The Public Eye with Eric Chabrow

Buying a 'Breach-Ready' E-Tablet Refurbished Devices Contained Data of Former Owners
Buying a 'Breach-Ready' E-Tablet

But when I bought my first PC with a hard drive, I received a sound piece of IT security advice: make sure the hard drive is wiped clean of data when discarding it. That's a lesson about 100 former owners of Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi tablets wished they had followed.

See Also: Secure Access in a Hybrid IT World

Motorola Mobility last week revealed that some 100 of 6,200 XOOM tablets it refurbished last year may not have been completely cleared of the original owner's data prior to resale. What's on those tablets? The usual suspects of personally identifiable information: photographs, documents, user names and passwords, Motorola conjectures.

What should have owners of these tablets done before surrendering them? Perform a factory data reset. Those who did erase their personally identifiable information had nothing to worry about. 

What should have owners of these tablets done before surrendering them? Perform a factory data reset. Those who did erase their personally identifiable information had nothing to worry about, Motorola says.

The 100 tablets were returned to Amazon.com, Best Buy, BJ's Wholesale, eBay, Office Max, Radio Shack, Sam's Club and Staples as well as a few other independent retailers between March and October. Those who did return the tablets will receive two years of free credit monitoring.

This incident serves as a reminder that computer hygiene is a personal responsibility and we must be vigilant in securing our own data; we can't always rely on others to provide that security.

How did one dispose of those floppy disks three decades ago? You reformatted the disk. And, for added security, a pair of very sharp scissors helps.



About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Host & Producer, ISMG Security Report; Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity & InfoRiskToday

Chabrow hosts and produces the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversees ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.




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