Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2459 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] scrathsing old harddisks
  • From: Sam Clemens <clemens.sam1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 23:41:13 -0400
  • Message-id: <47EB1759.1060301@xxxxxxxxx>
Jim Flanagan wrote:
Greg Freemyer wrote:
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 6:38 AM, Hans defaber <hans.defaber@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
What is the best (easiest) way to overwrite old harddisks with random garbage ?

thanks, Hans

Lots of ways, but the easiest is "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=4k

Basically everything beyond that is overkill. Even NIST has started
buying off on the above for drive 20GB or larger. holding confidential
data (Older, less dense drives need more passes, random data, etc.)
For more secret data, they require physical destruction I think.. I
have not seen any docs that cover drives holding top secret data etc.

If you need a boot CD/floppy look into dban.

If you think you data is worth someone attempting a multi-million
dollar recovery on and you think their is an ultra-secret government
agency that actually has some SciFi like ability to recovery
overwritten data, then take it apart and belt sand the magnetic media
off of each platter. You should probably do that while wearing an
aluminum hat. That way they can't be reading your mind during the
process and somehow be using you as a transmitter to read your data.

Or you could encrypt it with strong encryption. Not sure how, but I hear its done.

Encryption does NOT prevent anyone from reading your messages
or data.

All it does is raise the amount of effort and time which
must be devoted to reading it.

Given sufficient time and computing power, all encryption
will be cracked.

The key is to use enough encryption such that the data
which is protected isn't worth as much as the equipment
needed to decrypt it and that once it is decrypted, it
took so long that the information is no longer useful.

If you cannot meet those two conditions, then you must
keep physical control of the data, and ensure that it
is destroyed before anyone can copy the encrypted data.
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