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  • 3 December 2012 09:38

Kroll Ontrack Announces Ninth Annual Top Ten List of Data Disasters

Data loss still happens due to hardware failure, software corruption, computer viruses, natural disasters and human error.

Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery, ediscovery and information management today 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.

2012 Top Ten List of Data Disasters Compiled by Kroll Ontrack

10. Rinse cycle (Kroll Ontrack France)

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.

9. Don't drink and work! (Kroll Ontrack Poland)

A graphics designer about to finish a beautiful 3D 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.

8. Lost in the desert (Kroll Ontrack Australia)

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. Luckily, IT got in touch with Kroll Ontrack, and via a satellite link, a remote data recovery session was quickly established. The link enabled Kroll Ontrack engineers to work around-the-clock, and data was recovered in a much shorter time than originally anticipated.

7. Erase all traces (Kroll Ontrack Australia)

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.

6. Slippery hands (Kroll Ontrack U.K.)

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, involving salt water, proved to be no problem for Kroll Ontrack.

5. Lost in transit (Kroll Ontrack U.S.)

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 realised 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. Despite the vast physical damage to the electronics, the data was recovered.

4. Disgruntled employee (Kroll Ontrack U.S.)

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.

3. Careful driver (Kroll Ontrack Poland)

A man pulled into a shopping center parking lot and parked his car. When he opened his door, he noticed that he had badly 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. Kroll Ontrack was able to recover the photos.

2. Sweeping illness (Kroll Ontrack U.S.)

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.

1. Don't ignore blinking RED lights (Kroll Ontrack Spain)

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. Kroll Ontrack restored 100 percent of the data.

“Despite best efforts to prevent disasters, data loss still happens due to hardware failure, software corruption, computer viruses, natural disasters and of course human error,” said Adrian Briscoe, general manager – APAC, Kroll Ontrack. “Kroll Ontrack is committed to R&D and has more than 200 engineers working on technology and techniques that anticipate and address our clients’ needs.”

For more information about the 2012 Top 10 Data Disasters visit:

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.

Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyse, produce and present data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery, document review and ESI consulting. Kroll is a subsidiary of Altegrity, an industry-leading provider of information solutions. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit:

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