Phoenix Freeze auto-locks laptops via smartphone

A new product from Phoenix Technologies, called Freeze, lets you use BlackBerry or iPhone Bluetooth to tell a PC that you're leaving the area and want it to lock up. When you return, Phoenix Freeze can also automatically unlock the machine so it's ready for you. However, it only works on Windows PCs, doesn't support 64-bit platforms, disables all other Bluetooth peripherals and seems to be a bit buggy for an official release. Phoenix Freeze for BlackBerry and iPhone

To use Phoenix Freeze you simply download a small client on your Bluetooth-enabled PC, pair your iPhone or BlackBerry with Freeze, set your proximity or distance settings, enable energy-saving options, if desired, and you're good to go.

For instance, you could set your computer to lock up whenever your device is 20 feet or more from the PC running Freeze. And energy-saver settings let you also determine whether or not your computer should shift into stand-by, or sleep, mode once you've travelled outside the pre-set Bluetooth zone.

As such, Phoenix Freeze is meant to act as an environmentally-friendly security safeguard.

Free, two-week Phoenix Freeze trials are available on the company's site, but the full subscription price is nowhere to be found. A "Purchasing a Freeze License" page on the Phoenix site merely describes how to purchase the product after your trial expires. This seems a bit underhanded to me, if not suspicious.

Also, a bit of research on Phoenix Freeze quickly turns up some noteworthy issues. Specifically, a number of early users report annoying delays in locking and unlocking their machines. Phoenix Freeze also apparently takes control of your PC's Bluetooth "stack," meaning any other Bluetooth peripherals you employ, like keyboards or a mouse, are rendered useless--at least while Freeze is installed. It only works on Windows XP or Vista machines and doesn't support 64-bit versions of Windows.

Phoenix Freeze also no doubt takes a toll on your BlackBerry or iPhone battery life, since it's constantly communicating with your PC via Bluetooth.

And similar, albeit "less-polished," products, like Blue Lock, are available free of charge.

I'm also reminded of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry Smart Card Reader, which allows for IT-controlled access to Bluetooth-enabled BlackBerry devices and computers using advanced AES-256 encryption. In other words, the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader serves a similar purpose to Phoenix Freeze, but it's much more secure and is controlled by IT administrators.

An instructional video on how Phoenix Freeze works, as well as how to obtain your free trial, can be found on the company's site.


via CrackBerry and BerryReview

FREE CIO BlackBerry Newsletter Get better use out of your BlackBerry and keep up-to-date on the latest developments. Sign-up »

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags BlackberryiPhonePhoenix Freeze

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Al Sacco

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place