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.