LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Security
User Name
Password
Linux - Security This forum is for all security related questions.
Questions, tips, system compromises, firewalls, etc. are all included here.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 05-05-2004, 01:21 PM   #1
fatman
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: PA
Distribution: Ubuntu (x2)
Posts: 158

Rep: Reputation: 30
wiping a hard drive


I'm a little paranoid.

After finally receiving a warranty replacement hard drive for my laptop, Compaq wants the old drive drive back - they have said they will bill me otherwise. I want to wipe the drive clean first. Please look over my steps and tell me if I've done a decent job. The alternative is taking the thing apart with a drill and a rotary tool and burning the platters in my father's kiln.

1. Formatted hd 3 times with cfdisk.
2. Booted Knoppix LiveCD
3. Mounted hd read/write in Knoppix
4. ran "wipe -rcf /mnt/hda1"

Is that going to do the job?
 
Old 05-05-2004, 01:39 PM   #2
kvedaa
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Virginia
Distribution: PacketProtector
Posts: 331

Rep: Reputation: 30
I consider myself to be paranoid, but I have to say that I think that you have done a fairly good job of cleaning up after yourself. Now this is assuming that you do not have anything to incriminating on your old hard drive (i.e. something that can put you in jail for life).

I am assuming that the formats and the wipe ran without any significant errors.
 
Old 05-05-2004, 01:42 PM   #3
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,174
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428Reputation: 428
As a side note - the NSA recommend wiping and overwriting 7 times. I believe that you have to do this for the NSA to consider it unrecoverable.
 
Old 05-05-2004, 01:48 PM   #4
fatman
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: PA
Distribution: Ubuntu (x2)
Posts: 158

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Thanks for the reassurance. (Although after dealing with Compaq I am tempted to send them charred pieces anyways).

Nothing out of the ordinary on the drive - stuff that could possibly subject me to identity theft, or perhaps civil suit - definitety nothing felonious.

In my former capacity, when we were done with a sensitive drive we would have a guy disassemble it, shred the casing, and send the platters off to a secure facility for incineration.
 
Old 05-05-2004, 01:53 PM   #5
kvedaa
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Virginia
Distribution: PacketProtector
Posts: 331

Rep: Reputation: 30
I understand, I started out my life in IT while I was in the Marine Corps. In our shop creative means of data destruction were highly encouraged. It has been about a decade since the last time I ensured data destruction with explosives....
 
Old 05-05-2004, 02:22 PM   #6
cyph3r7
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Silicon Valley East, Northern Virginia
Distribution: FreeBSD,Debian, RH, ok well most of em...
Posts: 238

Rep: Reputation: 30
keep going, right now with forensics tools we could prob get back info. low level and write 0's a few times......whats another hour or two of your life ..

 
Old 05-05-2004, 02:33 PM   #7
frogman
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Mandrake, Slack, Debian and PicoBSD
Posts: 181

Rep: Reputation: 30
If you're still going, google for Darik's Boot and Nuke or Killdisk - both are bootable isos that do what you need.
 
Old 05-07-2004, 08:28 AM   #8
Commie2
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: May 2004
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally posted by XavierP
As a side note - the NSA recommend wiping and overwriting 7 times. I believe that you have to do this for the NSA to consider it unrecoverable.
No, the NSA does *not* say that wiping 7 times with pseudorandom data will render it unrecoverable. In fact, the NSA physically destroys HDDs with any type of sensitive data on it. Only HDDs that have no sensitive data on them are wiped via software. That's where that spec you quoted came from.

Also, due to the nature of magnetic media, it is nearly impossible to render all data unrecoverable even if you wipe 35 times. It's a huge misconception among people. The FBI doesn't use software to recover data (most of the time). They literally take the HDD apart and analyze the platter directly. And due to the density of drives today, data will almost always remain on the platter.

But if you have nothing incriminating on the drive, then you have nothing to worry about. No one would go to all of that trouble just to steal your social security or credit card number.

Also, make double sure that your swap partition was also wiped in the process. That's the first place forensics experts look. If you are super paranoid, there are utilities out there (like the one that comes with Eraser - google for it) that does a low level wipe. This is a much better way to overwrite data than running one from the OS level.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wiping hard drive for clean install Kissinger! Linux - Newbie 9 04-14-2008 11:56 PM
Installing grub to external USB hard drive for later use as internal hard drive dhave Linux From Scratch 2 12-10-2005 08:48 AM
2 hard drive in system mirror 1st hard drive sburns76247 Linux - General 2 12-21-2004 01:47 AM
Grub to access new hard drive and old multi os hard drive ? gedi1 Linux - Hardware 0 06-03-2004 12:01 PM
STUCK--Trying to copy old Hard Drive to new Hard Drive. Please Help tsw Linux - Newbie 8 05-26-2004 02:47 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:02 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration