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A client of mine wants to be able to remotely wipe employees company laptops upon termination. Does anybody know a good way of going about that? I know Lojack for laptops has this capability...

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So the employees get to keep their laptops when they are terminated? – EBGreen Aug 21 '09 at 14:56
he want to fire people by email. "You are terminated. This laptop will self destruct in 5 seconds..." – Preet Sangha Aug 21 '09 at 15:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Lojack For Laptops

You can Google for "remote wipe laptop" or variations of that but if you're serious about it then you might as well spend a little money and go with the Lojack for Laptops package.

The version you'd require (remote wipe) looks like its about $60/yr or $110 for 3 years.

Aside from that. Lojack is a fairly common name... so if you ever did find yourself in court one could hope that the judge would be more understanding of a Lojack concept rather than a "BackOrifice" or some other type of "root kit" solution.

At the end of the day, one looks legit... the other looks sinister... even though they both pretty much serve the same purpose.

Good luck!


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At what stage would he like this to happen? when the machine is on the internet in any way? if so then you could switch on RDP or SSH, run dyndns or similar and when he pulls the trigger someone connects in and wipes everything - would that work? I doubt very much you could do anything without it being connected to the internet in any way, other than writing a script that ran periodically to check if it was ok to NOT wipe the disk.

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I don't know of any way to easily do this without proprietary software installation. I suppose you'd have to go with LoJack, as you already said, or work with the client to centralize their sensitive data to only work via vpn, then that would cut off links to proprietary data.

The alternative is to also remember that if it's company property, they would have legal remedies to get the hardware back. Most of the time I've heard of companies trying something like this (remotely wiping drives from employees) it's an overreaction, but only you know your situation and if it warrants it. Plus you might wipe evidence supporting the decision to terminate the employee in the first place by wiping the drive (or it could affect legal actions too by destroying evidence).

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