2 December 2009

Catfighting colleagues and deep-sea despair lead 2009 Data Disaster League

Kroll Ontrack’s annual top ten reveals new levels of crimes committed against data

A toppled server as a result of a work-place brawl and a hard drive presumed lost at the bottom of the sea are just two of the stories to make this year’s Data Disaster League from Kroll Ontrack

The leading provider of data recovery products and services has released its sixth annual top ten data disaster list. Taken from a global poll of Ontrack® Data Recovery experts, the 2009 data disasters demonstrate that data loss can happen at any time, anywhere and be down to a number of different factors.

"Ontrack Data Recovery engineers see more than 50,000 data recoveries annually. While some are extreme, it is important to note that advances in technology and expertise make no situation impossible,” said Phil Bridge, UK managing director at Kroll Ontrack.

2009 top ten list of data disasters and remarkable recoveries compiled by Kroll Ontrack

  • 10. A photo is worth a thousand words – A customer reformatted an SD card by accident, erasing one particularly important photo. The photo in question was from a recent trip, where the customer helped capture a breath-taking scenic photo for a stranger, who forgot to bring a camera. The customer promised to e-mail the photo when the customer returned home. Kroll Ontrack helped them keep their word.
  • 9. A game of cat and USB – When a family cat decided to replace a game of cat and mouse by playing with the AC power cord, it ended poorly. The cord was attached to an external USB HDD, which of course fell, rendering household financial information and memories unreadable.
  • 8. Look out below – Somehow a laptop was dropped from the second floor of a business operation. Sent initially to another data recovery company, the data was deemed unrecoverable. A second opinion yielded different, more promising results.
  • 7. It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a computer? – A businessman running late for a meeting made the mistake of placing his laptop on the roof of his car and drove off in rush. As he turned a corner, the laptop flew through the air, crashing into a wall. Ontrack Data Recovery engineers were able to repair the broken drive and recover the individual’s laptop data.
  • 6. Boxing ring – As a result of a brawl between two colleagues, a server fell off a server rack in a server room. Lucky for them, the business critical information was recovered in full.
  • 5. Speed bump – While riding on his motorbike, a photographer’s bike basket containing his camera came loose. The camera flew out and broke, leaving the memory card drowning in a puddle.
  • 4. Upset stomach – After a house pet got into a piece of defrosting meat on a kitchen countertop, the pet became sick on none other than the family’s computer. The dinner remnants seeped into the laptop’s hard drive, ruining the family’s computer as well as the dinner to be.
  • 3. Hold on to your horses – A horse riding tour ended abruptly with a fall. The rider was wearing a camera at the time of the accident, and while the rider got a clean bill of health, the memory card did not. The files were corrupted and could not be uploaded to the owner’s computer. After two failed attempts, Kroll Ontrack proved to be the last hope.
  • 2. Sunken drive – A hard drive plummeted 200 feet to the ocean’s floor. It was discovered six months later and was sent to Kroll Ontrack’s cleanroom, where 99 per cent of the data was imaged and recovered.
  • 1. Law trouble – As legal officials entered the home of a criminal suspect, the individual in question threw a laptop containing potentially pertinent evidence out the window of a 12-story building. As a result, the laptop smashed into many pieces on the pavement. Investigators turned to Kroll Ontrack to recover the photos, videos and e-mails.

Through its Ontrack Data Recovery products and services, Kroll Ontrack is the largest, most experienced and technologically advanced provider of data recovery products and services worldwide. Using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques, Ontrack Data Recovery solutions help businesses and consumers recover lost or corrupted data from all types of operating systems and media and storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities.