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Thread: Sex, Lies and Hard-Drives

  1. #1
    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Sex, Lies and Hard-Drives

    Disklabs' Simon Steggles shares with HEXUS an interesting tale of old hard drives giving up a lot of, potentially costly, secrets.
    http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews...lld19JRD0xNjE0
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    Richard Allen Evans mr_anderson187's Avatar
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    Interesting read

    need to wipe my data, or someone will get my coursework lol
    Under Development...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_anderson187
    Interesting read

    need to wipe my data, or someone will get my coursework lol
    i think we all know what coursework that'll be. I allready wipe all the data or physically destroy the drive.
    your computer is similar to a fridge in that if it cannot keep a beer cold then it sucks

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    index.dat
    Twigman

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    Amateur photographer Hans Voralberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unrealuniverse
    i think we all know what coursework that'll be. I allready wipe all the data or physically destroy the drive.
    Phisically destroyed ??? Sounds like your coursework is a top secret stuff
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    I shall never tire... BEANFro Elite's Avatar
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    Come on chaps don't appear so shocked its not like we never knew that.

    I've read a few other articles about card fraud due to the previous owners of hard drives not securely wiping their data...if you ask me, the people who don't wipe their hard drives well they deserve everything they get for being so careless...

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    Who appeared shocked in any of them replies?

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    Senior Member chrestomanci's Avatar
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    Just use knoppix to fill the hard disc with random data.

    If you want your data wiped properly, use an expert, (Disklabs, 1st Computer Traders Ltd or PC Association member).
    Rubish. It is easy to do yourself, so long as you have a clue:
    1. Boot from a knoppix disc
    2. Open a command console as root.
    3. dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda
    4. mkfs.vfat /dev/hda

    Filling the disc with random will take about an hour, or more for larger discs. If you are paranoid you can do step 3 several times. If you have more than one physical drive, repeat step 3 for hdb, hdc etc, replacing hda with sda etc if you have scsi drives. I would defy anyone short of the NSA to recover anything usefull from a disc that has been subjected to that treatment.

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    Gordy Gordy's Avatar
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    nice tips that

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    use GNU shred -
    Code:
    shred -v -z -n3 /dev/harddiskdevice
    alter n if you want to be sure. remove -z if you don't want to follow the random treatment with zero-filling

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    Useful reminder though...

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    Yes it is easy to wipe data yourself, BUT you need to know 100% what you're doing. Especially if your data may be sensitive or you don't want it falling in to the wrong hands.



    If you don't understand Linux it can be pretty easy to stuff it up or not wipe the disk properly. I've seen cases where "experienced" and "knowledgeable" IT *Managers* have screwed up the wiping of old workstations and gave them away still containing sensitive corporate documents and email, even with bootable operating systems with recoverable and crackable admin passwords on the disk - just because they were told it was easy and tried it themselves.



    There are much simpler DIY methods of wiping than using a Knoppix (Bootable Linux CD) disk. DBAN, dban.sourceforge.net, is another free one which also does a good job. It depends upon your disk / computer speed but it would take 1-2 hours to do a simple DIY wiping pass on an average workstation.



    If you really want your data wiped properly and securely you need to also verify the wiping i.e. by writing 00h across the disk on the last pass and then searching the disk to make sure that nothing other 00h appears on the disk.



    Professional data wiping companies will perform all the required steps using documented industry standard secure procedures and produce a report and a certificate of data destruction for each workstation/hard disk. You can even have the hard disk physically destroyed afterwards for the uber paranoid.

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