BBC Hightlights Issue Over Computer Recycling

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Chris Suckling, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. On Monday night on BBC One at 7.30pm there was an article relating to the PC
    Industry regarding the recycling of old pcs to foreign countries...

    There should be good issues for this as was shown by the trip to Nigeria
    where people are sitting on Cyber Cafes using the information on our
    harddrives in order to gain information about where we live, our emails and
    also if applicable our bank account details.....

    The method by which this could be done when using the recycling method of
    computers would be when a person signs onto brand new pc it would ask for
    eye print, once this would be used to acknowledge multi-user at home ie four
    people living there equals four different eye prints.

    The computer automatically removes data such as that stored on the harddrive
    for personal use by the identification of eye print of the new user if the
    computer is second hand, the technology can be wiped if an option on the
    computer is used thereby deleting all important secure information and thus
    resulting in practically a brand new harddrive.

    This would not solve all the problems but im sure you agree its a good place
    to start.....

    They are also recommending a registry cleaner to go through the pc and its
    software before selling onto another party the pc you have used for
    years.......

    Let me know what you think about this..........
    Chris Suckling, Aug 15, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Chris Suckling

    Jim Watt Guest

    On Tue, 15 Aug 2006 21:36:57 GMT, "Chris Suckling"
    <> wrote:

    >Let me know what you think about this..........


    bollocks
    --
    Jim Watt
    http://www.gibnet.com
    Jim Watt, Aug 16, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Chris Suckling

    Ant Guest

    "Chris Suckling" wrote:

    > On Monday night on BBC One at 7.30pm there was an article relating to the PC
    > Industry regarding the recycling of old pcs to foreign countries...


    I saw it, and was amazed that owners who dumped their old PCs at
    council recycling centres thought any data on the disk drives would
    be in safe hands.

    [...]
    > The computer automatically removes data such as that stored on the harddrive
    > for personal use by the identification of eye print of the new user if the
    > computer is second hand, the technology can be wiped if an option on the
    > computer is used thereby deleting all important secure information and thus
    > resulting in practically a brand new harddrive.
    >
    > This would not solve all the problems but im sure you agree its a good place
    > to start.....


    All they need is a program to wipe the drive. Perhaps it could be
    supplied with the OS. In the old days, a low-level format would do
    this. Failing that, they could remove the drive and keep it or smash
    it up if it contains sensitive information.

    > Let me know what you think about this.


    User education is needed.
    Ant, Aug 16, 2006
    #3
  4. Chris Suckling

    km Guest

    Ant wrote:

    > User education is needed.


    Indeed. Also, using proper recycling programmes helps. I recently wrote an
    article about a firm called RDC which is an IT recycling specialist. They
    know about the harddrive issue and ensure that all data is fully destroyed.
    Relying on local councils or well-meaning people is asking for trouble.
    This needs specialist knowledge. RDC is one of a number of firms involved
    with charities (including ones operating in Africa) that help reuse old PCs
    in a good cause without endangering the donors.
    km, Aug 16, 2006
    #4
  5. On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 10:29:34 +0200, km <4xr.com> wrote:

    >Ant wrote:
    >
    >> User education is needed.

    >
    >Indeed. Also, using proper recycling programmes helps. I recently wrote an
    >article about a firm called RDC which is an IT recycling specialist. They
    >know about the harddrive issue and ensure that all data is fully destroyed.
    >Relying on local councils or well-meaning people is asking for trouble.
    >This needs specialist knowledge. RDC is one of a number of firms involved
    >with charities (including ones operating in Africa) that help reuse old PCs
    >in a good cause without endangering the donors.
    >

    I recycle computers - or rather, I source all my IT kit from the local
    tip.
    I'm constantly amazed at what people chuck away...3GHz cpus..15"
    TFTs...DVD writers...256Mb graphics cards...digital TV tuners...UPSs
    etc. I haven't bought a new printer cartridge in years...no need to, I
    simply buy another printer for a few quid.
    What really annoys me is finding an otherwise superb machine that's
    had its guts smashed simply to prevent anyone accessing any
    information contained on the hard drive ( and sod's law dictates that
    the hard drive is always a large one ).

    It's perhaps understandable though - it's incredible how lax people
    are about personal data security. To the average savvy geek, a windows
    admin password is about as secure as paper jail...and a bulging
    temporary internet files folder is always a source of amusement.

    But the tools exist to ensure privacy - freeware diskwipers abound,
    encryption utilities likewise - and the usage of most of them are well
    within the capability of the average user.

    That a bona-fide recycling company fails to address the issue of data
    security is unbelievable...and as has been pointed out, perhaps the
    issue lies in determining who is, and isn't, running a proper
    recycling programme.

    The big risk is that people will watch programmes like this and,
    naturally, will assume that the best thing they can do is smash up
    their old IT kit....and that would mean that I'd have to go out and (
    shudder ) buy new.

    Regards,



    --
    Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    Emails to: showard{whoisat}shwoodwind{dot}co{dot}uk
    Stephen Howard, Aug 16, 2006
    #5
  6. Chris Suckling

    Noon Guest

    On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 13:04:09 +0100, Stephen Howard
    <> wrote:

    >On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 10:29:34 +0200, km <4xr.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Ant wrote:

    <snip>
    >>

    >I recycle computers - or rather, I source all my IT kit from the local
    >tip.
    >I'm constantly amazed at what people chuck away...3GHz cpus..15"
    >TFTs...DVD writers...256Mb graphics cards...digital TV tuners...UPSs
    >etc. I haven't bought a new printer cartridge in years...no need to, I
    >simply buy another printer for a few quid.
    >What really annoys me is finding an otherwise superb machine that's
    >had its guts smashed simply to prevent anyone accessing any
    >information contained on the hard drive ( and sod's law dictates that
    >the hard drive is always a large one ).


    Do the council just let you take stuff? I'm intrigued as there's a tip
    only a mile or two away from here.
    Noon, Aug 17, 2006
    #6
  7. On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 08:56:04 GMT, Noon <> wrote:

    >On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 13:04:09 +0100, Stephen Howard
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 10:29:34 +0200, km <4xr.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Ant wrote:

    ><snip>
    >>>

    >>I recycle computers - or rather, I source all my IT kit from the local
    >>tip.
    >>I'm constantly amazed at what people chuck away...3GHz cpus..15"
    >>TFTs...DVD writers...256Mb graphics cards...digital TV tuners...UPSs
    >>etc. I haven't bought a new printer cartridge in years...no need to, I
    >>simply buy another printer for a few quid.
    >>What really annoys me is finding an otherwise superb machine that's
    >>had its guts smashed simply to prevent anyone accessing any
    >>information contained on the hard drive ( and sod's law dictates that
    >>the hard drive is always a large one ).

    >
    >Do the council just let you take stuff? I'm intrigued as there's a tip
    >only a mile or two away from here.


    Well...not 'take' - buy.
    Our local tip will sell you anything - they even have a small shed set
    aside for 'sales'.
    There's no central policy ( aside from some Health & Safety regs that
    apply to certain electrical items ) and it's very much a case of
    finding out what your tip's policy is.
    Some have deals with dealers and will only sell in bulk - but money
    talks, and most people find it hard to resist the lure of a crumpled
    fiver.

    The going rate for kit probably varies - but at my tip I'd expect to
    pay a fiver for a PIII machine in a decent case - £10-£20 for anything
    that looks like it might contain a P4 or an Athlon XP - and about the
    same for laptop up to around the 600Mhz mark.

    Being a 'regular' I can often get away with opening up a machine to
    see whether there's anything inside worth having - but I wouldn't
    advise you do this with without checking first.

    If you do buy a machine I'd strongly recommend you use a known working
    PSU to check it - in case the unit has been rained on. For the same
    reason I'd advise caution when buying monitors.

    Regards,



    --
    Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    Emails to: showard{whoisat}shwoodwind{dot}co{dot}uk
    Stephen Howard, Aug 17, 2006
    #7
  8. Chris Suckling

    DW Guest

    On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 13:04:09 +0100, Stephen Howard
    <> wrote:

    >But the tools exist to ensure privacy - freeware diskwipers abound,
    >encryption utilities likewise - and the usage of most of them are well
    >within the capability of the average user.
    >

    What's the best freeware diskwiper and where can it be downloaded?
    many thanks.
    dee
    DW, Aug 20, 2006
    #8
  9. Chris Suckling

    Truncat Guest

    Some may differ to me it is DBAN:

    http://dban.sourceforge.com

    >>

    > What's the best freeware diskwiper and where can it be downloaded?
    > many thanks.
    > dee
    Truncat, Aug 20, 2006
    #9
  10. On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 01:09:58 +0100, DW
    <> wrote:

    >On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 13:04:09 +0100, Stephen Howard
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>But the tools exist to ensure privacy - freeware diskwipers abound,
    >>encryption utilities likewise - and the usage of most of them are well
    >>within the capability of the average user.
    >>

    >What's the best freeware diskwiper and where can it be downloaded?
    >many thanks.


    Do a google groups search on this forum with 'diskwiper' as your
    search term - you'll find plenty of recommendations.

    Regards,



    --
    Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    Emails to: showard{whoisat}shwoodwind{dot}co{dot}uk
    Stephen Howard, Aug 20, 2006
    #10
  11. Chris Suckling

    Dee Guest

    On Tue, 15 Aug 2006 21:36:57 GMT, "Chris Suckling"
    <> wrote:

    SNIPPED
    >On Monday night on BBC One at 7.30pm there was an article relating to the PC
    >Industry regarding the recycling of old pcs to foreign countries...


    Very interesting program. What I'd like to know is - when we bank or
    shop online on secure websites, if we always enter our PIN & card
    details on each occasion afresh and if we have set our PCs not to
    remember these details then does that not protect us? Has our PC still
    got these details somewhere? Many thanks,
    Dee
    Dee, Aug 22, 2006
    #11
  12. Chris Suckling

    Moe Trin Guest

    On Tue, 22 Aug 2006, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    <>, Dee wrote:

    >Very interesting program. What I'd like to know is - when we bank or
    >shop online on secure websites, if we always enter our PIN & card
    >details on each occasion afresh and if we have set our PCs not to
    >remember these details then does that not protect us? Has our PC still
    >got these details somewhere? Many thanks,


    "That depends."

    Most computer operating systems - the basic software running underneath
    your application - do multiple things at the same time. This may be
    running your web browser, monitoring your mail applications, running a
    pretty background on your desktop - hard to say what all, as this varies
    by what the user is doing, how the system is configured, the phase of
    the moon, and the price of rice in Hong Kong. This is actually done by
    task switching - running this program/application for a tiny fraction of
    time, then switching to another program/application for a tiny fraction,
    and so on. Thus, it _appears_ that all is happening at once, unless you
    look really, really quick. The system I'm using at the moment task
    switches over a thousand times a second. Like I said - be quick, or you
    won't see it.

    Your sensitive details _could_ be caught in a task switch. This _might_
    result in the information being written to temporary storage on disk.
    In a well designed program, the information is marked as "don't save
    this to disk", so it _shouldn't_ be there even momentarily. But why
    take the chance? If you search the Internet using any search engine,
    you'll turn up dozens of free programs that can fully erase "unused"
    diskspace, or the whole disk. Get and use one when you are getting rid
    of your old computer.

    Old guy
    Moe Trin, Aug 23, 2006
    #12
  13. Chris Suckling

    Dee Guest

    On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 19:43:57 -0500,
    (Moe Trin) wrote:

    >On Tue, 22 Aug 2006, in the Usenet newsgroup alt.computer.security, in article
    ><>, Dee wrote:
    >
    >>Very interesting program. What I'd like to know is - when we bank or
    >>shop online on secure websites, if we always enter our PIN & card
    >>details on each occasion afresh and if we have set our PCs not to
    >>remember these details then does that not protect us? Has our PC still
    >>got these details somewhere? Many thanks,

    >
    >"That depends."
    >
    >Most computer operating systems - the basic software running underneath
    >your application - do multiple things at the same time. This may be
    >running your web browser, monitoring your mail applications, running a
    >pretty background on your desktop - hard to say what all, as this varies
    >by what the user is doing, how the system is configured, the phase of
    >the moon, and the price of rice in Hong Kong. This is actually done by
    >task switching - running this program/application for a tiny fraction of
    >time, then switching to another program/application for a tiny fraction,
    >and so on. Thus, it _appears_ that all is happening at once, unless you
    >look really, really quick. The system I'm using at the moment task
    >switches over a thousand times a second. Like I said - be quick, or you
    >won't see it.
    >
    >Your sensitive details _could_ be caught in a task switch. This _might_
    >result in the information being written to temporary storage on disk.
    >In a well designed program, the information is marked as "don't save
    >this to disk", so it _shouldn't_ be there even momentarily. But why
    >take the chance? If you search the Internet using any search engine,
    >you'll turn up dozens of free programs that can fully erase "unused"
    >diskspace, or the whole disk. Get and use one when you are getting rid
    >of your old computer.
    >
    > Old guy


    Most definitely will! Thanks for response.....
    Dee
    Dee, Aug 23, 2006
    #13
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. speedyJMcfly

    Recycling Dead Monitors ???

    speedyJMcfly, Jun 24, 2003, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    607
    RickMerrill
    Oct 1, 2003
  2. Charlie Bress

    System recycling on-off

    Charlie Bress, Sep 10, 2003, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    361
    °Mike°
    Sep 10, 2003
  3. Sseadoubleyou

    'Recycling' windows wallpaper?

    Sseadoubleyou, Nov 26, 2004, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    700
    Richard
    Nov 27, 2004
  4. Alan Liefting
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    333
    Alan Liefting
    Aug 7, 2003
  5. Theo Markettos

    VOIP over VPN over TCP over WAP over 3G

    Theo Markettos, Feb 3, 2008, in forum: UK VOIP
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    812
    Theo Markettos
    Feb 14, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page