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New Security Technology For Notebook PCs

Boot Camp feature for Monday, February 1, 1999

Keeping notebook computers and their contents safe and secure. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. More and more of us are carrying around notebook computers. Often they contain vital business information. But security is a big problem. Losses from computer hardware theft were estimated at eight billion dollars last year. Notebook computers are the most vulnerable of all. With that in mind, IBM has developed some high tech solutions. Two new ThinkPad models are including an imbedded radio frequency ID tag that stops unauthorized people from walking out of offices or buildings with your computer. IBM VP Phil Hester...

"The notebook computers introduce what's called a radio frequency technology indentification unit that you can think of as a two way transponder. There are sensor units available to go with this that are similar to the sensor units that you may have seen at department stores to prevent theft of articles from the store."

The notebooks can transmit their serial number and configuration. And if the wrong person walks off with it, it simply won't work. For existing notebook IBM is selling a new Smart Card Security Kit that plugs into a PCMCIA slot ...

"In order to be able to be able to power up the machine you have to have not only the machine but the smart card plugged into it and know the proper PIN number."

The kit sells for under two hundred dollars.