The 2008 analysis of information remaining on disks offered for sale on the second hand market
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Security Science / Centre for Security Research
The use of computers that contain hard disks to process and store information has been ubiquitous across organisations in both the public and private sector for more than two decades and is being ever more widely used by individuals in the home. During that time, the processing capability of the computers has increased enormously. At the same time the storage capacity of the computers has increased from tens of Megabytes to hundreds of Gigabytes and the use of Terabyte storage devices in both commercial and private locations is now becoming increasingly common. In recent years, because of social change and alterations in the way in which organisations work, there has also been an increasing trend in the use of the same computer to process and store both the organisation’s and the individuals personal information. It is clear that the majority of organisations and private individuals still remain ignorant or misinformed of the potential volume and type of information that is stored on the hard disks contained within these computer systems. As a result, they have not considered, or are unaware of, the potential impact of this information becoming available to an unintended third party.