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Author Topic: Second-hand Thumb drives Typically Contain Data from Past Owners  (Read 51 times)

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Offline Paul2

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A study shows that the majority of computer
 users don’t take enough precautions when disposing of their USB sticks, leaving often sensitive information about themselves for the drives’ new owners.

Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire purchased 200 second-hand memory sticks – 100 in the United States, 100 in the United Kingdom – on the open market recently to see how many of them still contained data from previous owners.

They found that most USB drives contained leftover data from previous owners, and the information could be retrieved with zero or minimal effort, reports Comparitech, which had commissioned the study.

Specifically, 20 people made no attempt whatsoever to cleanse their storage devices. Simply plugging the memory sticks into a computer was enough to reveal their contents.

Although the data was deleted, publicly available data-recovery software could be easily restore the contents of 135 thumb drives with little effort, even where they had been formatted. Of those, 44 USB drives contained enough information to identify the devices’ previous owners.

The data found on the thumb drives was everything from corporate and legal documents, tax forms, photos of money and shotguns together with a search warrant, as well as nude images of a middle-aged man along with his name and contact details.

Meanwhile, only 34 USB flash drives were securely wiped with dedicated software while only one was encrypted, putting whatever data that was ever stored on the sticks beyond reach for the new owners.

Simply dragging files into the trash can or highlighting them and hitting the “Delete” key does not permanently erase data from a USB drive. Similarly, formatting a USB drive still leaves recoverable remnant data. To fully erase data, it the storage area containing it must be overwritten, preferably by secure data erasure software.
https://cdrinfo.com/d7/content/second-hand-thumb-drives-typically-contain-data-past-owners

lol.  that is cute that one of the usb thumb drives contain images of a nude middle-aged along with his name and contact information. :D  either he didn't delete it or did delete it but didn't format it or did format it but didn't format well enough.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 09:54:46 PM by Paul2 »

Offline Kurt Angle

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Re: Second-hand Thumb drives Typically Contain Data from Past Owners
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 01:08:52 AM »
I bet you would love to find that on your stick Paul  :D

Offline Titan

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Re: Second-hand Thumb drives Typically Contain Data from Past Owners
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2019, 07:48:13 AM »
I'd hate to be the second owner of the nude old man's thumb drive. But then again, I'm not that cheap so I'd spend the 10 bucks on a brand new one. Seriously though, who's selling their old thumb drives? I have a menagerie of them in my drawer lol. Actually, one of mine is so old it's 128MB and cost me a pretty penny back in 2004 (bought it for the GranTurismo 4's photo mode). I still use it for small documents.

But then again, I don't keep nudes on them. If there are any nudes on any of my memory cards, they'd likely be of my girlfriend. I don't need to wank to my own wing dang doodle :D
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Offline Paul2

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Re: Second-hand Thumb drives Typically Contain Data from Past Owners
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2019, 10:10:56 AM »
I bet you would love to find that on your stick Paul  :D
if the nude photos are of a good looking man, i would love to find it. :D  but if the man is not good looking, i will pass.  since he is middle-aged, its unlikely he is good looking or good looking anymore.

I'd hate to be the second owner of the nude old man's thumb drive. But then again, I'm not that cheap so I'd spend the 10 bucks on a brand new one. Seriously though, who's selling their old thumb drives? I have a menagerie of them in my drawer lol. Actually, one of mine is so old it's 128MB and cost me a pretty penny back in 2004 (bought it for the GranTurismo 4's photo mode). I still use it for small documents.

But then again, I don't keep nudes on them. If there are any nudes on any of my memory cards, they'd likely be of my girlfriend. I don't need to wank to my own wing dang doodle :D
you made a good point about who is selling their old thumb drives when one can buy new ones with possibly higher storage capacity and possibly faster speed and costing not much more.

the one and only usb thumb drive that i bought was around mid 2005 and its a 512 MBytes kind and i haven't bought a newer one since i don't really use it.  Maybe when USB thumb drive is in terabytes storage capacity at a reasonable cost, i might reconsider.

speaking about your girlfriend, you got a new girlfriend if you don't mind me asking?