Kanagawa Prefectural Government retrieves all unencrypted disk drives lost in auction


The Kanagawa Prefectural Government said Saturday that it has collected all 18 of the hard disk drives containing government administrative data that were sold online after being fraudulently taken.

The prefecture got ahold of the last four missing HDDs on the same day. The 18 unencrypted devices were taken and sold by a former employee of Tokyo-based data-erasure company Broadlink Co.

“We have avoided online leaks of personal information” stored on the HDDs, the prefecture said.

The buyer of the four drives brought them to the prefectural government’s headquarters in Yokohama, where they were confirmed to be the missing HDDs based on their serial numbers. The buyer did not restore or duplicate the data in the hard disks, according to the prefecture.

Through Yahoo Japan Corp., which operates an auction website, the prefecture had been calling on buyers to return the purchased items.

Earlier this month, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department arrested the former Broadlink employee for fraudulently taking the HDDs.

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