From: "MacFerrin, Ken" <Ken_MacFerrin () csgsystems com>
To: <security-basics () securityfocus com>
Subject: RE: Suggestions on free XP hard drive wiping utilities?
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 11:20:16 -0600
There are dozens of tools that will "clean" your hard drive by overwriting
your data in various patterns and such and most any of those will give you
"decent" security, but.. none of those are going to make the data
irretrievable to someone with the right equipment.
I'm no expert but the basics of being able to retrieve data stem from the
fact that when the HDD head overwrites the data it's never able to
perfectly write along the same track that it did when writing the original
data. This leaves an "edge" of data that wasn't quite overwritten and that
"edge" is enough for someone with a basic setup (about 1500 USD) of
specific equipment to go back and pull the original 1's and 0's off the
disk.. The only way to truly "clean" the disk is using equipment
specifically designed to drive the head at a higher voltage to create a
wider write track and re-write random patterns many times. From what I
understand though even these re-writes will leave some residue that could
be picked up by some high-end gear and a skilled operator.
Essentially, if the data was really that sensitive, you need to physically
destroy the disk..
From: Joris De Donder [mailto:joris () digitaldefense be]
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 6:21 AM
To: 'security-basics () securityfocus com'
Cc: Champion, Steve
Subject: Suggestions on free XP hard drive wiping utilities?
> Would someone please throw out a URL and suggestions for free Windows
> hard drive wiping utility's?
"Eraser is a secure data removal tool, which allows you to remove
sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it with carefully
The program is free software, which means that everyone has
access to the source code,..."
Joris De Donder