The 2016 Analysis Of Information Remaining On Computer Hard Disks Offered For Sale On The Second Hand Market In the UAE

Andrew Jones, Thomas Martin, Mohammed Alzaabi

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This research describes our survey of data remaining on computer hard disks sold on the second hand market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is a repetition of the first survey conducted in 2012 (Jones, Martin, & Alzaabi, 2012). Similar studies have been carried over the last ten years in the United Kingdom, Australia, USA, Germany and France: (Jones, Mee, Meyler, & Gooch, 2005), (Jones, Valli, Sutherland, & Thomas, 2006), (Jones, Valli, Dardick, & Sutherland, 2008), (Jones, Valli, Dardick, & Sutherland, 2009). This research was undertaken to gain insight into the volumes of data found on second-hand disks purchased in the UAE, as well as any changes that have occurred since the previous survey. We will also compare these results to those produced in other regions of the world to gain an understanding of the relative level of the problem of residual data in the UAE. The core methodology of the research adopted for this study was the same as has been used for the other global studies. The methodology included the acquisition of a number of second hand computer disks from a range of sources and their subsequent analysis. The goal of the analysis was to determine whether any data could be recovered from the disk and if so, whether the data that it contained could be used to determine the previous owner or user. If information was found on the disks and the previous user or owner could be identified, the research examined whether the information was of a sensitive nature or in a sufficient volume to represent a risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016


  • computer forensics
  • disk analysis
  • data recovery
  • data disposal
  • data destruction
  • data leakage
  • privacy


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