We have been erasing hard drives and other storage mediums for years now with much success by overwriting the data with zeros and ones several times. However, with the adoption of SSDs that may not be sufficient anymore. According to researches at the University of California at San Diego, “newer solid state disks have a much different internal architecture, so it is unclear whether what has worked on magnetic media will work on SSDs as well.”
The researchers study shows that after trying 14 sanitizing techniques on SSDs ranging from Gutman’s 35-pass method to the Schneier 7-pass method they found is that every data-erasing technique left at least 10MB of recoverable data from a 100MB file. In some techniques, such as overwriting the chip with pseudorandom data or using a British HMG IS5 baseline, left nearly all data intact.
Identity theft – the action in which another individual impersonates you in order to defraud an organization or yourself – is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination. In 1964 when the term “identity theft” was first coined, the majority of fraud incidents involved individuals who physically stole identification and documents in order to rob individuals. While physical identity theft is still a growing concern that still deserves a great deal of respect and concern, the revolution of the Internet and instantaneous communications has led to a new revolution of identity theft that takes place over the Internet. So how do you know if you are likely to become a victim of identity theft?
First off, one has to consider how they store their data. While many of us store data locally and decrypted on our local computers, we neglect to take the proper precautions to protect that data. Even if you have security precautions in place, it’s important to realize that system passwords can often-times be reset relatively easily, and that they are of no use when malware is brought into play.