Think twice before you sell that hard drive

By | February 2, 2006

John Stith at Security pro news says that many online buyers are looking for a lot more than GB’s when buying hard drives online.

A researcher suggested on Monday that people search for hard drives with lots of interesting information on hard drives for sale at the online auction house. This includes personal information like credit card numbers, let alone what you download.

Scary. Of course SuperGeeks like us very rarely sell our free GB’s. We recycle them into the latest server, penguinbox, mythbox, etc… Stith also mentions that it may not be just the casual consumer who should think twice about selling their old hard drives.

One thing [ Harvard professor Simson Garfinkel] pointed out in the interview with TechWeb was one drive had 11,609 unique credit card numbers. It was sold by a medical center. They also sold another drive with 81 additional numbers. They said one drive came from an ATM at 827 sets of numbers, a grocery with another 1,356 numbers, and car dealerships with 498 names. Interesting numbers, indeed.

Yet another way for our banks and data centers to give our information away.

SuperGeekBlog suggests a full format of the hard drive followed by physical dismantling of the drive and physical damage to the platters. This prevents all but the most ambitious of data thieves from getting to your data. Also, if you are still worried, there are several software options out there that will perform military grade data removal on a drive.

[tags]hard drive, ebay, credit cards[/tags]

One thought on “Think twice before you sell that hard drive

  1. Jake

    Well I can’t say I have thrown any of my old drives out. (I’ve still got the drives from my first computer I built in grade school sitting in a bin in the closet.)

    However – say I were to throw those out (I have no idea what im going to use a 6gb 5400rpm drive for), I don’t think I would bother stripping it down. Though to be on the safe side, the formatting, and multiple pass overwriting would be done.

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