Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Zero Challenge

Don't just throw your old hard disks out (especially if they're still inside a laptop, as this only makes it easier for casual analysis) without first wiping them clean. A long time ago, according to Internet folklore, somebody began the Great Zero Challenge: any professional firm to recover data from a disk written full of zeros would win $40. Not a princely sum, but it was never taken up. To protect your own disk, All You Need To Do(tm) is run this command to copy zeros from the /dev/zero device to your HDD that's going in the skip.

sudo ddrescue -n /dev/zero /dev/sdb zero_log.txt

1 comment:

Jono said...

Cynical viewpoint follows: maybe all that can be inferred from the challenge is that the cost of work required to retrieve data from a zeroed disk is greater than $40. Essentially, when you throw away a zeroed disk, you are offering your own challenge to the value of the actual contents of your disk. The trick is not to let anyone know the value of the challenge.