Risk
10/31/2008
02:21 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
50%
50%

Recycled Storage Media Includes Confidential Data

We've said it before and often: if it's ever held data, don't throw it away no matter how sure you are it's been wiped clean. Now there's evidence that you shouldn't recycle old media either.

We've said it before and often: if it's ever held data, don't throw it away no matter how sure you are it's been wiped clean. Now there's evidence that you shouldn't recycle old media either.Imation, which makes storage tapes, has announced findings that indicate what many have long suspected: there's next to no way to remove all data from a tape (or other medium.)

Which makes re-using the tapes nearly as problematic as throwing them away. (And in most ways more problematic: recycled media remains in use and accessible; at least materials thrown in the trash have a chance of clogging our landfills instead of being mined for unerased data.)

Imation's case rests on the sheer capacity of modern backup media: if even a fraction of a percent of the material on a half-terabyte tape persists after "cleaning," that's multi-megabyte confidential business or personal information headache (or worse) waiting to happen.

The company purchased an assortment of recycled (and supposedly wiped) tapes from the recycled media market, tested them, and found everything from hospital patient records to bank audit information, credit card numbers and more.

Just as Maxell's Halloween backup promotion covered here yesterday recommended using only pristine media, Imation is in the storage media business: both companies are doing business.

But both are also making sound recommendations about storage media re-use, recycling and disposal.

The most dramatic reminder of the persistence of data is also the saddest: a hard disk recovered from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster yielded readable information.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Five Emerging Security Threats - And What You Can Learn From Them
At Black Hat USA, researchers unveiled some nasty vulnerabilities. Is your organization ready?
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Cybercrime has become a well-organized business, complete with job specialization, funding, and online customer service. Dark Reading editors speak to cybercrime experts on the evolution of the cybercrime economy and the nature of today's attackers.