Warning after 75,000 ‘deleted’ files found on used USB drives
- Tax returns, contracts and bank statements were among the “deleted” files recovered by Abertay University investigators from used USB drives
- Cybersecurity researchers discovered about 75,000 files after buying 100 of the drives on an internet auction site
- Some USB drives contained files named “passwords” and images with embedded location data
- All but two of the drives appeared empty, but the team said it had been “worryingly easy” to retrieve data
- The researchers used “publicly-available tools” to retrieve the sensitive information.
- They said only 32 of the drives had been properly wiped
- Partial files were extracted from 26 devices and every single file was extracted from the remaining 42 USB drives