Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

Can data ever really be erased

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There are a number of theories that whatever you do, data from a hard drive can never really be erased. There is always some sort of residual magnetic force that can be interrogated. This really is the stuff of science fiction and even if it is true which is doubtful, it certainly would never be economically viable.

A computer scientist named Peter Gutmann caused much controversy when he published a paper claiming that overwritten data can be recovered using magnetic force microscopy. Even where the binary magnetic returns are overwritten, a sensitive enough instrument would be able to read the subtle changes in magnetic variations. He claimed that to completely eliminate these variations a minimum of thirty five overwrites should be performed so that data cannot be recovered.

Whilst this is all fine in theory, it has never actually been put to the test and remains unproven. Nevertheless, many took his theory as gospel and it has even featured in many high profile computer forensic cases. Peter Gutmann’s theory has become urban legend and clients often refer to this when their data is unrecoverable!

In reality if you want to make sure your data can never be recovered it’s pretty easy. A low level format or secure erasure program will do the job. To be sure though, physically destroy the hard drive afterwards as well. As long as the platters inside are smashed, we guarantee no data recovery company or expert will ever be able to recover the data!

Data Recovery Expert

Viktor S., Ph.D. (Electrical/Computer Engineering), was hired by DataRecoup, the international data recovery corporation, in 2012. Promoted to Engineering Senior Manager in 2010 and then to his current position, as C.I.O. of DataRecoup, in 2014. Responsible for the management of critical, high-priority RAID data recovery cases and the application of his expert, comprehensive knowledge in database data retrieval. He is also responsible for planning and implementing SEO/SEM and other internet-based marketing strategies. Currently, Viktor S., Ph.D., is focusing on the further development and expansion of DataRecoup’s major internet marketing campaign for their already successful proprietary software application “Data Recovery for Windows” (an application which he developed).

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