Discarded photocopier hard drives stuffed full of corporate secrets

Your office's high-end photocopier probably has a hard-drive used to store copies of documents that are scanned from the glass. Harvesting scanned documents from discarded office copiers (often returned at the end of a lease) yields a treasure-trove of fascinating corporate secrets.

Of the dozens of multi-purpose copiers Beitner has cleaned out in the past two years, he has seen hundreds of scanned documents that would be considered confidential. As a personal policy, he never reads them, but can easily tell where they are by the file names and sizes.

"In almost all the machines I have seen, the files, phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses are left there as if it was still in the office," said Beitner. "There are files from insurance companies, medical facilities, pharmaceutical and regular office-type documents," he said…

And, as a few Google searches will show you, you don't even need to leave the comfort of your home. The activity of photocopiers linked to an unsecure network can be seen and tracked online. With a few clicks of a mouse, and no knowledge of how to hack, we could see the latest activity of a photocopier in Korea, which included copies of invoices and employee expenses.

High-tech copy machines a gold mine for data thieves

(via Schneier)

(Image: keypad photocopier, a Creative Commons Attribution image from Mr Thinktank's photostream)