Data breach digitally represented

Study warns of dangers of not fully wiping USB drives

A study of 100 USB drives purchase by Abertay University found over 75,000 files were still intact from supposedly empty drives.

The study, designed to show the importance of fully wiping storage devices when discarding or selling them.

On the drives, there were multiple instances of passwords being stored, as well as banking details.

Strangely, all but 2 of the drives appeared empty at first glance, but the University said that using publicly accessible programmes, it was worryingly easy to retrieve the data.

Although some of the drives had been wiped properly, 42 of the drives had all of their contents recovered, with 26 of them having the files partially recovered.

Prof Karen Renaud, from Abertay University’s division of cybersecurity, urged people to use software designed to fully wipe drives instead of just deleting or formatting it, especially when selling to an unknown buyer.

She said: "An unscrupulous buyer could feasibly use recovered files to access sellers' accounts if the passwords are still valid, or even try the passwords on the person's other accounts given that password re-use is so widespread."

PSE Oct/Nov 20

PSE Oct/Nov 20

Retrofit for sustainability

Click here to read the Oct/Nov issue of our PSE magazine, which looks forward to focus on what can be done to overcome the challenges facing our economy, our environment and our homes. Read in-depth analysis from a range of experts from Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson through to the Northern Housing Consortium’s Tracy Harrison.

Videos...

View all videos
Goss

Win a £50 Amazon Voucher

What are your digital transformation plans?

Have you got 2 minutes to talk to us about your digital transformation plans?

We want to know if the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated or disrupted your plans for digital self-service.

Take our short survey, to thank you for your time we'll enter you into a prize dar to win a £50 Amazon Vocuher.

Magazine Feature

How to motivate the unmotivatable

Turning laggards into lemons. Stephen Bahooshy MCMI, Children & Adults' Services, Local Government.

Every workplace has them. They are the people that seem to be unwilling or unable to complete a task even remotely outside the remit of what they consider to be their role.

More articles...

View all