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Second-hand memory cards pose identity theft risk, warn experts

ANI | Last Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 19:48

Sydney: Selling old memory cards on sites like eBay without proper deletion of previous data may lead to identity theft, security experts have warned.

Computer scientists from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia bought 140 second-hand memory cards from the online auction site and attempted to recover data on them including photos, videos, text messages, sensitive documents and home-made pornography.

According to, the researchers found that 20 cards showed no attempt to delete data while in 82 cases they managed to retrieve poorly-deleted files using forensic software and two were suspected to contain illegal content and were handed to the police.

Researchers said that the risk is projected to grow as people increasingly conduct their lives on mobile devices rather than laptops and desktop computers leading to a possible leak of sensitive information.

The report added that the researchers have called on eBay to provide directions on how to properly wipe data from memory cards before selling them.

First Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 19:48
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