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Old 01.10.2011, 20:29
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Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Do ensure to remove and / or destroy the Hard Disk ( storage ) that might contain personal and sensitive data.

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CRIMINAL networks are feeding off Australians' lust for new technology by skimming data from computers dumped in Africa and Asia - and using it for blackmail, fraud and identity theft.


They will pay as much as $200 on the black market for discarded computer hard drives, which they mine for bank details, credit card numbers and account passwords.

In one local case, the old computers of a television network were found with the personal phone numbers of politicians, storylines and staff records, as soon as two months after the files were created.

... computers were sent to cybercrime hotspots Nigeria and Ghana, where hard drives fetched $US200.

Laptop Hard Disk Drive



Desktop Hard Disk Drive

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  #2  
Old 01.10.2011, 20:37
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

If they are formatted before hand is it not all kosher?
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Old 01.10.2011, 20:45
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

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If they are formatted before hand is it not all kosher?
No, data can be recovered. Burning would be kosher, breaking it would be Halal.
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Old 01.10.2011, 20:47
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

When I give away stuff, it is without the storage medium ( Hard disks are cheap nowadays and the beneficiary can buy one ).
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Old 01.10.2011, 20:51
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

They have to be formatted at DOS level, then it is clean. In industry the disks are shredded into pieces about nut size.
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Old 01.10.2011, 20:54
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Low level formatting is done for normal users, those days. In the Data Centers in CH with US clients, defective disks are sent back home ( ie to the US ) by DHL for supervised destruction.
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Old 01.10.2011, 21:32
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Destruction is the only guaranteed method. Total irreversible destruction of the platters. Then stomping up and down on them.
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Old 02.10.2011, 23:38
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

that is hardly necessary.. delete all data files, then record some large data files (movies is a good option) until you run out of disk space... delete and re-write a couple times, and you should be safe from all possibility of data extraction.
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Old 02.10.2011, 23:50
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Every computer I've ever owned was retired at the recyclers minus the hard drives (which I opened and smashed the innards before disposal).
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Old 03.10.2011, 00:22
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Hammer + screwdriver + professional magnet = Nigerian's loss.

Last edited by DJHannibal; 03.10.2011 at 00:22. Reason: Spelling
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Old 03.10.2011, 00:45
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

you can overwrite the drive to blank out the data, but this costs time and money. it's easier to just take the platters out of the drive and hit them with a hammer.

it's not worth anybody's time to recover data after that unless you happen to have military secrets on there.
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Old 03.10.2011, 00:50
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

And what about SSD drives?
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Old 03.10.2011, 01:33
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Hi all.
I have frequently been required to dispose of HDD's from work to a set of guidelines in HMG INFOSEC Standards

I tend to use a piece of software called "Blancco"
It uses several differing sets of overwrite algorithms from HMG INFOSEC standard, right through to the DOD 5220.22-M ECE and US ARMY.
It is fairly cheap and does a great job of sanitising the data that has been held on the HDD.
THEN it is time to use the hammer/oxy torch/whatever you have to destroy the disks, or simply dismantling them to component parts.

There are companies out there that can retrieve the information off these disks, pretty much regardless (within reason) what you do to them, but they are incredibly expensive and the process is time consuming.


If you are solely trying to dispose of personal data...say before you sell the laptop, then Blancco offers a free space shredder - of course you will need to empty recycle bin, Browser cache and temp file beforehand.
This facility will "shred" all the unused space on the drive (where these deleted files will probably be lurking) rendering it safe for you to dispose of in whichever way you choose.
Please remember that formatting a disk simply removes the file reference header information for the files present - it will not make the disk safe for disposal, although some might swear it will.

I hope I have been of assistance.

James_P
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Old 03.10.2011, 07:36
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

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There are companies out there that can retrieve the information off these disks, pretty much regardless (within reason) what you do to them, but they are incredibly expensive and the process is time consuming.
It isn't just companies, there are many individuals that can recover this type of data easily. Best way is to smash the HDD with a good hammer, then burn.
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Old 03.10.2011, 09:56
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

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And what about SSD drives?
http://isc.sans.edu/diary.html?storyid=11656
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Old 03.10.2011, 10:10
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

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Gammelt kinesisk ordsprog siger: Hvis du gå i seng med røv der klør, du vågne op med finger der lugter!
A bit off topic but I gotta give thumbs up (or thumbs in!?) for your signature. So true.
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Old 03.10.2011, 10:22
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Nail hammer, hit nail straight through casing, job done
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Old 03.10.2011, 10:24
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

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A bit off topic but I gotta give thumbs up (or thumbs in!?) for your signature. So true.
So we can do signatures in languages other than english???
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Old 03.10.2011, 10:29
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

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Nail hammer, hit nail straight through casing, job done
Pssst... This is HDD disposal, not GF disposal.
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Old 03.10.2011, 10:32
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Re: Before you give away that laptop, PC, NAS etc.

Regulation HD destruction calls for industrial shredding: first dirty clothes, then hard disks, then old shoes.

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