when you need it most. Whether a PC or Mac, the software is virtually undetectable and phones home to the Absolute Monitoring Center with location and asset information. If a computer is reported stolen, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team works on behalf of the customer to gather evidence from the computer to identify the thief’s location, and then works with local police to get the computer back. Customers can also remotely delete data to help keep it out of the hands of unauthorized users – a reliable contingency in case data protection solutions fail. Computrace or LoJack for Laptops can be easily activated by customers when they install a license ranging from 1-3 years. 

*For a list of computers with firmware-embedded support, visit www.absolute.com/firmware.

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About Absolute Software

Absolute Software makes security work. We empower mission-critical performance with advanced cyber resilience. Embedded in more than 600 million devices, our cyber resilience platform delivers endpoint-to-network access security coverage, ensures automated security compliance, and enables operational continuity. Nearly 21,000 global customers trust Absolute to protect enterprise assets, fortify security and business applications, and provide a frictionless, always-on user experience. To learn more, visit www.absolute.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

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