Old hard drives yield data bonanza

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Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate students have uncovered a treasure trove of personal and corporate information on used disk drives.
Simson Garfinkel and Abbi Shelat, students at MITís Laboratory of Computer Science, said Wednesday that they bought 158 disk drives for less than $1,000 on the Web and at swap meets.

Scavenging through the drives, they found more than 5,000 credit card numbers, medical reports, detailed personal and corporate financial information, and several gigabytes worth of personal e-mail and pornography.

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