[ISN] PC World sells "new" hard drive with personal data on

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Thu Jul 01 2004 - 04:33:30 PDT

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    By Mike Magee
    30 June 2004
    A WESTERN DIGITAL hard drive sold as new in a major PC World outlet in
    London on Monday contained a couple's personal data including
    spreadsheets, VAT information and other sensitive information.
    We bought the Western Digital 20GB Caviar drive along with a CD drive
    from the Tottenham Court Road branch of PC World because we were
    building a new PC.
    But after the operating system software failed to install correctly,
    we examined the hard drive and found that it contained a number of
    Word documents and Excel wordsheets belonging to an individual and his
    partner, based in West London.
    The package was sold intact with a black and white security label
    saying "do not open before purchase", and was for sale with other new
    drives in the superstore.
    A representative for PC World said she was puzzled at how the incident
    could have occurred.
    She thought there were a couple of possibilities. Those were - that
    the drive was received in that condition from the manufacturer, or
    that the disk was returned by a customer as new and unused.
    She said that if the disk had been returned as defective it would have
    been returned to the warehouse. The Dixons Group has a returns policy
    where defective products go back to the manufacturer for replacement.
    The odds against an itinerant IT hack coming into the shop and picking
    up a drive like this must be pretty big. Wish we had the same luck on
    the nags or the lottery.
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