Top 10 Data Disasters of 2012

    Kroll Ontrack, a leading provider of data recovery, ediscovery and information management, recently revealed its list of the top 10 data disasters for 2012. This year’s list, all of which were successful data recoveries, represents that the increasing reliance on electronic data and reliability of technology is often met by human error.

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    Click through for the top 10 data disasters of 2012, as identified by Kroll Ontrack.

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    A woman placed her external hard drive in a dirty laundry basket and carried it downstairs. The family cat strategically placed itself on the laundry, which obscured the view of the drive from the woman’s boyfriend, who shooed away the cat and quickly threw the clothes in the washing machine. On went the machine and away went the data.

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    A graphics designer about to finish a beautiful 3-D logo job for a customer decided to have a drink to celebrate. When he returned from the kitchen to admire his work, he accidentally flipped over the glass – giving his computer a chance to take a sip. The project was gone, and so was the designer’s happiness.

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    Imagine working in one of the most challenging and remote environments of the world and being confronted with a serious data loss. This is what happened to a resources company in the Gobi Desert. They accidentally deleted a VMware® machine and several snapshots.

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    When an Australian pool and spa shop was being robbed, the burglars decided to hide all the evidence by pouring the large stock of hydrochloric acid on the shop floor and counters, consequently damaging the shop’s computer and point of sale terminal. The shop owner was able to get a very smelly drive to the local Kroll Ontrack lab, and although the computer was very badly damaged, all the data was recovered from the affected computer.

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    An iPad®, containing important drilling data, was dropped off the side of a Nigerian oil rig. While water is the number one most common cause of damage to mobile devices, this incident involved salt water.

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    A business professional set his backpack, containing his iPad, down to give his shoulder a break while waiting for the city bus. The bus pulled up, but before letting on the passengers, the driver realized the bus was situated in the crosswalk. The business professional didn’t pick up his backpack in time, and the bus crushed the pack’s contents, including the iPad.

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    After an employee was fired, he took solace at a fast-food chain and plotted his revenge. Revenge included logging on to the network he still had access to and deleting as much data as he could get his hands on using the restaurant’s free Wi-Fi. The story had a happy ending, as TBs of data were recovered and the culprit was identified by matching his food purchase order and payment information to the time of the crime and network used to delete the data.

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    A man pulled into a shopping center parking lot and parked his car. When he opened his door, he noticed that he had parked in two spots. He climbed back in and slammed the door, not noticing that he had dropped his camera on the road. As he re-corrected his parking several times, he felt something beneath the wheel, which turned out to be his camera.

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    Viruses can be silent and deadly, so when a malware attack infected 30,000 workstations at a Middle Eastern oil company, swift efforts were required to cease the damage and restore business continuity. Kroll Ontrack not only identified the virus as the damage culprit, but recovered data from several critical servers and workstations.

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    A RAID5 came into the Kroll Ontrack Madrid office after several people noticed a red blinking light on the RAID and alerted their IT manager. The IT manager said the light didn’t mean anything and in a matter of three weeks, the RAID stopped working.

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