Buying second hand PCs might be quite an adventure. Especially if they contain sensitive information that could blow one’s mind out, as it happened for a group of researchers from the University of Glamorgan in Scotland. According to a DarkReading article, the researchers found their used hard drives to contain details of test-launch procedures for a U.S. defense missile.
The researchers have included these findings in the results of a a five-year study that aimed to show the dangers of poor hard drive and device data-wiping and disposal practices. Acording to this years’ results, which are not yet final, the research also led them to sensitive data from Ford Motor, Laura Ashley, and other businesses.
This year, the researchers found personal or sensitive data on 34 percent of 300 hard disks bought randomly at computer fairs and online auctions in the U.K., U.S., Germany, France, and Australia. The information was enough to expose individuals and firms to fraud and identity theft, they said.
So if someone indulged in the idea of starting a fraud or theft based scam, all they needed is to start buying used computer parts. It’s easy and far less dangerous than actually atemtping to steal the data directly from the businesses currently using them.