Missing: hard drive containing Bitcoins worth 4m pounds in Newport landfill site

<http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/27/hard-drive-bitcoin-lan dfill-site> et al.
This guy works in IT, but he doesn't seem to have heard that it's
extremely unwise to dump or recycle hard drives unless they have first had any data they contain rendered completely unreadable (least by being totally wiped - or if you're really paranoid, by physical damage).
--
Ian

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On Thu, 28 Nov 2013 23:14:59 +0000, Ian Jackson

Perhaps there was nothing on the drive that was worth securely wiping.
It's the Bitcoins he's lost that are his main concern.
Chris
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wrote:

Of course, he hasn't lost millions, he has just failed to profit from his small investment. *Remember bitcoins can go down as well as up... but not usually under 3 feet of trash in an area the size of a football pitch.
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On 29/11/2013 06:31, Tiddy Ogg wrote:

One cannot but feel a degree of sympathy for him.
However, he should look on the bright side. He did not have to work for £4.5m worth of assets. He got nothing for them. The guy who presumably would have paid him £4.5 m for them still has his money in his pocket. There are no losers.
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So if I lost a winning lottery ticket for £4.5M, no one would have lost anything? By that reckoning, even the £1 I paid for the ticket wasn't 'lost', as it went go into the coffers of those running the lottery - as would the £4.5M that I couldn't claim. [OK, there may still be ways of claiming it, but let's not get side-tracked.]
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On 29/11/2013 10:39, Ian Jackson wrote:

Surely it would be well worth mining an area that small for an item worth £4m? It's an employment opportunity.
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Even if they recovered the hard drive, the electronics would probably be knackered. It would a specialist recovery to get the data off the disk.
Another question I ask myself - "What's a hard drive doing in landfill?" Presumably its owner simply threw it in his rubbish bin (or the recycling facility 'household waste skip'), rather than put it in the electronics/electrical recycling area?
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writes

well of course
the stupid system that HMG introduced to comply with WEEE just discourages compliance
(and to save you asking - yes!)
tim
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On Fri, 29 Nov 2013 14:04:05 +0100, "tim......"

In this case it was most likely a stupid system introduced by the local authority. If ours are typical one would have a 3 mile drive up a country road in order to deposit a hard drive in the small electrical products skip. No bus service and even if there were the site does not permit pedestrians. My old drives get a drill through the platters then go in the bin in a plastic bag with all the rest of the rubbish.
TBH I have stopped bothering to recycle. The local authority now make it so difficult it isn't worth the bother for the small amounts we used to do.
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writes

The rule was mandated by HMG
The LA is just following it

This is typical of waste disposal centers. Making them the designated deposit site for small electricals under WEEE was stupid (for those reasons). Only the UK did this. Other countries have a much more sensible solution (from the consumer pov)
tim
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On 29/11/2013 11:02, GB wrote:

What's the odds of finding the HDD in a working or recoverable state? After 14 years of being buried, IMO very, very slim.
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On 29/11/2013 13:15, Cynic wrote:

You mean 14 weeks? As long as the platters are intact, the data should be recoverable. So, I think it might be okay. It will have gone through the compacter on the rubbish truck, but unless it got sliced in half, I'd expect an aluminium casting to stand up to that.
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On 29/11/2013 13:41, GB wrote:

Sorry, I misread that he had *dumped* it in 2009 rather than that being the date he stopped using it. Yes, in that case a reasonable chance, though I'd not put it at "good".
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wrote:

It could be, but only as long as Bitcoins maintain their current value.
Unfortunately, they are notoriously volatile and you could spend weeks digging for a hard drive that might only be worth a few thousand Pounds by the time you find it. That is assuming it's still readable at all.
Chris
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And trashing the drive before dumping it wouldn't have helped.
--
Uncle Larry was smoking in a restaurant the other day when a guy came up to him and said, "That smoke's bothering me."
Larry said, "Well, it's killing me. If I don't care about what it's doing to me, why would I give a shit what it's doing to you?"
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writes

You don't say!
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Hence the original comment "This guy works in IT, but he doesn't seem to have heard that it's extremely unwise to dump or recycle hard drives unless they have first had any data they contain rendered completely unreadable" was silly.
--
Eagles may soar, but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines.

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On 28/11/2013 23:14, Ian Jackson wrote:

That depends entirely what the HDD was used for. Not every computer HDD contains personal information that would do any harm if it fell into the wrong hands. I have HDDs that have only ever been used to store movies. If I were to throw any of those away, I wouldn't bother wiping or destroying them. Such archiving drives are often cheap and slow, and can take *days* to wipe.
He need have no fears about someone finding the HDD and taking his money. Anyone who finds the drive and realises what it's worth would *have* to contact him and make some sort of deal in order to get the password to the bitcoin wallet (provided the guy can remember it). Without the password the wallet is useless.
Not that I would expect the HDD to still work after being in a landfill site for 14 years. Hard drives have breather holes through which water will seep in, so the innards are probably irretrievable corroded by now.
And imagine how he would feel if he undertakes months of searching and *does* find his HDD, spends the money and effort to recover the data from the corroded drive, only to find that he cannot recall the password he used!
--
Cynic


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On 29/11/2013 13:12, Cynic wrote:

You've said 14 years twice, now.
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On Fri, 29 Nov 2013 13:42:41 +0000, GB wrote:

Does that make 28 years ?
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