Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fraudsters Stealing Personal Details from Discarded Computers

There are several reports about personal details being harvested from discarded computers, or from hard drives that aren't properly disposed of by the repair facility.

The problem is caused because most people only delete their files before getting rid of a system. If the wrong person gets their hands on the hardware - the files are easily extracted and identity theft can occur.

One story from the Daily Telegraph about this can be read here.

The article from the Daily Telegraph references this activity occurring in Lagos (Nigeria), but according to other sources - Nigeria isn't the only point of compromise.

Bob Sullivan of MSNBC did a story in June about this same type of activity. His story references it happening in the United States, link here. In the MSNBC story - the hard drive in question was discarded (replaced) at Best Buy.

Computer security experts say the only way you can make sure your information has been erased is to destroy the hard drive, or use special software to erase everything.

Also - if you have your hard drive replaced - insist on getting the part back and destroy it yourself!


Anonymous said...

Hi! This is my first attempt at blogging...I come from an impoverished environment, in Kaduna,Northern Nigeria where a lot of my people are living well below the poverty line... Although thanks to my parental legacy of sound education, I happen to luckily not be part of the real downtrodden masses, my conscience keeps pricking me on the need to do something for my people..and with information technology the only way to leapfrog someone to actively participate in this global village, i am desparately looking for any individual and/or organization that can donate some used or discarded computers that can assist our young school leavers in my society who are keen on securing a bright future for themselves but are for now unemployed and incapacitated; Pls, if there is any kind hearted soul out there who can assist me to assist my people i would be ENORMOUSLY appreciative.....THANKS!!!!

Anonymous said...


Downtrodden masses in Kaduna? You are having a laugh! Go to the south (PH, Warri etc) and you will find people living below the poverty line.

Why don't you pop over to Bida and ask Babangida, the No.1 fraudster, to donate some of that money he stole when he was head of state?

What you are doing is not blogging. It's begging and it's not nice. Nuff said!