Intel Working on Notebook Anti-Theft Technology
by , 3:50 PM EDT, April 3rd, 2008
Intel announced on Wednesday that that they're working on an anti-theft technology that would render a stolen notebook computer useless, according to The Register. The operation of the CPU would be tied to the login authentication.
Details remain sparse, and Intel's Mobility Group chief, Dadi Perlmutter, provided few specifics. Basically, however, the notebook computer would be disabled if the proper password were not entered. The idea is to discourage theft.
Currently, hard disks in notebook computers can be encrypted. Even so, that doesn't keep a thief from simply replacing the hard disk. The Intel system would work during the start up process itself so that a thief who doesn't know the system password wouldn't be able to operate the computer at all.
The results are expected in Q4, but then the question is when and how fast manufacturers incorporate the technology. Since modern Macs are Intel-based, it's reasonable to surmise that Apple would be interested in the technology.
Currently, Apple includes a feature called FileVault that encrypts the user's hard disk. If the password is forgotten, the data is permanently lost. So while locking up the computer itself is a much bigger deal in terms of potential customer support issues, it isn't without some degree of precedent by Apple.