Lenovo ThinkPads Getting SMS Kill Switch

Remote disablement for WWAN-fitted models.

There’s no denying that Lenovo’s Constant Secure Remote Disable is a pretty neat idea. All HSDPA/3G-fitted notebooks have a SIM card in them, so why not use it to allow a system to be remotely disabled if stolen?

Lenovo has teamed up with Phoenix Technologies to introduce the system, which relies on a text-message sent from a paired device (not just any phone) to trigger the remote ‘kill switch’. This command can be any text message command, such as a “disable laptop”, “turn off PC” or possibly even “take the blue pill.”

If the system is on when the SMS is received then it will shut down and become inoperable immediately, if not the same will happen at the next boot up. Once disabled a user-set password must be entered before the system is unlocked again.

Only Montevina (Centrino 2) based systems are compatible (so presumably this functionality is embedded in the chipset somewhere) meaning older systems aren’t supported. However, all of Lenovo’s forthcoming laptops with WWAN modules will be.

Mind, cool as this tech sounds, I’m quite annoyed that my plans to swipe a Centrino 2 version of the TR award-winning ThinkPad X300 may have been thwarted before ever being put into action. Damn!

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