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C MPUTER THEFT REP RT

2011

FOREWORD
Absolute Software has been in business since 1993 when we created the managed theft recovery category. Since then, we have successfully investigated over 24,000 incidents of computer theft with recoveries in every corner of the world (91 countries and counting). Weve learned a lot in this time. Since we do not limit our investigations geographically, we know that computer theft is not unique to any particular geography or socioeconomic category. Its often a crime of opportunity and it will occur whenever the opportunity presents itself. Whether it is a case of corporate espionage or a mislaid laptop. We have seen some amazing and innovative work by law enforcement, tireless investigators that truly care about the communities they serve. And since its rare that a thief will be caught in their very first crime, we know that one successful theft recovery can be the first link in a chain of multiple crimes. The digital forensics and other information we provide to police can help solve more serious crimes and get chronic (and scary) offenders off the street. This report is based on the data we collect during our theft recovery investigations. Each time a customer contacts us to report a stolen device, a report is generated that includes information about the theft incident. Additional data is collected throughout the investigation. This provides us with an extremely rich data store specific to computer theft. With this data, we can identify trends and other pertinent facts such as the top cities and airports where Absolute customers fall victim to computer theft; that the peak months of computer theft differ for corporate versus consumer customers; and other information that is borne out after so many years working computer theft crimes. This is our inaugural Computer Theft Report based on all of our theft recovery investigations in 2011. Each year, we intend to publish an update with a focus on the changes in trends. Since most Absolute customers are located in North America and Europe, these regions are the deepest sources of data and the focus of this report. Due to our recent growth in other regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America, we expect that we will be able to provide a comprehensive overview of theft in these areas in future reports. Also, in 2011 we announced theft recovery services for Android tablets and we anticipate that future reports will expand beyond computer theft to include other form factors. We would especially like to recognize the Absolute Theft Recovery Team. Without their hard work, none of this data would exist. Regards,
John Livingston John has served as Absolutes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1995, growing the company from its infancy to a global organization. Absolute invented the computer theft recovery, tracking and loss control product category with the introduction of Computrace in 1994. Absolute has head offices in Vancouver, Canada; Austin, Texas; and Reading, UK and employs over 350 people. Absolute has evolved to offer a full range of business solutions encompassing physical, data and network security as well as lifecycle and mobile device management solutions. Prior to taking the helm of Absolute, John was a faculty member of the School of Business at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He also founded and managed a computerized reservation service and a record production company. John holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Calgary.

John Livingston CEO, Absolute Software


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SAMPLE BASE
Absolute has two different endpoint security products that provide theft recovery services: Computrace for corporate accounts Computrace LoJack for Laptops for consumers We have a cumulative total of over 6 million subscribed customers. Corporate customers represent 81% of this total. The remaining 19% are consumers. The data in this report is compiled from 13,818 theft investigations we conducted in 2011. TOTAL ACTIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS

CONSUMER 19%

6,108,055
CORPORATE 81%
TOTAL INVESTIGATIONS IN 2011

13,818

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GRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SAMPLE BASE


COUNTRY WITH RECOVERY NEW RECOVERY REGION IN 2011 NEW COUNTRIES IN 2011 AFGHANISTAN AUSTRIA BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA COLOMBIA EGYPT GHANA GUAM HONG KONG HUNGARY JAMAICA JAPAN KUWAIT LATVIA The Absolute customer base is global. Our largest customer is located in AsiaPacific, but our most established regions are North America and EMEA. This is where we have the richest theft data and is the focus of this report. As of April 2012, we have successfully recovered stolen computers from 91 countries around the world. Note that the country of recovery can often be different than the country where the theft occurred. We have seen many computers stolen in one country that are ultimately tracked and recovered from another. This trend occurs more frequently in Europe given the high concentration of countries in a relatively small geographic region. LUXEMBOURG MONTENEGRO MOZAMBIQUE SERBIA THAILAND TUNISIA TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS ZAMBIA
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GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF THEFT


TOP 20 THEFT COUNTRIES TOP 20 THEFT LOCALES: NORTH AMERICA TOP 20 THEFT LOCALES: EMEA

UNITED STATES
UNITED KINGDOM DENMARK FRANCE SOUTH AFRICA GERMANY SPAIN BELGIUM NETHERLANDS ITALY SWEDEN IRELAND NORWAY SWITZERLAND GHANA PORTUGAL SAUDI ARABIA CZECH REPUBLIC UNITED ARAB EMIRATES TOGO
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ATLANTA, GA BALTIMORE, MD DALLAS, TX TUCSON, AZ MIDLAND, PA AUSTIN, TX WASHINGTON, DC NEW YORK, NY INDIANAPOLIS, IN SPRING, TX PHILADELPHIA, PA

LORAIN, OH

SAN ANTONIO, TX

NEW ORLEANS, LA

EAST CHICAGO, IN

BOSTON, MA

LOS ANGELES, CA

DETROIT, MI

HOUSTON, TX

CHICAGO, IL

ANTWERP, BELGIUM DUBLIN, IRELAND FRANKFURT, GERMANY BRUSSELS, BELGIUM BARCELONA, SPAIN CRESPIN, FRANCE OSLO, NORWAY BELFAST, N. IRELAND ROME, ITALY ACCRA, GHANA MANCHESTER, UK

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

MADRID, SPAIN

READING, UK

BIRMINGHAM, UK

LEEDS, UK

PARIS, FRANCE

SNDER FELDING, DENMARK

LONDON, UK

AIRPORT THEFTS
TOP 20 AIRPORTS FOR THEFT Computer theft relies on the endpoint being mobile enough that a thief can easily pick it up and take it. Given the mobile nature of devices, its not surprising that many thefts occur when the owner is on the move. To a computer thief, an airport represents a single location filled with countless opportunities with many people traveling for business, laptops in tow. Airport computer theft can be the result of carelessness on the part of the device owner where they leave their computer unattended, providing a perfect crime of opportunity. Weve also seen extremely well organized rings where multiple criminals work together to distract the device owner and ultimately steal their computer from under their nose. And some of our investigations have led to the arrest of airport employees who use their insider position to take advantage of travelers, stealing computers and reselling them for profit. TOP 5 THEFT AREAS IN AIRPORTS

USA

EMEA

LUGGAGE/ STORAGE AREA 29%


TERMINAL/ BOARDING AREA 22%
OTHER 19%

PHLPHILADELPHIA EWRNEWARK JFKNEW YORK DFWDALLAS FRAFRANKFURT PDXPORTLAND DTWDETROIT VIEVIENNA DETDETROIT SEASEATTLE MANMANCHESTER

IAHHOUSTON

DENDENVER

LAXLOS ANGELES

MDWCHICAGO

SFOSAN FRANCISCO

MCOORLANDO

ORDCHICAGO

MIAMIAMI

ATLATLANTA
USA

PLANE 18%

GERMANY USA AUSTRIA USA UK

CHECK-IN/ SECURITY AREA 12%

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DETAILS OF CRIMES
USA ANALYSIS The details behind how and where computer crime occurs allows us to provide security guidance to our customers and the general public. The statistics support the reality: computer theft is usually a crime of opportunity. Its not surprising that most thefts occur at schools. Students are less experienced and tend to leave themselves and their property vulnerable. Computer theft from a residential property is second on the list since few people lock down their device at home. Once the burglar is in the residence, they will take whatever valuable property they can easily carry away. Theft from an automobile is also a common occurrence since - sadly - many device owners will park their vehicle and walk away, leaving their computer bag in full view on the back seat. TOP USA THEFT LOCATIONS TOP USA CRIME TYPES

SCHOOL - PUBLIC

THEFT-BY TAKING BURGLARY - COMMERCIAL BURGLARY - AUTOMOBILE UNDER INVESTIGATION BURGLARY - RESIDENTIAL THEFT - SIMPLE ROBBERY-STREET/PUBLIC PLACE THEFT - AGGRAVATED THEFT - GRAND THEFT AUTO THEFT - OFFICE CREEPER ROBBERY - HOME INVASION OTHER OFFENSE THEFT - SHOPLIFTING CIVIL OTHER MISLAID/REPORTED ERROR INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE ROBBERY - WCOMMERCIAL KIDNAPPING

26.11% 17.85% 16.00% 13.58% 12.41% 12.04% 0.53% 0.30% 0.30% 0.28% 0.20% 0.16% 0.09% 0.09% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.01%

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY AUTOMOBILE - NOT TAXI BUSINESS/OFFICE UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE RESTAURANT/CAF HOTEL/MOTEL DORMITORY

AIRPORT

TRANSIT STATION/VEHICLE STORE/SHOPPING MALL SCHOOL - PRIVATE

ABOUT THE UNKNOWN

Note that a percentage of thefts show up as Unknown in terms of crime type and/or location. There are various reasons behind this status: Type of Crime: Police investigations and the subsequent prosecution of the accused can take a long time. Until the prosecution is successfully carried out, there is no crime to record. Theft Location: Sometimes a customer does not discover their computer is gone until well after its been stolen. So the specific location of the theft remains unknown. This is particularly true for corporate customers.

UNKNOWN

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DETAILS OF CRIMES
EMEA ANALYSIS There has been a slight change in the order of the lists compared to North America. However the crime of opportunity theme remains constant. Often in EMEA the country where the device is recovered is not where it was stolen. This is due to the open borders that exist across most of Europe. TOP EMEA THEFT LOCATIONS TOP EMEA CRIME TYPES
UNDER INVESTIGATION THEFT - SIMPLE 40.40% 16.49% 15.94% 10.87% 10.14% 3.26% 1.45% 0.36% 0.36% 0.18% 0.18% 0.18% 0.18%

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY AUTOMOBILE - NOT TAXI BUSINESS/OFFICE SCHOOL - PUBLIC

BURGLARY - RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY - AUTOMOBILE BURGLARY - COMMERCIAL THEFT - BY TAKING THEFT - OFFICE CREEPER INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE MISLAID/REPORTED IN ERROR THEFT - AGGRAVATED THEFT - SHOPLIFTING

TRANSIT STATION/VEHICLE RESTAURANT/CAF AIRPORT


HOTEL/MOTEL UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE

SCHOOL - PRIVATE
ABOUT THE UNKNOWN

ROBBERY - STREET/PUBLIC PLACE OTHER OFFENSE

AUTOMOBILE - TAXI STORE/SHOPPING MALL

Note that a percentage of thefts show up as Unknown in terms of crime type and/or location. There are various reasons behind this status: Type of Crime: Police investigations and the subsequent prosecution of the accused can take a long time. Until the prosecution is successfully carried out, there is no crime to record. Theft Location: Sometimes a customer does not discover their computer is gone until well after its been stolen. So the specific location of the theft remains unknown. This is particularly true for corporate customers.

UNKNOWN

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ABSOLUTE RECOVERY STATISTICS


In 2011 we exceeded an average of 1,000 investigations per month. 10% of these resulted in criminal charges being laid for a variety of crimes over and above computer theft. These additional crimes were flagged to the police in part due to the result of digital forensics performed as a part of our theft investigation work. With so much data, we are always looking for trends. An interesting fact is the difference in peak theft time depending if the stolen computer belongs to an individual (consumer) or a corporation. Interestingly, the peak time for theft of a corporateowned device is in June/July. This is likely due to the fact that employees become more mobile in the summer. This is the time of year when people take vacations, so its likely the work device is either left at home or taken along and left unsecured during travel or at the destination. Consumer-owned devices are most often stolen during back-to-school and pre-Christmas months. These are the times of year when most individuallyowned computers are purchased. TOTAL INVESTIGATIONS TOTAL CRIMINAL CHARGES

13,818
RECOVERED IN COLLATERAL

1,258
TOP RELATED CRIMES
POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY BURGLARY - COMMERCIAL THEFT - FELONY OTHER OFFENSE BURGLARY - RESIDENTIAL THEFT - MISDEMEANOR OUTSTANDING ARREST WARRANT BURGLARY - AUTOMOBILE POSSESSION OF NARCOTICS PAROLE VIOLATION POSSESSSION OF ILLEGAL FIREARMS FRAUD ROBBERY MURDER COUNTERFEITING IDENTITY THEFT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY FALSIFIED REPORT ASSAULT

$602,051
THEFT TRENDS
JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER DECEMBER

CORPORATE

CONSUMER

LOW

AVERAGE

HIGH

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ABOUT ABSOLUTE

1993
Founded HQ Vancouver

2000
Publicly Traded TSX: ABT.TO

2005
Computrace persistence built in the rmware of most computers EMEA HQ established Reading / US HQ established Austin

2009
LANrev acquired, Absolute Manage launched

2011
Computrace persistence for Android devices Theft Recovery for Tablets

2012
Visionary Vendor in Gartners Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools

Absolute Software is the global leader in firmwareembedded persistent endpoint security and management solutions. We provide organizations with comprehensive visibility and control over all of their endpoints regardless of user or location. Our customers are able to optimize productivity, reduce operating costs, prove compliance, and remotely secure all of their devices and the corporate data they contain. For individuals we provide peace-of-mind by physically recovering stolen computers and remotely deleting sensitive files from them. Absolute was founded in 1993 on the idea that individuals and businesses should be able to track, manage, and secure their mobile computers regardless of the physical location of the device. Today, our solutions secure and manage millions of computers, tablets, and other devices. Our customers range from individuals to the largest public and private sector organizations.

THEFT RECOVERY
The Absolute Theft Recovery Team consists of seasoned former police officers providing over 1,000 years of combined law enforcement experience. Since their background is in law enforcement, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team knows exactly what police personnel need to carry out a successful investigation. Using Computrace persistence technology, they collect information and do all of the paperwork, providing it to investigating officers so it can easily be used as evidence in their efforts to obtain court orders, search warrants, and other tools they need to solve the crime and recover the computer.

24,000+ 4,000+

RECOVERIES CRIMINAL CHARGES RECOVERIES RESULTS IN CRIMINAL CHARGES IN RECOVERED DEVICES


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1 OUT OF 6

$29 MILLION

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