Information leakage through second hand USB flash drives within the United Kingdom
secau Security Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Centre (secAU)
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.