Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools computer recovery leads police to more than
just stolen computers
WASHINGTON, June 30 /CNW/ - Today at the National Education Computing
Conference (NECC), Absolute(R) Software Corporation ("Absolute" or the
"Company") (TSX: ABT), the leading provider of firmware-based, patented,
computer theft recovery, data protection and secure IT asset management
solutions announced a successful computer theft recovery investigation for
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). The computer theft recovery case resulted
in the arrest of alleged identity thieves and immigration law violators.
It was unquestionably a change of pace for CMS law enforcement officers:
an early-morning raid on a crowded trailer that involved federal agents, guns,
bullet-proof vests, a pry bar and a battering ram. It was also a successful
operation. When the raid was over, a stolen CMS laptop that had brought
officers to the trailer had been safely recovered.
"No one got hurt and we got our computer back. We're happy about that,"
said Jim Smallridge, a detective with the CMS Law Enforcement Department who
took part in the raid near Berryhill Elementary earlier this year.
The circumstances were unusual but the outcome wasn't. Thanks to the
diligence of CMS law enforcement personnel and the global reach of Absolute,
nearly two dozen stolen CMS computers have been recovered in the last two
years. CMS Law Enforcement has also assisted other law enforcement agencies,
such as the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport Police, North Carolina
Central University Police, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, with training and
in recovering computers that have surfaced in Charlotte.
The high rate of recovery means significant savings in replacement costs
for CMS. At about $1,000 per computer, replacing a laptop represents a
significant expense to the district - and with county and state money drying
up during the economic downturn, those savings are more important than ever.
So CMS law enforcement makes recovery one of its top priorities.
"It's a wonderful service and it saves money," said Susan T. Manning,
director of data center operations for CMS. "The software costs less than $100
per computer, so recovering just one computer pays for that computer's
software plus nine others. In addition, Absolute Software will pay as much as
$1,000 per computer if a stolen computer can't be recovered."
Absolute provides this service to a variety of school districts,
governments and private industry. CMS began using the service several years
ago. "CMS uses the software on laptops and also on some desktop computers that
are in mobile classrooms, because experience has shown that those are the most
vulnerable to theft," Manning said.
The laptop found in the trailer near Berryhill Elementary was one of four
stolen in a break-in at the Northeast Learning Community Center. In addition
to the one found in Berryhill, two have been located in the Dominican
Republic, and Absolute is working with police in that country to recover them.
"In addition to getting telephone and IP (Internet Protocol) addresses,
we are able to forensically mine the stolen computer," said Lyle Singular,
Vice President, Recovery Services at Absolute. "Because the Absolute Theft
Recovery Team is made up of former law enforcement personnel, we know what
evidence police need to get the subpoenas and warrants necessary to go after
the alleged criminals."
Mr. Singular continued: "Usually, our recoveries are pretty low-key. We
just want the laptop back and if we get it, that's the end of it. But this one
was different because some of the evidence Absolute gained from the computer
indicated that it likely was being used as part of a document lab, where fake
IDs, Social Security cards and other documents were being created."
The evidence led CMS law enforcement to two families living near
Berryhill. Because of immigration issues involving some family members, the
investigation included Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as
the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, according to Smallridge.
"In addition to the computer, law enforcement officers found a laminating
machine, a scanner and printer, hole punches used for ID cards and other
materials that indicated the trailer was at least a low-level document lab,"
"We appreciate the assistance we got from ICE, our local law enforcement
partners, and Absolute Software," Smallridge said. "We got our property back
and, for now, that document lab is out of business."
How Computrace Solutions Work
The Computrace(R) Agent that powers Absolute Software solutions is
embedded in the firmware of computers right at the factory or it can be
installed by the customer.(*) Embedded in the firmware of a computer, the
stealthy Computrace Agent is capable of surviving operating system
re-installations, as well as hard-drive reformats, replacements and
re-imaging. The Agent can be activated by customers when they purchase a
subscription with terms ranging from one to four years.
The Agent regularly contacts the Absolute Monitoring Center - sending
location and IT asset management information that is accessible via the
Absolute Customer Center web portal. Customers log in to the Absolute Customer
Center to access that information, manage their IT asset population, run
reports, remotely delete data and plot the location of their computers and
mobile devices on a map.
If a computer is stolen, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team can use
location information sent by the computer and forensically mine it using a
variety of procedures including key captures, registry scanning, file
scanning, geolocation, and other investigative techniques to determine who has
the computer and how it is being used. Absolute then works with local law
enforcement to help recover the computer.
Meet Absolute During NECC 2009
Meet Absolute's laptop tracking and security experts and see Computrace
first hand during NECC by visiting the Absolute exposition booth number 3709.
For more information on Absolute Software and its range of computer theft
recovery, data protection and IT asset management solutions, please visit
(*) For a complete list of firmware-supported computers, see
About Absolute Software
Absolute Software Corporation (TSX: ABT) is the leader in computer theft
recovery, data protection and secure IT asset management solutions. Absolute
Software provides organizations and consumers with solutions in the areas of
regulatory compliance, data protection and theft recovery. The Company's
Computrace software is embedded in the firmware of computers by global
leaders, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, General Dynamics Itronix, HP,
Lenovo, Motion, Panasonic and Toshiba, and the Company has reselling
partnerships with these OEMs and others, including Apple. For more information
about Absolute Software and Computrace, visit www.absolute.com and
Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking
statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking
statements relate to, among other things, the expected performance,
functionality and availability of our services and products, the availability
of and eligibility for our Service Guarantee, the likelihood of successful
recoveries, and other expectations, intentions and plans contained in this
press release that are not historical fact. When used in this press release,
the words "plan," "expect," "believe," and similar expressions generally
identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current
expectations. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties,
including, but not limited to, changes in technology and general market
conditions. In light of the many risks and uncertainties you should understand
that we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements contained in
this press release will be realized.
(C)2009 Absolute Software Corporation. All rights reserved. Computrace
and Absolute are registered trademarks of Absolute Software Corporation.
Computrace U.S. patents No. 5,715,174, No. 5,764,892, No. 5,802,280, No.
5,896,497, No. 6,244,758, No. 6,269,392, No. 6,300,863, and No. 6,507,914.
Canadian patents No. 2,284,806 and No. 2,205,370. U.K. patents No. EP793823
and No. GB2338101. German patent No. 695 125 34.6-08. Australian patent No.
699045. Japanese patent No. JP4067035. The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither
approved nor disapproved of the information contained in this news release.
For further information:
For further information: Public Relations: Leslie Campisi, Affect
Strategies, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (212) 398-9680 x144; Investor
Relations: Dave Mason, CFA, The Equicom Group, email@example.com, or
(416) 815-0700 x237