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  1. #1
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    Exclamation "Laptops Lost Like Hot Cakes at US Airports" - pcworld.com

    Can you believe it?

    From pcworld.com:

    Laptops Lost Like Hot Cakes at US Airports

    Agam Shah, IDG News Service

    Monday, June 30, 2008 12:30 PM PDT

    Keep laptops close at airports, because they have a startling tendency to disappear in the blink of an eye, according to a new survey.

    Some of the largest and medium-sized U.S. airports report close to 637,000 laptops lost each year, according to the Ponemon Institute survey released Monday. Laptops are most commonly lost at security checkpoints, according to the survey.

    Close to 10,278 laptops are reported lost every week at 36 of the largest U.S. airports, and 65 percent of those laptops are not reclaimed, the survey said. Around 2,000 laptops are recorded lost at the medium-sized airports, and 69 percent are not reclaimed.

    Travelers seem to lack confidence that they will recover lost laptops. About 77 percent of people surveyed said they had no hope of recovering a lost laptop at the airport, with 16 percent saying they wouldn't do anything if they lost their laptop during business travel. About 53 percent said that laptops contain confidential company information, with 65 percent taking no steps to protect the information.

    Airports, along with hotels and parked cars. are places where laptops can be easily stolen, said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on its Web site. The confusion of going through security checkpoints can make it easy for travelers to lose track of their laptops, making it "fertile ground for theft," the FTC said.

    The FTC recommends people treat laptops "like cash." Like a wad of money, a laptop in public view -- like the backseat of the car or at the airport -- could attract unwanted attention. The FTC also recommends using tracking devices like Absolute Software's LoJack, which can help track down a stolen laptop by reporting its location once it is connected to the Internet. Lenovo last week announced it would offer the LoJack option in its upcoming ThinkPad SL series laptops.

    Attaching bells and whistles that sound off after detecting laptop motion could also minimize the chances of laptop theft, the FTC says.

    Laptop theft is fairly prevalent in the U.S., said Mike Spinney, a spokesman for Ponemon Institute. In a study conducted by the institute, 76 percent of companies surveyed reported losing one or more laptops each year, of which 22 percent were due to theft or other criminal mischief.

    Many people are ashamed of reporting lost laptops as they leave them where they shouldn't be, Spinney said.

    The Ponemon survey was commissioned by Dell, which on Monday announced new security services to commercial customers that include tracking and recovery of lost laptops and prevention of data theft.

    Dell's laptop tracking service uses technology including GPS (Global Positioning System) to locate and recover lost laptops. The data protection services include the ability to remotely delete data on a hard drive and services to recover data from failed hard drives.
    Like someone said: "It seems like a Bermuda Triangle of the Digital Age".

    The original report from the Dell site, in PDF format.

    Thanks to barrapunto.com and kriptopolis.org for the original info and links.

  2. #2
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    most laptops and computers nowadays have windows log on so if you don't know the password, how are you going to use it?

    you can't log on to Windows, you can't do anything with it!!


  3. #3
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    Hackers should have tools for that. From my point of view: Can't you use an USB flashdrive based OS to get the files on the laptop's HDD(s)?


  4. #4
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    Hackers should have tools for that. From my point of view: Can't you use an USB flashdrive based OS to get the files on the laptop's HDD(s)?

    I wish I knew that when my wife forgot the password to her laptop (when it was new) about 3 years ago!!


  5. #5
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    What you did on that situation?

  6. #6
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    send it to a repair store


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by j7wild View Post
    most laptops and computers nowadays have windows log on so if you don't know the password, how are you going to use it?

    you can't log on to Windows, you can't do anything with it!!

    You could format the HD, re-install Windows and sell it as new/seccond hand. :p

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by j7wild View Post
    most laptops and computers nowadays have windows log on so if you don't know the password, how are you going to use it?

    you can't log on to Windows, you can't do anything with it!!

    With a typical install, setting a password on a computer is a little like putting a deadbolt lock on a screen door, but leaving the solid front door open. When you come home, don't be surprised to find your screen door securely locked, but with the screen cut away and your house burgled.

    Unless the harddrive is encrypted, getting into (or getting data out of) a password protected system is relatively easy. And to be fair, this is true of Linux and OSX, as well as Windows. As long as someone has physical access to the computer, getting into it is fairly easy, especially for someone who does this for a "living".

    And if the harddrive is encrypted, as odj_310388 suggested, just wipe the computer and reinstall the OS (most Windows laptops have the Windows sticker with the product key stuck on the bottom of the unit, so all you need is a CD). Whoever stole the laptop doesn't get the info on the laptop, but they do get a laptop.

    And there is the reality that most people have really, really bad passwords which can be broken really easily. One of my former co-workers actually had the password on his work computer of "123456". This is a guy who dealt with advertising accounts as part of his job. Granted, this particular system was a desktop, not a laptop, but if it had been a laptop, I have no doubt that would have been his password as well.
    Corfy
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  9. #9
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by corfy View Post
    With a typical install, setting a password on a computer is a little like putting a deadbolt lock on a screen door, but leaving the solid front door open. When you come home, don't be surprised to find your screen door securely locked, but with the screen cut away and your house burgled.

    Unless the harddrive is encrypted, getting into (or getting data out of) a password protected system is relatively easy. And to be fair, this is true of Linux and OSX, as well as Windows. As long as someone has physical access to the computer, getting into it is fairly easy, especially for someone who does this for a "living".

    And if the harddrive is encrypted, as odj_310388 suggested, just wipe the computer and reinstall the OS (most Windows laptops have the Windows sticker with the product key stuck on the bottom of the unit, so all you need is a CD). Whoever stole the laptop doesn't get the info on the laptop, but they do get a laptop.

    And there is the reality that most people have really, really bad passwords which can be broken really easily. One of my former co-workers actually had the password on his work computer of "123456". This is a guy who dealt with advertising accounts as part of his job. Granted, this particular system was a desktop, not a laptop, but if it had been a laptop, I have no doubt that would have been his password as well.
    and in the situation of my wife forgetting the password on her new laptop 3 years ago; calling Microsucks Support didn't do any good (the Indian guy thought we were talking about the OS Serial Number and he kept saying if it's not booting up, our OS must not be genuine - learn to speak and understand English before you work for Microsucks!!) and it took the people at a PC repair shop to get it going again - I don't know how they did it!!

    When we got it back, it booted up to desktop without asking for a password and everything she had put on it was still there.


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