[rescue] Degaussing Drives?
Stephen D. B. Wolthusen
stephen at wolthusen.com
Mon Aug 26 07:37:21 CDT 2002
On 26-Aug-2002 Al Potter wrote:
> stephen at wolthusen.com said:
>> If you are in fact low-level formatting you should be aware of the
>> fact that media can be read after such a procedure, in most cases even
>> after multiple overwrites.
> Technically, yes. But realistically, by whom and at what cost?
There are a number of service bureaus that offer this service. Fees are usually
rather steep (depending on the urgency of the recovery and the techniques that
have to be applied), but even in civilian applications the recovery of trade
secrets worth a few millions (and, correspondingly, opportunity losses on the
other side) are not too far-fetched.
Most intelligence services will have that capability in-house - and again, some
services will also provide information to commercial entities if the stakes are
In my judgement (and I know this list is called `rescue') it's just not worth
the risk to recycle media or disks when they leave a sensitive area. F***ups
happen, and few things can be as embarassing as finding corporate R&D or
financial data during a yard sale. Happened just last year to a major
OTOH there are other areas that typically could use a bit more attention.
Shredding of sensitive documents? Clean desk? Encrypting emails and storage?
And yes, I work in a research environment and get my share of back talk.
Stephen Wolthusen (stephen at wolthusen.com)
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