Australian Digital Forensics Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


secau Security Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia


The pervasiveness of flash based USB storage alongside increasing capacity and lowering price points has lead to a documented potential for information leakage. Such a potential is significantly raised when employees are able to use personal devices within a business environment with little regard to safe disposal practices. This study purchased a range of USB storage devices from UK based auction sites to determine what if any data was recoverable. The study found a total of 36136 recoverable files including a range of data detailing private information of previous owners, confidential corporate data, with twenty percent of the purchased USB devices securely wiped before sale.


Originally published in the Proceedings of the 9th Australian Digital Forensics Conference, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia, 5th -7th December 2011