[unisog] Wiping hard drives before computer transfer

Allen Mundt allenatwork at sbcglobal.net
Tue Nov 29 13:53:40 GMT 2005

We use a professional grade degausser.  Not perfect, but fairly fast and 
very functional.

If money is an issue, an IS manager at a hospital had an interesting 
approach.  He took the 5 gallon pails that kitty litter comes in, and bought 
a bag of rock salt.  He kept drives secured until he had a dozen or so. 
Then he drilled a number of holes in the drive casing, both on the end where 
the controller is, and in the media shell itself.  He would place about 2 
inches of salt in the bottom of the pail, and then fill it with water, 
covering the drives.  He then sealed the lid back on, and marked the date. 
In 6 months, he removed the drives, smashed them a few times with a hammer, 
and that was that.

You might also be encouraged by the newer generation of drives that we are 
seeing.  The platter material itself is a metallic substrate over some kind 
of glass.  They work just as well, but when you smash them, they break up 
like a kitchen tumbler on a cement floor.


Allen Mundt

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done
     without hope and confidence."
        -- Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jonathan Glass" <jonathan.glass at oit.gatech.edu>
To: "UNIversity Security Operations Group" <unisog at lists.sans.org>
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: [unisog] Wiping hard drives before computer transfer

> Jonathan Glass wrote:
>  > Interesting that you'd mention this.  We've just taken the step of
>> mandating all harddrives be physically destroyed, and are in the process
>> of providing the campus technical community with access to a shredder
>> capable of destroying disks and backup tapes (CDs, etc, etc).
>> Jonathan Glass
>> GT/OIT Information Security
> Well, due to a strong response, I'll let everyone know what product is
> chosen once procurement finishes the paperwork.  We have 2 or 3 units
> under consideration, but I've not been told the makes or models.
> Basically, we're looking at industrial grinders/shredders, costing
> around $12,000.
> Jonathan
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