Think Twice Before You Put Your Old Hard Drives on Sale

By: DT NEWS NETWORK
December, 27, 2017

A recent analysis done by Stellar Data Recovery reveals that hard disk drives available on second-hand marketplace sites contain huge amount of confidential data.

As part of the study, multiple hard disk drives were purchased from India’s leading online platform which facilitate buying and selling of second-hand products. For the sample collected, sensitive and high-risk data was uncovered in 100% of cases.

The study exposes the non-familiarity of vast majority of Indians with data sanitization methods; often referred to as data erasure methods, data wipe methods, wipe algorithms, and data wipe standards. Majority of the drives purchased for this study were formatted but not wiped using any correct method. After running a simple ‘Do It Yourself’ data recovery software available online, huge amounts of data contained in files was recovered in a short period.

In one such hard disk drive , the comprehensive business details of an Automotive showroom , including monthly sales, historical sales records, pricing list, feedback forms and complete customer information comprising names, addresses and contact numbers was identified.  In an another startling case, complete personal information comprising name, age, pan card details, date of birth, phone contact list, bank statement, credit card statements, personal photographs, software, music and videos were recovered. Huge amount of critical and sensitive data which includes official data like Profit & Loss Statement, Tally® files, corporate presentations, design files and invoices have also been recovered.  The study highlights that not only the individuals are the ones at risk for identity theft and leakage of sensitive personal information but also the companies are at an increased business risk and financial risk as well.

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