Over 20,000 stolen computers recovered

Absolute® Software Corporation, provider of firmware-embedded endpoint security and management solutions, announced that it has surpassed an IT industry milestone with over 20,000 stolen computers now recovered. These devices have been recovered using Absolute’s flagship Computrace® and LoJack® for Laptops products and returned to customers ranging from consumers to some of the world’s largest organizations.

“At DPS, we’ve already seen the effect of these recoveries,” said Robert Barenie, special investigator for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Office of Inspector General. “Absolute Software’s Computrace is truly the finest investigative tool for the recovery process of stolen devices, leading us to the successful conviction of numerous individuals stealing laptops. We would have never recovered any of the 300 plus laptops stolen from our district without the aid of Absolute Software.”

As a result of Absolute’s technology being embedded in the firmware of computers from leading PC manufacturers since 2005, the recovery success rate has been increasing every year, with over 17,000 devices recovered in the last six years, and over 5,000 in the last year alone. In addition to the value of the device, the importance of data not falling into the wrong hands is critical to consumers and organizations alike. Many of Absolute’s customers have purchased data protection solutions that don’t include recovery. For these customers, technology has successfully performed over 8,500 remote data deletions to secure the privacy of their data.

On the heels of its 20,000th recovery, Absolute has gathered statistics highlighting the sheer volume of hardware, software, data, and additional collateral the company has helped to recover during more than 18 years in the industry. In 2009 and 2010 alone, Absolute’s recoveries have represented:

  • Over $12 million worth of successfully recovered devices
  • Over 9,605 devices recovered, with 3,853 of these recoveries on college campuses and in K-12 school districts
  • 475 known criminal charges filed in 2010
  • Millions of dollars worth of additional stolen items recovered along with the computers, including jewelry, automobiles, firearms, and other electronics
  • Medical, financial, and private consumer data leaks prevented

Laptop Recovery Leads Law Enforcement to Stockpile of Explosives
An organization’s ex-employee stole a company laptop before leaving the business. Using Absolute’s forensic tools, Theft Recovery Investigators were able to identify that the user was actively searching for bomb-making materials. Absolute alerted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the laptop was recovered – alongside several dangerous, improvised explosive devices.

The $100,000 Recovery: A Major Michigan Community College Recovers Thousands in Stolen Goods
After noticing that four laptops locked in his classroom were missing, a professor from a Flint, Michigan based college notified campus security. As the campus computers were protected with Computrace for added security, Absolute leveraged forensic tools to provide the thief’s known location. With search warrants in hand, police were able to recover 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.

Stealing the Show: Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team Tracks Down a Laptop… and a Serial Robber
Barry Sebesta, a Bradfordwoods, PA resident came home from work to find his house had been broken into. Immediately noticing that his laptop and his wife’s wedding band and engagement ring were missing, Barry called the police and also filed a report with Absolute. Working in parallel with local police, Absolute’s Theft Recovery Investigators were able to pinpoint the location of Barry’s laptop using LoJack for Laptops, leading the police to a thief who had committed over a dozen burglaries, with more than 1,000 pieces of stolen jewelry in his possession. “The police had no leads prior to the location provided by the Theft Recovery Team,” said Sebesta. “Now, I tell everyone about LoJack for Laptops.”

Five Star Service: In the UK, Absolute Recovers Lancashire Care NHS Trust Computer Stolen at a Conference
A laptop being used by the Lancashire Care NHS Trust at a conference was stolen, and Absolute was called into help recover the laptop. Using Absolute’s forensic tools, 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 the laptop being successfully recovered.

"With the aid of Computrace we have successfully recovered over 350 laptops," said Talha Basit, client computing services manager, Chicago Public Schools. "This has directly resulted in substantial cost savings of having my support team find and replace these mobile computers. We widely promote the fact that our mobile computers have Computrace on them and that has worked out well for us."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 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.