Schools regain stolen laptops with tracking software

Absolute® Software Corporation today released details of several laptop theft recovery success stories from K-12 school districts across the U.S. that use 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.

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. These efforts 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.

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. 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.