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Perimeter

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

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.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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