Methods of data removal

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Many users are satisfied with simple data removal techniques from the exploited data carriers, since they do not constitute any sensitive content. Those computer users who are more aware, especially companies and other entities operating upon various markets, are able to name the multitude of reasons for which effective data removal/annihilation constitutes an indispensable element of their activity, the fact that is amongst other cause by:

- legal requirements
- preventing of making available of sensitive information to their market competitors
- prevention of the loss of credibility, image or good name and opinion

The currently existing methods of data removal may be divided into two main categories of methods:

Programme type of data removal (logic type)

Based upon the numerous (even 35-times fold) overriding of data upon the given carrier with the application of random values the fact that completely (?) rules out the possibility of their restoration. Upon the execution of the aforementioned procedure the given carrier is completely operational and is suitable for further reuse..

Hardware based data removal (physical)

Connected to the erasure of data contained upon the given carrier with the application of special devices and/or destruction of carriers themselves. Upon the execution of such operation the hard-drive of the given device is no longer applicable for further reuse.

Application of the aforementioned methods offer various degree of effectiveness – not all methods guarantee complete inability for the restoration of erased data by specialists nowadays, not to mention the future. The majority of them, despite being considered as effective, leaves material, which is subject to be taken over by an unauthorised entity and subdued for further analysis by specialists or laboratories the scope of activity of which is constituted by the field of data restoration..

In the case of programme overriding of data, in the process of magnetic path analysis upon the hard drive, what may be restored is the majority or even the whole of the information, as well as data in the form of electronic file traces.

Moreover, through the application of magnetic sensors as well as electron microscopes equipped with the function of executing of measurements of even the slightest changes within the magnetic field, even in the contemporary status of available knowledge it is possible to read the initial file overridden with the new content. There is never a complete confidence that hard drive heads which override the given file are located ideally over the location, within which the file is located..

Inflicting physical damage to hard drives also does not ensure the equivalent safety of data – specialist laboratories as well as government agencies apply the special technique also referred to as “hard drive assembly”, the application of which is applied in the process of the restoration of fragments to as close as possible to the initial status of the data carrier, followed by the execution of proper analysis methods, which may allow for all of the contained therein sensitive data to be restored in whole or in part. Some examples of data restoration upon the destruction of carriers into fragments are available upon the website entitled Examples of lost data recovery.

All of the above proves that a number of the available methods do not offer 100% certainty of utilisation of the damaged data carrier as well as the true safety of data, which are subject to be destroyed. We offer You the method which offers You the certainty of effective utilisation – the chemical utilisation of data carriers.


Programme type of data removal (logic)

Three types of methods of programme type of removal of data from various carriers may be enumerated:

Deleting data from the operational system level

Is available to the users of the given device, its application leads solely to an insignificant change of the certain fragment of the structure of the data contained upon the drive, the fact that causes that the majority of information is left untouched. This stands for the possibility of the restoration of data removed with the application of the aforementioned manner with the application of available upon the market, sometimes even free of charge software – not to mention the possibilities of companies which specialise in the process of data restoration..

Erasing data with the application of special software

There is available a specialist software, which allows for the numerous (even thirty-five times fold) overriding of carrier sectors through randomly generated number series, in accordance to special algorithms, which guarantee (?) the lack of possibility for the restoration of the removed data, for instance US DOD 5220.22-M. Gutmann, German Vsitr..

What is to be remembered though is that this kind of software is prone to the occurrence of errors as well as computer virus attacks, the fact that imposes the necessity for their constant modification and monitoring of their effectiveness. The other problem connected to the application of the aforementioned method is the long time of data removing – as little as three times fold overriding of data stored upon a large sized hard drive may take more than a single day. This process also lasts respectively longer in the case of thirty five times fold overriding.

Data removal with the application of digital data removing devices i.e. "Digital Shredder"

This type of data removal executed with the application of a portable device which exploits hard drive manufacturer command, the generation of the so-called “safe data removal”. This method is connected to hard drives manufactured from 2002, older hard drives are usually subject to the process of overriding.

Hardware type of annihilation (physical)

Seven types of methods of hardware data annihilation may be enumerated:

Destruction of data carriers with the application of home-like methods

Home-like methods may be considered to be expedient efforts aimed at the destruction of data carriers (i.e. hard drives), as well as any occurrence of force majeure character, including any cases of dropping of the given data carrier from heights, immersion in water or any other liquid, crushing, combustion, washing or cooking. These methods are of various degree of effectiveness, nevertheless to a significant extent, specialists are able to restore all of the data in almost 100 percent. The examples of restoring of data from data carriers destroyed with the application of the aforementioned manner are available within a different section of our website. Read more...>>

Destruction of data carriers with the application of mechanical methods

These methods are connected to mechanical shredding of data, or removing of the mechanical coat from the sections upon which they are recorded with the application of various types of milling, cutting, pressing or shredding devices, i.e. hardware shredders, crushers or data carrier shredders. Some examples of data restoration upon the destruction of carriers into fragments are available upon the website entitled Examples of lost data restoration

Destruction of data carriers with the application of magnetic methods

Magnetic methods are connected to the exploitation of the demagnetising device (degausser, demagnetiser), which manufactures a strong (intensity value amounting to almost 20.000 Gs) impulse magnetic field, which disorganises the location of magnetic domains. Manual models are characterised with a weaker force (from 4.000 Gs up) as well as the necessity of active participation of the person, who moves and turns the drive upon the degausser slab (the activity which may be executed not carefully enough). The process of destruction of data from digital carriers, especially from modern hard drives, requires the application of devices of greater capacity – of the nominating power of the minimum of 10.000 Gs, in contrary no certainty on the removal of data may be obtained (in accordance with nowadays known data restoring techniques).

What is also available are devices which combined the aforementioned, two methods of data carrier destruction – upon the execution of the process of demagnetisation which crush the drive with the application of a steel spike.

Source

A question arises: since in order to obtain the irretrievable data annihilation what is sufficient are devices which manufacture the field of concentration of just slightly more than 10.000 Gs, what is the sense of developing of devices of greater nominating power?

Other limitations in the application of the aforementioned method of degausser and demagnetiser device are, paradoxically, constituted by new data recording technologies, which are applied in order to ensure extended data durability. For instance the removing of data from hard drives with the application of currently applied demagnetising devices, within which the technology of heat-assisted data recording is applied (HAMR/TAMR - Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) with the application of laser light is IMPOSSIBLE. The application of the aforementioned technology allows to obtain significantly greater surface recording frequency in comparison with the older LMR (Longitudal Magnetic Recording) or PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) technologies. Within the HAMR technology all of the data is recorded with the application of magnetic method, with the application of a special carrier characterised by significant stability, upon the prior heating up with the application of a thermal laser of the exactly chosen data recording location. The given data carrier which is heated up with the application of the aforementioned manner facilitates the process of location of data therein and next, thanks to rapid cooling down, causes for the stabilisation of the recorded data (similarly to ancient times, when iron was tempered through its heating up and then rapid cooling down). In order to erase data which applies the aforementioned technology what is indispensable is the heating up of the material in order the change the direction of magnetic orientation – the sole impulse of the demagnetising device is not able to change it, therefore unable to remove the data..

Another limitation is constituted by the unfeasibility of the removal of data from hydrophobe and SSD drives (some of which are assembled in modern notebooks and netbooks) through the application of impulse magnetic field.

Destruction of data carriers with the application of thermal methods

These methods are connected to the introduction into the carrier of the temperature leading to the melting of its foundation, or to the temperature above the “Curie point”, i.e. such above which ferromagnetic rapidly looses its magnetic characteristics. This is achievable in for instance: mill stoves of the temperature surpassing 1000 degrees Celsius, inaccuracy may lead to the retaining of the possibility of restoring of destroyed data already with the application of contemporary degree of possessed knowledge.

Destruction of data carriers with the application of radio-active methods

These methods are connected to the subduing of the data carrier to the influence of ionising radiation (with the result achieved similar to demagnetisation).

Destruction of data carriers with the application of pyrotechnical methods

The hereinafter method is connected to the application of proper pyrotechnical loads applied in the process of data carrier destruction. The examples of restoring of data from data carriers destroyed with the application of the aforementioned manner are available within a different section of our website. Read more...>>

Destruction of data carriers with the application of chemical methods

The described method is connected to the application of proper chemical compounds, which possess aggressive influence upon the data carrier. Nevertheless, these compounds have to be carefully chosen and properly applied – it is not enough to spill the acid on a disk, the fact that is confirmed with the case of the restoration of data from the year 2007. Our technology of chemical data carrier destruction ensures complete dissolving of disk plate, the employment of which activity provides 100% of guarantee of the lack of possibility of restoring data from the destroyed carrier with the application of any currently known method and very possibly any method of data restoring to be discovered anytime in the future.

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