Crazy yanks

Found this initially in Metro free newspaper and also on The Register.

This man is clearly somewhat paranoid about ‘the man’ being able to recover data from his hard-drive. However, as pointed out by the Reg, the misguided belief that deleting any files on your computer removes them from existence is just plain wrong.

In the past I worked as a LAN admin and occasionally we had to replace old PCs with newer models. The standard operating procedure for ensuring that data on the hard-drives could not be recovered did not involve deleting anything or even a format of the drive. No, we used a nailgun. Two nails into the drive meant it was unusable. Four was overkill but fun.

The fact that HP, who own Compaq who sold the drive encryption software this gentleman used, seem to have settled tells me either two things:

  1. Either Compaq’s software was not as robust as its marketing claimed
  2. HP’s lawyers decided it was too expensive to litigate and just cut a cheque in full settlement – it is interesting that HP do not appear to have admitted liability

Why would HP have settled? Perhaps the means by which authorities can circumvent their software represents a proprietary secret that would be come public record if aired in court. Imagine the fun hackers would have if they knew exactly how to get around drive-based security on your machine.

For the record – this is person sold modified weapons that caused even American eye-brows to raise (a rifle with a silencer – so you don’t wake Bambi while taking out his mother obviously).