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New service deletes files on stolen laptops

But the thief would have to connect to the Internet without wiping data first

By Chris Mellor
April 12, 2006 12:00 PM ET - Everdream Corp. has launched a service to delete or encrypt files on stolen PCs and laptops. But the service depends utterly on the thief being naive enough to connect the stolen PC/laptop to the Internet without wiping the existing software on the hard drive first.

The Everdream software is implemented as an agent on the PC or laptop. When the device is stolen and is connected to the Internet, the agent software links to Everdream's control center and sends a set of network location information.

This triggers the sending of software from the control center to automatically encrypt or delete files on the stolen device. Customers of Everdream's Theft Recovery Service set policies to say whether files should be deleted or encrypted and which files are to be targeted.

This service is in addition to Everdream's existing set of corporate PC management services for things such as online backup.

The Fremont, Calif., company says that the network location information can assist law enforcement agencies in tracking the stolen box. In the U.K., it is debatable if the police would do anything other than provide a theft reference number if a PC was stolen.

If a thief reformats the hard drive of the stolen PC or laptop, then the service won't work. Also, if the thief does not connect to the Internet at all, then all the files on the hard drive could be copied at leisure.

Everdream does not say how the software recognizes the theft. The service costs $6 per PC per month in the U.S. -- assume ┬┐5.00 or so in the U.K.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright 2012 IDG, all rights reserved.
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