Photo by US Army via Flickr CC
And we thought we were being a touch paranoid about recycling cell phones. Sensitive information from Lockheed Martin about anti-missile defense systems was found on a discarded computer's hard drive. Someone neglected to prep the computer before selling it, leaving really private information in tact and accessible, including a document detailing test launch procedures, blueprints of facilities and photos and personal daat about employees, including their social security numbers. You would think that anyone with that kind of information on their hard drive would also know to thoroughly wipe the system clean before letting it leave their hands.
From the Guardian:
The computer, which has been turned over to the FBI, was bought online as part of a global research project conducted by three universities - Longwood University in the US, Glamorgan University in the UK and Edith Cowan University in Australia - along with BT and Sims Recycling Solutions.
The annual hard drive survey, now in its fourth year, is designed to bring to public attention the risk to personal data posed by carelessly discarded computer equipment which often contains huge amounts of personal and commercial data. The universities involved in the study use techniques and tools that are readily available from the internet and can be used by someone with a basic knowledge of technology to recover the data left on the drives, often this is not necessary as many are not even wiped.
We couldn't ask for a more shining example of why it's important to know how to prep your computer for recycling or resale.
Via the Guardian