America’s K-12 School Districts Depend on Absolute Software to Recover Stolen Laptops

April 05, 2011

Absolute’s Successful Recovery of Over 5,000 Stolen Computers During the Last 12 Months Underscores the Value of Protecting Mobile Devices with Computrace Persistence Technology

Vancouver, Canada: April 5, 2011 – Absolute® Software Corporation (“Absolute” or the “Company”) (TSX: ABT), the leading provider of endpoint security and management solutions that reduce IT costs, prove regulatory compliance, respond to computer theft, and optimize productivity, today released details of several laptop theft recovery success stories from K-12 school districts across the U.S. that utilize Computrace® by Absolute Software. These recoveries, along with the over 5,000 stolen computers recovered in the last 12 months, demonstrate the value of security software in the prevention of data breaches and the financial loss associated with laptop theft.

Computrace has been successfully deployed by school districts across 39 states as an effective and proven layered approach to endpoint security. In fact, 75% of America’s top 20 school districts depend on Computrace persistence technology to provide them with actionable intelligence to understand where their devices are, regardless of location, and take the necessary action required when a device is at risk.

“School districts throughout the U.S. are facing drastic budget cuts, and as a result, the ability to adequately track, monitor and protect expensive mobile assets both in and out of the classroom is more critical than ever before,” said Lyle Singular, vice president of recovery services, Absolute Software. “The power of Computrace persistence technology combined with the expertise of our Absolute Theft Recovery Team and their established relationships with local authorities provides a clear value proposition to all organizations. Our technology provides resource-strapped IT departments with the necessary visibility and control they need to track and manage their deployed devices and get them back quickly should a crime occur.”

Laptop Recovery Reduces Cost of Theft

Carleton Elementary School, part of the Detroit Public School District, recently fell victim to large-scale theft. Included in the items stolen were several Mac laptops, which were outfitted with Computrace software. Relying on the tracking capabilities inherent in Computrace, Absolute worked with the local police department to provide a trail of clues leading directly to a suspect.

When contacted by law enforcement the suspect admitted that while he did not steal the devices, he had recently purchased them for $400 each from a nearby gas station. He agreed to return the stolen laptops and one day later, the devices were returned to Carleton Elementary.

“Theft is devastating. However, the ability to recover stolen laptops with Absolute Software's assistance can make a huge difference,” said Robert Barenie, Special Investigator, Detroit Public Schools Office of Inspector General, Detroit Public Schools, Carleton Elementary School. “We always knew the importance of securing our mobile devices; though we never truly understood the benefits until we experienced theft firsthand. Computrace not only helped to protect sensitive data, but also eliminated the need to replace the devices, which would have been financially taxing.”

Proactive Security Leads to Laptop Recovery

A student in the Lorain City School District (LCSD) in Ohio was the victim of theft when her assigned laptop went missing. Because the district had Computrace installed on all their laptops, Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team was able to take immediate action when the laptop was reported stolen and determined that another student was actively using the device. In response to this discovery, Absolute deployed Computrace's Device Freeze feature to “brick” the device and render it unusable until accessed by an authorized administrator. The school was also able to send a custom message displayed to the the end user.

LCSD’s dedication to protecting their valuable computing assets combined with Absolute’s technology and experience in laptop recovery resulted in a successful recovery for the school district.

Despite Challenges, Laptop Thief was Identified and Device Successfully Returned

A large school district in New Mexico was recently victim to laptop theft. To compound the issue, this case proved to be challenging as the pre- and post-theft IP addresses matched, indicating that the laptop was last contacted from its original location. Without any leads to possible suspects, the district determined it would need further assistance in identifying the thief and turned to Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team.

Through analysis, research and direct collaboration with local law enforcement, Absolute was able to use screen captures and keystrokes to identify a young “gamer” as the primary suspect. Absolute was also able to pinpoint the laptop’s location. As a result of the the swift action taken by Absolute and the local police department, the laptop was successfully recovered and returned to its school. It was also a landmark recovery for the local police detective assigned to the case - it was his twelfth successful laptop recovery for Absolute Software to date.

How Computrace Technology Works

Computrace and LoJack® for Laptops are powered by Absolute Software patented Computrace persistence 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

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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 and follow us on LinkedIn.

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