The 2009 analysis of information remaining on USB storage devices offered for sale on the second hand market
Edith Cowan University
Computing, Health and Science
Computer and Security Science, Centre for Security Research
The use of the USB storage device, also known as the USB drive, a thumb drive, a keychain drive and a flash drive has, for the most part, replaced the floppy disk and to some extent the Compact Disk (CD), the DVD (Digital Video Disk or Digital Versatile Disk) and the external hard disk. Their robustness, size and weight make them easy to transport, but also to lose or misplace. They are inexpensive and are often given away as promotional items by organisations. Over the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in the storage capacity of these devices, going from a few tens of megabytes to a current capacity of around 64 gigabytes (equal to around 13 DVDs). The larger capacity and continued low cost has vastly increased the potential uses of the devices and also the volumes and types of data that they may contain.