Imation lab tests reveal serious data leak risks due to improper tape destruction

From an Imation Press Release:

Removable storage provider Imation Corp. has announced that it has uncovered data leak risks and other serious data security and financial risks in data centers due to improper destruction of used data storage products. Patient health records, social security numbers, bank account numbers and internal auditing procedures are examples of the kinds of information that is unknowingly “leaking” out of data centers. This disturbing trend is the result of companies improperly disposing of used data storage products at end-of-life, including a growing practice of selling used computer tape cartridges to so-called “recertifiers.”


In lab tests run on the 100 ‘recertified’ used tape cartridges that Imation acquired through standard commercial channels, the company used off-the-shelf techniques, and randomly obtained recoverable, intelligible information from one-third of the cartridges tested. Some of the data discovered on used tapes during testing includes:

  • Internal bank auditing procedures, account numbers, employee credit card records, computer user names and computer server inventories from a global banking institution.
  • Patient names, addresses, phone and Social Security numbers; clinical records including doctor diagnoses and prognoses from a major U.S. hospital.
  • Field research data including geographic coordinates and conditions, names and email addresses of researchers from a scientific research center.
  • Links pointing to the human genome project from a large U.S. university.

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.