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Data theft: Wikis


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Data theft is a growing problem primarily perpetrated by office workers with access to technology such as desktop computers and hand-held devices capable of storing digital information such as flash drives, iPods and even digital cameras. Since employees often spend a considerable amount of time developing contacts and confidential and copyrighted information for the company they work for they often feel they have some right to the information and are inclined to copy and/or delete part of it when they leave the company, or misuse it while they are still in employment.

While most organizations have implemented firewalls and intrusion-detection systems very few take into account the threat from the average employee that copies proprietary data for personal gain or use by another company. A common scenario is where a sales person makes a copy of the contact database for use in their next job. Typically this is a clear violation of their terms of employment.

The damage caused by data theft can be considerable with today's ability to transmit very large files via e-mail, web pages, USB devices, DVD storage and other hand-held devices. Removable media devices are getting smaller with increased hard drive capacity, and activities such as podslurping are becoming more and more common. It is now possible to store 80 GB of data on a device that will fit in an employee's pocket, data that could contribute to the downfall of a business.


Types of data theft



Thumbsucking, similar to podslurping, is the intentional or unintentional use of a portable USB mass storage device, such as a USB flash drive (or "thumbdrive"), to illicitly download confidential data from a network endpoint.[1]

The moniker is derived from the act of downloading, or "sucking", data from a network endpoint onto a USB flash drive or similar storage device.

A USB flash drive was allegedly used to remove without authorization highly-classified documents about the design of U.S. nuclearweapons from a vault at Los Alamos.[2]

The threat of thumbsucking has been amplified for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • The storage capacity of portable USB storage devices has increased.
  • The cost of high-capacity portable USB storage devices has decreased.
  • Networks have grown more dispersed, the number of remote network access points has increased and methods of network connection have expanded, increasing the number of vectors for network infiltration.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Zagorin, Adam "A breach in nuclear security." Time, April 19, 2007. Retrieved April 21, 2007

External links


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