[unisog] Wiping hard drives before computer transfer

Curtis K. Shrote shrote at arlut.utexas.edu
Fri Jan 24 18:40:18 GMT 2003

Tom Perrine wrote:

> Peter Gutman in NZ has done about the best non-GOV work on recovering
> data from hard drives.  All you need is a scanning tunnelling electron
> microscope, IIRC :-)

Yup, I'm aware of the electron microscope technique. I've used similar 
tools IDS5000/7000 to probe microprocessors when debugging speed paths 
etc. while they were running code loops. It was very tedious but fun 
work. The chemistries/processing for stripping the SiO2 off the top of 
the chips to get a look down to metal 1 (wire layer) were a nightmare. 
I'm glad the product engineering team did that. These tools along with 
power analysis are also a way to attack stored value $$ smartcard 
chips/algorithms. However, don't count me as having experience in that area.

I hope the price of such equipment has gone down at least for Peter. My 
tin cup isn't large enough to hold the bills unless it's in check form. 
;-) I somehow doubt I would have the time to go as far as he has however.

Maybe I should resort to acid etching/washing the drive platters while 
they spin at 7200rpm and calling it a day. ;-). Also, for a slight 
parallel, there was somebody that published CD-ROM distruction 
techniques at very high RPM (very humorous). Photos are somewhere on the 
web. ;-)

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