Does Your Used Hard Drive Still Have Data On It?

29 Jan ’05

Brad Feld has a post about what a friend found on used hard drives – stories like this surface regularly, but each one is still very disturbing.  Money quote:

Not surprisingly, he found a huge amount of data, including confidential information such as medical records, HR correspondence, and financial data.  For example, Drive #134 was from an ATM in a Chicago bank.  It contained one year’s worth of transactions, including over 3,000 card numbers.  In this case, the bank had apparently hired a contractor to upgrade the ATM machines – the contractor hired a sub-contractor.  The bank and contractor assumed the disks would be properly sanitized, but there were no procedures specified in the contract.  As a result, the drives weren’t sanitized correctly and the data was still on them for Simson to play around with.

…

Simson logically ponders this issue, especially in our current Patriot Act governed world.  For less than $1,000 and working part time, he was able to collect thousands of credit cards, detailed financial records on hundreds of people, and confidential corporate files.  He concludes by asking – “who else is doing this?”

Previous post:

Next post: