Computer thieves get tracked by technology in the Western Cape
By Ilhaam Hoosain
06 June 2008
Computers and computer parts from Western Cape schools are now being protected by police who are now using technology to track the thieves who steal them.
Despite strong security, thieves target between 10% and 12% of computer laboratories installed by the Khanya Project of the Western Cape Education Department.
According to André Pietersen, ICT Implementation Coordinator at Khanya, the thieves are not always successful. But some thieves do get past various security systems to steal computer equipment used by schools to support teaching and learning.
On Thursday Pietersen told a conference of 41 school principals that help is on hand.
Khanya is working with a service provider to install software, which scans all systems to record serial numbers of every computer and part in each computer in the school.
The data is fed to a centralised database and is provided to the police and second-hand shops so that they can then use the data to check if any computer or parts of computers were previously stolen.
Mr Pietersen said it was important to record serial numbers of both computers and parts because thieves usually broke up computers in IT “chop shops” to sell the components.
The software automatically detects whether any parts have been added or taken out of any computer or the school network, so that those with the right password can maintain and update the system.
Khanya has completed projects in 884 Western Cape schools so far and is currently completing projects in a further 167 schools.