Self-destruct laptops foil thieves

Self-destruct laptops foil thieves

Wi-Fi and RFID system destroys sensitive data

UK firm Virtuity has come up with a 'self-destruct' technology based on Wi-Fi and radio frequency ID tags that kicks into action when a laptop is moved from its designated space.

The BackStopp software monitors the electronic 'heartbeat' of a laptop to determine its location. If the laptop is moved from its permitted zone the software blocks access and ultimately destroys data.

The system is designed to provide an additional layer of protection in conjunction with encryption software.

BackStopp offers administrators an "at-a-glance report" of which laptops contain what data, and their level of security, according to the company.

If a machine is deemed to be 'at risk' following unauthorised movement, Backstopp sends out the self-destruct message.

The software will also prompt any laptop featuring an in-built webcam to start taking photographs to help with identification of the thief.

"There are millions of laptops out there that contain valuable data," said Virtuity chief technology officer Dean Bates.

"The vast majority are not stolen for their data, but the [thief] will often come across the data and use it for criminal purposes. This solution prevents that illicit use."

Prices start at £10 per laptop per month.