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Missile Defense Top Secrets Found in Hard Drives Sold on Ebay

Illustration for article titled Missile Defense Top Secrets Found in Hard Drives Sold on Ebay

100 hundred drives loaded with confidential information like building blueprints and test launch procedures for Lockheed Martin's ground to air missile defense. That's what you can buy on eBay these days.


The drives were part of a group of 300 hard drives sold on the auction site, coming from the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia. Some of them were formatted, but it wasn't a destructive format and the files were easily recovered.

Fortunately for us, the buyers weren't the bad guys but British Telecom's Security Research Centre. They bought the drives for a security study in collaboration with the University of Glamorgan in Wales, Edith Cowan University in Australia and Longwood University, here in the US.


Other information found in the drives were patient medical records, including x-ray images, patient photos, and confidential letters. Others included security logs for embassies and confidential corporate information detailing a 50 billion currency exchange.

In other words: If you have to sell your drive full of naked photos of your lovers, please perform a destructive, all-zeroes format. Or better yet: Don't sell it, format it, and then smash it with a hammer. [Daily Mail]

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Whemn my friend's father worked for the government (late 80's, early 90's) they had to format the drive a couple times, put them in secured transport boxes and then incinerate the hard drives. They didn't mess around.

Though I do have a hacker friend (though I don't think he knows as much as he thinks he does) who swears that, even if you do an all 0 destructive format, the information can be recovered if you're determined enough to get it. No idea if that's really true