Some of The Most Famous Data Sanitization Methods

A simple file deletion or drive formatting won’t erase the data permanently. When you delete a file from a common hard disk drive, what happens is that the first letter of the filename in a directory entry is changed to a special character.

This is a special tag that tells the system “this file has been deleted and space is free”. In fact, the real data contained in the file remains intact there on the disk sectors. It keeps on the hard drive until it is overwritten. That’s why sometimes you need to permanently erase your Mac or wipe an external drive if you are going to resell or donate it.

Here, we’d like to share with you some of the famous data sanitization methods (standards). Data wiping programs using such methods can make your files or drive completely erased with zero chances of recovery.

British HMG IS5 (Baseline) (1 pass) – your data is overwritten with zeroes with verification.

Russian GOST P50739-95 (2 passes) – wipe standard calls for a single pass of zeroes followed by a single pass of a random byte.

British HMG IS5 (Enhanced) (3 passes) – a three pass overwriting algorithm: first pass – with zeroes, second pass – with ones and the last pass with random bytes (last pass is verified).

US Department of Defense DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes) – a three pass overwriting wipe algorithm: first pass – with zeroes, second pass – with ones and the last pass with random bytes. With all passes verification.

US Army AR380-19 (3 passes) – a data wipe standard specified and published by the U.S. Army. AR380-19 is a three pass overwriting algorithm: first pass – with random bytes, second and third passes with certain bytes and with its complement (with last pass verification).

US Department of Defense DoD 5220.22-M (E) (3 passes) – another three pass overwriting wipe algorithm: first pass – with certain bytes, second pass – with its complement and the last pass – with random bytes.

NAVSO P-5239-26 (RLL) – another three pass overwriting wipe algorithm with last pass verification.

NAVSO P-5239-26 (MFM) – another three pass overwriting wipe algorithm with last pass verification.

Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II (7 passes) – a seven pass overwriting wipe standard with three alternating patterns of zeroes and ones and the last pass – with random character (with last pass verification).

US Department of Defense DoD 5220.22-M(ECE) (7 passes) – a seven pass overwriting wipe standard: first and second passes – with certain bytes and with its compliment, then two passes with a random character, then two passes with character and its complement and the last pass – with a random character.

Bruce Schneier (7 passes) – the wiping standard has seven passes: first pass – with ones, the second pass – with zeroes and then five times with random characters.

German VSITR (7 passes) – calls for each sector to be overwritten with three alternating patterns of zeroes and ones and in the last pass with character.

Peter Gutmann (35 passes) – Peter Gutmann wiping algorithms has the most passes up till now.

Leave a Comment