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'At-Rest Data-Leakage': The Euphemism Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:10 PM


Mr or Mrs. 500

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Comments posted to this topic are about the item 'At-Rest Data-Leakage': The Euphemism


Best wishes,

Phil Factor
Simple Talk
Post #1401199
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2012 4:34 PM
Grasshopper

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This is common the world over:

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/homemade-sex-tapes-and-identity-details-sold-on-old-digital-devices-20121130-2am5i.html

I have yet to sell any permanent storage device ever. usually they just end up breaking, or recycled into a computer for the kids etc.

Though we shouldn't *just* think of residual storage issues when disposing or selling devices.. there's the active lifecycle to consider too, usb drives are prone to being lost, laptops prone to being stolen etc..

Ultimately an education campain needs to be aimed *everywhere* because unfortunately we're not all in control of our own private data.
Post #1401273
Posted Monday, December 31, 2012 10:41 AM


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Somewhere in my basement is a box that has old hard disks, going back to when they were only 2 gig in size. Only ones that I've ever let go of were wiped using a utility program, or ones that were "slow" formatted (instead of quick formatted) when they were repurposed in computers I've given to other people.

On the flip side, there's been a couple computers people have given to me as spare parts that they said "didn't work" that I've recovered files on and aked them if they needed. They usually say "huh? the disk's broken" when it was just the boot sector or something that didn't work. I then tell them they need to be more carefull and wipe those disks.
Post #1401445
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 3:10 AM
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Past employers of mine have given away redundant kit to employees without wiping the disks.
My wife's former employer would sell old PCs to staff with the disks wiped and a clean new install of the original OS. We still have a (working) Windows 2000 Pro machine from this source.

My current employer requires all kit to be returned to a central point for secure disposal. Some of our work is for the UK Government, where the rules are very strict. We all know that deleting a file does not erase it but merely marks the disk space it occupied as available. However, even erased files can be recovered using special techniques. There is software approved by the government for erasing disks which have held their data, which involves multiple overwrites of the whole disk. Otherwise the drives have to be physically destroyed with the platters being broken into tiny fragments.

Most of us do not go to these lengths though. The other thing is, people use kit until it stops working. How do you erase it then? It is not to hard to take a drive out of a non-functioning PC and format it, but not so easy if the drive itself has died. It depends on the data that is on it to a large extent.

I have a quote of £85 + VAT (20% tax) for the certified destruction of up to 10 items. How many of you would pay that for peace of mind?
Post #1401726
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 7:37 AM
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I've always taken the hard drives out of the computers I've disposed of, and deconstructed them into their component pieces. The magnets go into a jar, the housings go into the scrap pile, and the platters are beaten into submission with a hammer.
Post #1401842
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 8:00 AM
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At our company I instituted a policy that hard drives no longer in service should be either DoD wiped or physically destroyed (via disassembly and then chopping up the platters). In addition, we try to ensure that if hard drives go back to vendors for warranty exchanges, that the vendors have a well-defined hard drive privacy and destruction policy stated on their website.
Post #1401859
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