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Date:      Fri, 18 Jan 2008 17:58:31 +0000
From:      RW <>
Subject:   Re: Gutman Method on Empty Space
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

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On Thu, 17 Jan 2008 08:59:44 -0800
"Jason C. Wells" <> wrote:

> Gutmann method might be excessive but any software that uses it shows
> a seriousness about security. 

Gutmann himself regards the continued use of his method as "Voodoo"

Gutmann's paper was about wiping the kind of disks that were being
disposed of in 1996. The write patterns used in his method are specific
to drives that were already out of production at the time. For drives
that were in production, a few random passes are the best that can be
done. His opinion now is that with modern drive technologies the chances
of recovering anything useful are virtually zero.

I've never heard any indication that agencies like the FBI can do it,
or that commercial companies can provide such a service - at any
price.  If you are serious about security, one or two passes
from /dev/random to the device are fine. If you are paranoid about what
the NSA might be able to do, buy a pickaxe. 

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