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Re: Erasing a hard disk easily
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 00:44:47 -0400

On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 23:23:24 +0200, Maarten <fulldisc () ultratux org>  said:

* Department-of-defense level (dd as above but lots more times (like 10+))

DOD 5220-22M says:

http://www.irwin.army.mil/ac/Electronic_Publications/DoD_Pubs/DoD%205220-22-M/cp
8.pdf

Pages 14 and 15 note methods "a, b, d, and m" sanitizing fixed drives,
and continues:

d. Overwrite all addressable locations with a character, its complement, then a 
random character and verify. THIS
   METHOD IS NOT APPROVED FOR SANITIZING MEDIA THAT CONTAINS TOP SECRET INFORMA-
   TION.

So 3 passes with verification is sufficient for up to Secret.  Top Secret
and higher classifications require physical destruction of the disk.

(Note that these are the regs for civilian-sector contractors to the DoD,
anybody with citations for the military and/or intelligence community
segments feel free to speak up - but I suspect they're fairly similar..)

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