Which? Computing is reporting that they have discovered that using some disk wiping tools may not be sufficient in removing sensitive data from hard disk drives. In their article they state that they purchased 8 computers from eBay and used a free piece of software to wipe those drives. They go on to state that they were able to easily recover 22,000 ‘deleted’ files. Their solution; “If you want to be absolutely sure your files are deleted, remove the hard drive from your PC and destroy it with a hammer!”
Where is the proof of concept? While it may very well be likely that they were able to find and retrieve data, but it would be really nice to know what software they used, how long it took, where they downloaded it from, and so on.
How does destroying a hard drive with a hammer delete data? They specifically state that “if you want to be absolutely sure your files are deleted…” hammers don’t delete, they destroy.
“…destroy it with a hammer!”? A hammer? Really… A hammer. That is like saying the best way to get rid of your car is to drive it off a 500 foot cliff. Oh, did we forget to tell you to jump out of the car before you reached the edge? How about safety? If someone followed these suggestions to the word they would likely end up with a couple cuts and possibly minus the sight in at least one eye.
It seems irresponsible to recommend taking a hammer to a hard disk drive. They could have better stated their point; “If you want to be absolutely sure the data on your hard drive cannot be recovered, remove the hard drive from your PC and destroy it in a manner that would render the drive completely unusable.”
John "Mike" Wright