Intimate pictures, user names and passwords were also recovered.
Noroff Professor Iain Sutherland made the front page of Fædrelandsvennen, after recovering surveillance videos from banks, along with highly intimate images, user names and passwords.
Randomly acquired hard drives online
The study was done on 30 randomly acquired hard drives, collected in the southern parts of Norway.
Professor Sutherland states that he is surprised what people leave behind when they dispose of old computers and hard drives:
A hard disk is like an old-fashioned video or cassette tape. To get rid of anything you have to record something over the old file to destroy it. Professor Iain Sutherland
Previous research found U.S. military launch procedures in used hard drives.
Read the full story in Fædrelandsvennen here. (A fee is required. The article is in Norwegian.)
How to clean your hard disk drive
- So how do you completely delete all content on a hard drive?
- A hard disk is like an old-fashioned video or cassette tape. To get rid of anything you have to record something over the old file to destroy it, Sutherland says.
- So wiping an entire hard drive usually means recording ‘0’s or ‘1’s over the whole disk (if you are getting rid of all content) or ‘0’s or ‘1’s over the file. Some operating systems offer this feature sometimes known as ‘secure deletion’.
- The other method is to actually destroy the hard disk drive (they key part is the circular platters inside the drive) thus makes it very difficult in some cases impossible to recover the data.