Last month, during a “trip” to my local recycling center to throw away my green waste, I was walking nearby the electronic garbage and I notice a good looking 27″ iMac. I didn’t hesitate long, and took it with me.
At home, I had to find the right power cable and decide to give it a try. By miracle, the iMac started first time, without password, and I was on the profile of the previous owner.
Before going any further, as it seems strange to find such an iMac, I contacted the owner (yes, I found out how to contact him..) to ensure that it was not stolen. He replied, after a few days, didn’t scare really much and confirmed that he was the one putting it at the recycling center.
On that iMac, I found all his personal life : name, emails, 10 years of pictures, invoices, ID card, passport, diploma, tax receipts,… Just name it ! Everything needed for an identity theft.. I warned the owner, and confirmed that I’m more a White Hat, and I was not going to do anything wrong with his data.
But that’s really scary, and you should never do that. At least clean the hard drive, crash it, put a password, destroy the iMac, but please do not throw your data like this !
This guy is an atomic engineer, working on a famous French aircraft carrier. Documents, pictures and names/ranks of his colleagues were on the hard drive..
After some reviews, and talks with friends, I decided not to contact the ANSSI, because imo it was not enough to present a security threat. However, I’m not really proud of the people defending my country, in IT security measures at least.
I properly erased the hard drive, and install a fresh new SSD, and tada ! New working iMac !
Not going any further, you get the idea.
Please get rid of your personal data before throwing an electronic device, and at least use password..
Even Apple has an article for that : https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201065
For more information : https://www.economie.gouv.fr/particuliers/protection-usurpation-identite