[kwlug-disc] OT - degauss/wipe a dead hard drive/LTO tapes

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Mon May 3 11:37:08 EDT 2010

----- "Adam Glauser" <adamglauser at gmail.com> wrote:
> Perhaps software will be sufficient for your media sanitation needs? 
> According to Linux.com*, there is a FLOSS tool called Darik's Boot and
> Nuke which implements a bunch of standards published by such 
> security-conscious organizations as the US Department of National 
> Defense and the RCMP.
> * http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/48092

I read the levels of work specified by dod and they vary from formatting the disk to melting it.

Oksana will have to choose which method they are the most comfortable with.

If the disk doesn't boot then I doubt it can be written to, but for those looking for secure erasure:

We use a Linux tool called shred for disks. It's in coreutils (so it's already on your Linux box) and supports a complex set of writes including random data. It's defaults to overwriting disk areas three times with patterns designed to obfuscate the underlying ghost image of data. It can be used against files, free disk space in a file system, raw disk or any file that can be written to, perhaps even tape. The algorithms used are optimized for disk though.

Keep in mind that there are many copies of data that are automatic that you may not know about. Disks map remap bad sectors, data could stored in disk journals, off-side backup, broken raid disks, volume snapshots, you get the idea. Shred uses ideas from Peter Gutmann's paper `Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory' (http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html), from the proceedings of the Sixth USENIX Security Symposium (San Jose, California, July 22-25, 1996).

John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware 

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