Data Security



One of the things that apparently is commonly overlooked in the area of computer security is what happens to the data on your hard drive when you get a new computer.

I just read an article at geoffreyhuntley.com about some old servers he picked up pretty cheap from a government auction. They were complete with hard drives and DATA and BACKUP TAPES. It’s amazing to me that ANY computer savvy person would let any machine out of a government office that had information on it.

There is a tool that I’ve carried around with me for the decomissioning of machines that can do a decent job of wiping a hard drive pretty simply. (And less muss and fuss than the disassembling the drive technique – or the bulk demagnitizer.) That tool is called DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke) and it essentially boots and ummm… nukes the contents of the drives attached. DBAN can run on any x86 compatible pc with 8MB of memory and up. It also has a number of types of wiping available. Including a Department of Defense grade wipe. Now, since it’s x86 compatible only, it might not have helped with the machines mentioned in the article above (IBM RS/6000 E20′s), but it might be useful for a pretty wide group of people.

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