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Stealth Software Program Set to Retrieve Lost or Stolen Computers

  • 29 July, 2004 14:37

<p>The high cost of replacing lost or stolen computers and the information contained on them could soon be a thing of the past with the release today of a stealth software program called PC PhoneHome™.</p>
<p>Electronic Accessories Australia Director, John MacKellar, said today that lost and stolen computers are not only costing Australia millions of dollars annually in terms of replacing hardware, lost intellectual property and confidential information, but it threatens national security as well.</p>
<p>“As recently as last week a laptop containing information on Australia’s maritime security was stolen from the Canberra headquarters of the Department of Transport,” said Mr MacKellar. “Equally disturbing is the finding that 42 percent of Australian corporations were the victim of computer crime in 2003.”</p>
<p>Developed in the USA by a group with extensive legal and law enforcement experience, PC PhoneHome™ tracks and locates lost or stolen computers by comparing IP addresses each time the computer logs on to the internet.</p>
<p>“With PC PhoneHome™, as soon as a lost or stolen computer logs on to the internet, the computer transmits a secret electronic mail to PC PhoneHome™ headquarters and to a user designated address. This enables the computer to be located and retrieved from anywhere in the world,” said Mr MacKellar. “It’s a simple task for police to go to the address, retrieve the computer and where necessary, make an arrest.”</p>
<p>According to the software’s developers, the program is so stealthy that not even computer savvy thieves are able to detect its presence on a computer. When PC PhoneHome™ is correctly installed and the computer’s hard drive is properly password protected, they cannot reformat the hard drive to delete the program. If they somehow find PC PhoneHome™ files and delete them the program simply re-spawns itself when the computer is rebooted.</p>
<p>PC PhoneHome™, or its Macintosh equivalent, MacPhoneHome™, is available as a single user edition that can be purchased via the website at www.pcphonehome.com.au or from selected retailers at the recommended retail price of $35.95. A free 30 day trial version of the single user edition can also be downloaded from the website.</p>
<p>For organisations requiring multiple licences, an enterprise edition is also available. Requests for further details can be obtained by contacting PC PhoneHome™ via the website.</p>
<p>Already used in the USA by such organisations as NASA, Columbia University and global giant Coco Cola, PC PhoneHome™ has been enthusiastically received by police forces, insurance companies and the computer industry. It is expected to be a far more cost efficient and convenient alternative for Australian organisations and consumers concerned about computer security.</p>
<p>“Currently many organisations rely on physically securing their computers to the desk for security,” said Mr MacKellar. “This is a costly and time consuming exercise that isn’t always practical. It also makes it difficult for technicians and other personnel to move a computer when technical work is required or when the computer needs to be moved to a new workstation.”</p>
<p>PC PhoneHome™ is compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating systems and is easy to install on home computers by individual users or on networks by the system administrator. A new version to be released soon will also include built in file encryption, adding yet another layer of security. Free upgrades will be made available to existing PC PhoneHome™ users.</p>
<p>Unlike other security programs currently available, purchasing PC PhoneHome™ is a one time only cost. A PDA and PALM version of the program will also be available soon. An Enterprise version is also available that utilizes a cost-effective annual license format for larger organizations.</p>
<p>Enquiries: Mr. John MacKellar (07) 5593 4442 or Mobile 0417 766 402
Mr. Rick Williams (07) 5593 4442
Mr. Tony Westgarth (07) 5593 4442</p>
<p>BACKGROUNDER</p>
<p>PC PhoneHome™ /MacPhoneHome™ Product Information</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ was developed in the Unites States by Brigadoon Software, Inc. New York.</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ is distributed in Australia by Electronic Accessories Australia Pty Ltd based on the Gold Coast.</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ won the SmallBusinessTechnology.com’s ‘Best Security Solution Award’ PC Expo 2002.</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ is available as an Enterprise Edition which is a custom configuration that allows organisations to install PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ on large numbers of computers without the need for time consuming individual configuration.</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ Enterprise Edition can be installed using a variety of popular “network push” techniques. Installation can be completely transparent.</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ Enterprise Edition can be installed using a variety of popular disk imaging utilities</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ protects the largest academic rollout of portable computers in US history, over 30,000 Apple iBooks in Henrico County, Va.</p>
<p>•PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ is compatible with Windows’ operating systems back to Windows 95 and Mac systems from 8.6 to OS X.</p>
<p>• PC PhoneHome™/MacPhoneHome™ single user editions can be downloaded from the net at <http:></http:></p>
<p>Recent Articles on Computer Theft and Computer Crime in Australia</p>
<p>•Labor accuses Federal Government of covering up theft of laptop containing information on Australia’s maritime security.
Source: <http:> Accessed 3/06/2004.</http:></p>
<p>•Almost 1,500 government computers stolen between 1998 and 2002.
Source: <http:> Accessed 3/06/2004.</http:></p>
<p>•Australian Crime and Security (AusCERT) Survey shows 42 percent of Australian corporations fell victim to computer crime in 2003.
Source: <http:> Accessed 4/06/2004.</http:></p>
<p>•$3.63 million in computers stolen from Queensland state schools since 1999.
Source: <http:> Accessed 4/06/2004.</http:></p>
<p>•Approximatley $2.3Million dollars in laptops were stolen in Australia in
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology Report on Computer Crime, Facts and Figures 2003.
<http:> Accessed 7/06/2004.</http:></p>
<p>Sample of Organisations relying on PC PhoneHome/MacPhoneHome</p>
<p>Canadian Ministry of Health
Lexmark International
Coca-Cola
NASA
Daimler-Chrysler
Scandinavian Airline Systems
Fujitsu
US Dept of Energy
Harvard University
Yale University</p>

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