Your data still lurking around!

By Derek Sooman on September 14, 2005, 3:02 PM
Thinking of upgrading your hard drive? Well, one can never have enough space. Even this weekend, I am thinking of upgrading my RAID 0 array, maybe with several 200GB hard drives, pushing to the Terabyte level. Nice idea, just remember to wipe your old drives properly before you give them to someone else Ė they could yield many a secret.

According to forensics firm Disklabs, letters, resumes, spreadsheets, phone numbers and e-mail addresses were all found on storage hardware that could be bought second hand on eBay.

In its test of how good users were at destroying data, Disklabs bought 100 hard drives and 50 memory cards - which included SD cards, flash drives, sim cards and memory sticks - from the auction site.

"Most people made only cursory attempts to erase the data," said Mr Steggles, "and some had not done even that."

If you are going to sell a storage device that you previously held important and personal data on, then for Heaven sake try to erase it properly. In these days of identify theft and the like, you canít be too careful.




User Comments: 3

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reb00tz said:
Unfortunately, this "test" does not identify the true source of the storage devices - most of which I am sure are from the helpless victims of theft... In which case, I presume that some of these criminals would not bother with wiping data from the drive.
xx0033 said:
[b]Originally posted by reb00tz:[/b][quote]Unfortunately, this "test" does not identify the true source of the storage devices - most of which I am sure are from the helpless victims of theft... In which case, I presume that some of these criminals would not bother with wiping data from the drive.[/quote]I think that I can write with some authority on this matter, as it was my company, Disklabs, (http://www.disklabs.com) that ran this test.The storage devices in this 'test' were purchased from 'traders' on eBay in the UK. 100 hard disk drives were purchased and 50 memory cards were purchased, and then data recovery was attempted. Of those, 30% of the hard drives were recovered from, but 60% of the memory cards had data retrieved from them.The purpose was to let the general public know that they are not as safe as they thought they were. I think that the coverage we received has proved that this works.If I can be of any more assistance, please email me, and I will attempt to respond.Regards,Simon[url]http://www.disklabs.com[/url][url]
ttp://www.disklabs.nl[/url][url]http://www.disklabs.co.nz[
url][url]http://www.mobilephoneforensics.com[/url]
Mictlantecuhtli said:
Would it help if Windows had an option to securely empty recycle bin, like OSX has?It wouldn't help when changing a storage device, but at least in some cases it would be good.OSX users can also choose to zero out data once, seven or 25 times, with Disk Utility.But I guess it would be called 'adding bloat' or 'helping monopoly' if Microsoft added these features to Windows, possibly eliminating the need of third party utilities.
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