Sensitive Data Found On 40 Percent Of Used Drives On eBay

Forensics firm finds that many hard drives are not fully wiped clean before resale

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

February 12, 2009

1 Min Read

A study conducted by forensics firm Kessler International found that more than 40 percent of the hard drives listed for sale on eBay still contain personal, private, and sensitive information otherwise thought to be erased.

During the course of one month, Kessler International purchased "a large number" of hard drives from random sources on eBay and on three separate occasions, the study says. Computer forensic engineers at Kessler were able to retrieve information on more than 40 percent of the hard drives.

Thirty-six percent of the sensitive data was found in the form of personal and confidential documents, including financial information, Kessler International says. Twenty-one percent of the data was in email, and 11 percent were sensitive corporate documents. Previous studies on used PC purchases found recoverable data on an even higher percentage of hard drives.

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