Following 22,000+ Laptop Recoveries in 88 Countries, Memorable Cases Illustrate the Benefit of Dedicated Theft Recovery Support for Absolute’s Customers
Vancouver, Canada and Las Vegas, Nevada: January 9, 2012 – In celebration of CES 2012, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, Absolute® Software Corporation (“Absolute” or the “Company”) (TSX: ABT), the leading provider of firmware-embedded endpoint security and management solutions, takes a look back at some of its most unforgettable computer theft recovery cases that underscore the value of its Computrace® and LoJack® for Laptops products.
“The theft of computer and tablet devices happens every day around the world. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute, a laptop is stolen at a U.S. airport every 50 seconds. That statistic means that more than 6,900 laptops will be stolen from airports in the United States during the four days of CES 2012,” said John Livingston, Chairman and CEO of Absolute. “Our customers understand Absolute’s theft recovery services, including detection, remediation, recovery and deterrence, are an essential layer to any data protection strategy and lifecycle management policy. In addition to reducing incident rates so that our customers can better manage and secure their devices, Absolute has recovered over 22,000 devices across 88 countries. This represents countless prevented data leaks, thousands of arrests, and over $100 million in recovered stolen merchandise. Most importantly, our recoveries represent laptops that have been returned to their rightful owners, ranging from consumers to large organizations.”
For Absolute customers, the difference is a managed theft recovery process that combines powerful Computrace persistence technology with the experience of the industry’s only Theft Recovery team. Working with more than 6,500 law enforcement agencies globally, the Absolute Theft Recovery team has seen it all – helping local police to prevent illegal activities and keeping consumers and businesses out of high-risk situations. From the good, the bad, and the downright dangerous, Absolute Software presents its “Best Of” recovery stories at CES 2012.
Biggest Bust: The $100,000 Recovery
A Flint, Michigan-based community college professor arrived in his classroom one day to find that four laptops were missing. Lucky for the college, the campus computers were protected with Computrace. After receiving the police report, the Absolute Theft Recovery team used digital forensics and other investigative techniques that allowed police to identify and locate the suspect. With a search warrant in hand, police recovered more than $100,000 in collateral – filling up an entire police car with stolen campus goods including computers, digital cameras and personal items belonging to campus employees.
Most Notorious Criminal Nabbed: The Khaki Bandit
Wearing business-casual clothing, Eric Almly (aka the Khaki Bandit) followed unsuspecting office workers into secure buildings. Once inside, Almly targeted laptops, ultimately making off with 150 from offices in five states. Ultimately, the stolen computers were the key to his capture, since one of the laptops had Computrace technology installed and activated. Using information provided by the Absolute Theft Recovery team, police were led directly to Almly who was immediately arrested.
Most Heartwarming Recovery: Keeping Spirits High
In one laptop theft investigation, the Absolute Theft Recovery team learned that a 12-year-old girl was using a stolen computer at St. Jude’s Hospital in Tennessee. After turning information over to the police, they arrived at the girl’s residence and recovered the computer. Upon learning that the girl was battling cancer, and her mother unknowingly purchased the laptop to keep her daughter’s spirits up, Absolute presented the girl with her very own pink Dell replacement.
Dumbest Criminal: Taken Down by Take-out
The Absolute Theft Recovery team identified a suspect who was using a stolen computer for credit card fraud, identity theft, and food delivery orders. Because the computer was protected with LoJack for Laptops, Absolute was able to provide information to police so they could identify and locate the suspect. While the suspect denied having a stolen laptop, his garbage said otherwise. Using key captures, Absolute determined the name of a restaurant that recently delivered food to his residence. Once police found the evidence, the suspect surrendered the laptop and two suspects were arrested.
Most Arrests in One Case: One Dozen Arrested; 50 Laptops Recovered
Upon learning that 54 laptops were stolen from a single school district, Absolute provided police with potential suspects the same day. Police swiftly made two arrests, recovering 38 computers. Four days after the initial theft report was filed, police recovered five more computers and filed additional charges, and the next day, seven more computers were returned. In total, Absolute aided in the arrest of 12 suspects and helped police recover 50 of the school-issued laptops to-date.
Fastest Recovery: 65 Minutes
After a laptop protected by Computrace was stolen from an elementary school, Absolute was able to promptly identify the name and location of its unauthorized user. This information was immediately passed on to police, who recovered the computer from the suspect in just 65 minutes. As a result, the suspect was charged with receiving stolen property and the student was happily (and quickly) reunited with his laptop.
Most Dangerous Recovery: An Explosive Situation Defused
An ex-employee stole a company laptop before leaving the business. Using digital forensic tools, the Absolute Theft Recovery team was able to identify the user, who was actively searching for bomb-making materials. In addition to working directly with police, Absolute alerted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the laptop was recovered – alongside several dangerous, improvised explosive devices.
Most Creative Criminal: Tech Scholar Turned Laptop Thief
One clever laptop thief expressed interest in computer science at a local college and requested a visit to the school’s IT department. Hours later, the thief broke in to a storage room, taking an armful of computers with him. Once the computers were reported missing, the Absolute Theft Recovery team identified the suspect using digital forensics and other investigative techniques. Faced with overwhelming evidence, the suspect admitted to the theft, and 10 counts of felony charges were brought against him.
Best International Recovery: 5-Star Service in the UK
A laptop being used at a conference by the Lancashire Care NHS Trust was stolen, and Absolute was called in to help recover the computer. Using digital forensics, the location of the laptop was traced to an address in Chester. Further investigations revealed that the user was an employee of the conference hotel and had stolen the computer. A warrant was executed on the address resulting in an arrest and successful recovery of the laptop.
Come meet Absolute Software at CES 2012 at Booth #3801 (Toscana) 3rd Floor at the Venetian hotel to learn more about other theft recovery stories and to receive a product demo.
How Computrace Technology Works
Computrace and LoJack for Laptops are powered by the Absolute Software patented Computrace persistence technology. When embedded in the firmware of computers from leading computer manufacturers*, 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 Windows, Mac or Android device, 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/.