Security Firm Deserts Users

Monday, 2 December 2002, 6:26 PM EST

A company that once promised to find stolen corporate laptops is now itself missing in action. And left behind are countless customers stuck for the prepaid service and saddled with a software agent that not only resists being disabled but can still transmit sensitive data over the Internet.

Lucira Technologies Inc. has been defunct since August, when it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Boston, federal court records show. Nearly two dozen users contacted by eWeek, however, say they've never been notified that the managed service has been terminated. All telephones to the company's Boston headquarters have been disconnected, Lucira's corporate Web site has been shuttered, and the company's landlord said the firm moved out several months ago leaving no forwarding address.

The company, which was founded in 1999 as CyberTrak Systems Inc., marketed a service alternately called MobileSecure or SecurePC. At the heart of Lucira's service is a technology dubbed Pinpoint, which makes regular, automatic checks to a Lucira server when a client computer is logged on to the Internet. When a machine is reported stolen, the software could be used to log trace routes and locate the machine for recovery by police. A Lucira official once bragged in published reports that the company's client-side software agent was so robust that the only way to defeat it once installed was to physically remove the laptop's hard disk drive.

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