Old tech reveals personal data of past owner

Did you wipe all your data properly before getting rid of your computer hardware?

In order to discover how well businesses wipe data on end of life devices, Researcher Josh Frantz from Rapid7 purchased 85 used IT hardware including computers, flash drives, phones, and hard drives from businesses. In total, he paid $600.

Astonishingly, only two devices were wiped properly, and three devices were encrypted. He was able to retrieve 214,019 images, 3,406 documents, and 148,903 email messages from all the devices he purchased.

In an attempt to sift through all these data for potentially private information, he used Python script and PowerShell to identify social security numbers, dates of birth, credit card numbers, and phone numbers. He ended up collecting 611 email addresses, 50 dates of birth, 41 Social Security numbers, 19 credit-card numbers, 6 driver’s license numbers, and 2 passport numbers.

So, how much do these data worth?

To research further about the black market value of the data, Frantz was surprised to learn how cheap it is to buy people's information on the Darknet. Social security number cost around $1 apiece, while full documents cost around $3. It is obvious to say that data leakage is so common that it has driven down the cost of the data itself.

How to safely dispose of your IT hardware?

From this experiment, we learned the importance of wipe your data properly before dispose of your hardware.  At Easy Hardware Trading, we offer IT hardware a second life so it has always been our priority to have professionals wipe out all the data in the devices when we receive used hardware.


The Internet of Things

What is " The Internet of Things"?

Nowadays, “The Internet of Things” is a very popular and increasingly growing topic in the world. The concept is new and complex. The main idea is that any of devices can connect to each other with the use of an on or off switch, which is also called "The Internet of Things" platform. All of the shared data transfers through that platform between connected devices. In the process of data transfer, people also help to create a connection between devices. For example, you are in a hurry for a very important meeting but gets into a traffic jam. Your car navigator in the phone reacts immediately to the situation and sends a message to people that wait for you at the meeting. It is a perfect scenario, isn't it?

How does it work?

In fact, "The Internet of Things" gets more discussions around the concept than it is actually applied for daily use. But this is just a matter of time. Some companies already work on the implementation of "The Internet of Things" to their businesses. In several years, people might start living a "smart" life in their "smart" houses and more than that, "smart" cities. Imagine, you are going back home from a nice time spent with your friends. You have an electronic watch on your wrist and press on the screen. Simply, your electronic watch sends a signal or notification to your house to start preparing for your come. The house immediately turns on the heating in rooms, a boiler heats the water for a warm shower and the kettle starts boiling water for tea in the kitchen. This is how a "smart" house will look like in the near future.

The same will happen to cities all over the world. The infrastructure will be improved and made better for the living conditions of citizens. For example, the number of traffic jams will decrease because people get informed quickly about it so that they know which road not to drive. This is just a small drop in the ocean of changes and improvements, which should be awaited ahead.

"The Internet of Things" in business 

"The Internet of Things" is also very important for companies, which operate in a B2B sector. If manufacturers produce their products by embedding sensors, it will help them to know whether there are any problems with products. In such a way, issues with products will be detected on an early stage and fixed accordingly. Sometimes, a problem is not exactly with a specific product, but with distribution and supply chain. This is also something that can be found out immediately with a help of sensors embedded in products. For sure, this is quite expensive to use "The Internet of Things" for a lot of businesses and consumers. However, it is a big step towards the future.