[Dshield] Overwriting files for secure erasure of files.

Doug White doug at clickdoug.com
Sun Jun 6 16:49:34 GMT 2004

: I realize that there is no absolutely fool proof
: method of erasing data on a hard drive.  A company
: called IOLO software markets a product called "SYSTEM
: MECHANIC" which comes as close as practical.
: One of the components called "INCINERATOR" writes over
: the top of the file up to 10 times. While 10 times may
: not be absolutely perfect it gives enough tracking
: variation to erase the edges of data and make recovery
: virtually impossible.
: About the most sure way to making all data on a drive unrecoverable is to
remove the disk, disassemble it, remove the platters and then run the platters
first trhough a strong magnetic field and then run the platters through a good
cross-cut shredder.

That said, using this drastic methodology would most likely be suitable for
data that would affect National security,  there still remains the unlikelihood
that used drives would be examined for data after they are retired from service
and have entered the marketplace. where the majority of buyers are anxious to
low level format them and prepare them for the new or recycled use.

As an example I purchased a quantity of used drives from eBay and while they
were individually packaged and in boxes of ten drives, there had been no
attempt to even delete the files, as most of them still contained the original
data.  Before disposing of them via resale, I tested each drive, looked over
the files, and then did a simple low level format and repackaged them.  I did
this to make sure none of them were DOA.    All have now been disposed of and I
doubt any of the original data has ever been looked at, much less attempts made
to try to recover it.

just another view.................

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