Apparently photocopy machines since 2002 have hard drives that record
every document that is copied. Now there are warehouses full of used
copiers from banks, insurance companies, hospitals, doctors offices,
lawyers offices, police departments, government offices full of
documents scanned, printed or faxed by these organizations.
They are being sold to people in foreign countries all over the world as
we speak. Is your data secure?
I suppose the trick is to do a data security erase, format the drive
and reload the firmware. I am surprised this is not simply a function
in the setup of the copier. Hard drives are the most likely failure
point in anything that uses one. There has to be a fairly simple
procedure to replace them. The problem might be in getting the
firmware image without buying a drive from the manufacturer.
Why does any copy machine keep images of pages it is done printing? And
why thousands of pages? IMHO malfeasance.
Why does one manufacturer charge $500 for a 'feature' that erases the
hard disk image after the copy is made? Seems grossly excessive.
The news article said there was a downloadable program for looking at
hard disks. Anyone know what it is? One of the Norton Utilities used to
do that - long gone I believe.
Another urban myth... They don't make hard drives which could
store every image copied by a copier -- just no way to store the
data for 2 million copies on one hard drive... If the machines were
set up to be able to do this the data would have to be "harvested"
frequently to prevent overwriting of the stored images...
If corporations feel that this is a possible risk, then like any other
computer device they should remove the hard drive and physically
shred it in a machine which is capable of destroying small metal
parts prior to abandoning the machines to non-corporate agents...
Of course they do. A typical B/W copier image might only be 40-50kb,
that is 100 gig for 2 million pictures. I do agree they probably don't
store that many and that work area does get rewritten but that just
means the data miner is only getting the most recent thousand images
or so. That could still be troubling if a significant number were
customer records and internal business documents.
What's fascinating it that nobody knows they have hard drives.They all
assume they all had ram memory as in the past that goes away when
powered down. I'm sure if they knew, the IS departments would have wiped
the drives. Instead, thousands or millions of used copiers are sitting
in warehouses that resell them world wide. You would think that would
trigger a homeland security alert and a freeze on them. I ain't heard
diddly squat about it.
Lots of people know that anything beyond basic copiers have hard drives
(also true of large volume printers). Its just that lots of
organizations are run shall we say on the cheap side and really aren't
that concerned about security.
Well, do the calculations on how many images you can store on a
terabyte. Admittedly, the drive is probably transitional and somewhat
smaller, but with the capabilities being added to networked office
machines, they will be ever expanding.
Not to mention, consider the hacking opportunity for a networked copy
machine. I doubt the security is anything to write home about...
employees could probably easily hack internal corporate copiers with
little difficulty and do regular downloads of materials.
I have a device like that I use when disposing of old drives (which I
have some unjustifiable habit of holding on to when they retire, then
disposing of them when they become seriously obsolete): It's the 2 lb
sledge. Does a good job. Sometimes I unscrew the drive covers and just
attack the platters, some days I just keep banging until the hammer
does it for me.
Do the calculations -- Terabyte drives are REALLY new... The copying
machines in question are older and awaiting resale after a company
has retired them...
LOL... 90% of all the companies out there that have more than a few
dozen employees track EVERYTHING that a user does on their
computer at the office... That would include "hacking attempts"
and how many files and how much bandwidth a user uses during
their time on the network...
A sledge hammer ? Needlessly dangerous... And you would not
destroy thousands of hard drives in that manner in any productive
time period... They make industrial shredding machines that will
shred just about anything put into them, computer drives, documents
still inside binders... They are cool to see in action...
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