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Re: RE: Peter Gutmann data deletion theaory?
From: Simple Nomad <thegnome () nmrc org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 00:33:28 -0500 (CDT)

On Sat, 23 Jul 2005, Ron van Daal wrote:

We were not allowed to do a seven pass government wipe to dispose of the drives as our security people deemed it inadequate, we turned them over to our classified waste people who stored them until there were enough to justify having the platters removed and mechanicaly beaten into little lumps of metal.

There is no 7 pass government wipe. It is a 3 pass wipe. It is referred to as a 7 pass wipe because an app that did a 7 pass wipe passed govt muster and was purchased. Odds are that if it had done it in 3 wipes it would have still passed. If a vendor is saying "we do a 7 pass govt wipe" ask them if one of those passes involves *verifiying* the writing of random data, and if one of the passes in the inversion of another wipe (i.e. a wipe with 0x0f and a wipe with 0xf0) to the drive. If not, it won't pass that "government standard" I referred to in another post a few days ago.

Aren't you being too paranoid? I think a simple zeroing out of your entire drive using dd(1) starting with the first sector is enough to cover your privacy. I don't know about other ""secret"" government agencies in NL or other counties who actually do microscopic magnetic recovery efforts, but dd(1) does the trick to defeat disk analysis by our national digital crime unit. From what I've read in one of their internal memo's is that they just use a hexdump(1) alike utility to find any non-zero bytes on the drive to conclude "the drive has been wiped entirely".

I basically agree with this. If any government can recover data via some ninja electron microscope fu, odds are it is a state secret and they wouldn't reveal they got your data nor reveal it in court (then it wouldn't be a state secret anymore...) so it truly is a moot point, unless the recovered data makes you an enemy combatant or something. Again, we really have covered this topic several times here.

-SN, fairly drunk in Vegas so hopefully this made sense....

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