I had a question the other day on whether Intel AT could or would be able to detect Malware infestations and be able to quarantine the hostel bug – good question but unfortunately the answer today is no.  While I do not want to say that Intel AT will never do anything with regard to detecting and or quarantining Malware I cannot comment on what if anything we are working on today that has not been considered POR (Plan Of Record).  It seems that people just are not happy if they are not causing mayhem and other people (PC’s) grief. Intel AT is directed at protecting both the physical asset and the (more importantly) data on the asset.  Intel AT does that via a HW switch (it is more involved than that but the analogy fits) built into the chipset and when either a local based timer expires or a internet based "Kill Pill" message (3G, Wi-Fi or wired) is sent to that PC, the PC "bricks" (locks up) and cannot be brought back to life without a special code.  Reloading the BIOS or OS has no affect as the switch is at the HW level and cannot be bypassed or disabled on the system once locked.  The IT department or the end user can "recover" the PC if the system receives an unlock command via the internet and then gets the restore PW entered. Intel AT 2.0 (released early 2nd qtr this year) adds some unique capabilities to help insure that data is not compromised - it now works in conjunction with WinMagic and soon PGP to combine FDE (Full Disk Encryption) and the HW switch capability.  AT 2.0 and an FDE solution assure data protection by storing the encryption keys in the AT ME (Management Engine) and not the hard drive so that when a system is bricked the ME deletes the encryption keys and makes the HD worthless for data recovery.  There is more involved and some other features but again this is the main point of Intel AT 2.0.  Intel AT both versions 1.0 and 2.0 do require a third party service in order to be used - today we have 2 ISVs on board Absolute and WinMagic with PGP coming online later this year.  Absolute has a product called CompuTrace and does not today offer a FDE solution - they are more about physical asset recovery and bricking the PC (can also DELETE the data on the hard drive - non recoverable model) and using their location tracking (combo of GPS and or 3G) to locate missing devices.  WinMagic and eventually PGP are mainly concerned about data protection and preventing its loss - so they combine their FDE solution with Intel AT and make a very formidable data security solution.  FDE with the encryption keys in the AT Management Engine, so that when a PC is marked as stolen the Encryption keys are actually deleted.  Of course data can be compromised very quickly and any PC security protection solution is only as good as the person carrying the data or physical asset – it remains true that if the system is not locked (in the encryption state) the data is accessible as long as the PC is NOT listed as stolen. When a PC goes missing it must be reported ASAP (immediately if at all possible) to the IT department or solution provider so that it can be marked as stolen  - even if it is recovered shortly thereafter - so that the data can be locked down and protected. If you have any questions or want to discuss further how Intel AT can be incorporated into your environment, please contact me directly you can reach me at my email: mike.schulien@intel.com