The ITAD Report

Welcome to the internets #1 monthly report on everything ITAD. Follow the developments of ITAD in society, the world and at Inrego.

Sign up to our newsletters for the latest ITAD news, updates and more. Newsletter sign up

4 of 10 computers on eBay carry sensitive data


A new study from Blancco Technology Group reports sensitive data on 42% of hard drives purchased on eBay. The researchers also found personally identifiable information on 15% of the forensically analyzed drives.

The sellers insisted that proper data sanitization methods had been used to clean the drives before putting the products up for sale on eBay. This was obviously not correct, which the sheer breadth of information that was recovered from these drives suggests. One drive, for example, contained scanned images of family passports and birth certificates along with financial records. The seller was a software developer "with a high level of government security clearance". Other drives were found to have 5GB of archived internal office email from a major travel company, 3GB of data from a freight company including documents that detailed shipping schedules and truck registrations, university student papers and associated email addresses and school data that was comprised of photos and documents with pupil names and grades.

Many, both companies and private sellers, will say that they don’t have any valuable information. But this common misconception is dismissed by Fredrik Forslund at Blancco:
"Selling old hardware via an online marketplace creates a serious risk of exposing dangerous levels of personal data." According to Forslund, the risk is increased when these drives are sold under the impression that all data has been securely erased as part of the hardware decommissioning process.

Historically, high-powered magnets have been used to clean hard drives. But that is not a good solution when Solid State Drives (SSDs) are involved, since SSDs employ integrated circuit assemblies as memory.

"Since SSDs don't store data magnetically new processes to protect data prior to disposal are required", says Tim Mackey at Synopsys.

Retired IT equipment getting younger?


A new survey from American ITAD company Liquid Technology indicates the life span of IT equipment is getting shorter. Nearly 40 percent of the companies in the recent 2019 survey said they expect to retire the majority of their IT assets when they are “about three years old.” This shows a significant change from the results of the 2018 survey, when less than 30 percent said “about three years old”.

Scientists turned phone to dust


Here’s a somewhat unorthodox way to see what’s inside a mobile device: run it in a blender and analyze the powder.

Scientist at the university of Plymouth dropped an intact mobile phone into a blender and shredded it into dust. Why? Well, the scientists wanted to “show the quantities of rare or so-called ‘conflict’ elements each phone contains”. The purpose was to gain knowledge to improve recycling rates once the devices reach the end of their useful lives.

What was inside? 33 grams of iron, 13 grams of silicon, 7 grams of chromium, 900 milligrams of tungsten, 160 milligrams of neodymium, 90 milligrams of silver, 70 milligrams of cobalt and molybdenum, 36 milligrams of gold and 30 milligrams of praseodymium.

1 / 1