RE: Consequences of not really understanding
Here in the UK, the Navy have such faith in the technology for wiping
hard drives that on one job I did in the 80s they paid to have the
drives smashed with a large hammer when the job was done :-)
Then what did they do to the content creators?
With the right software and patience, data can be recovered, intact, after three overwrites. The more regular the overwrite pattern (10101010... as opposed to something more 'random' like 28472849...) the easier it is to filter out. Information is also easier to recover from fragmented drives than unfragmented ones due to physical hysterisis of the read/write head seeking the center of the track (which it rarely does successfully). The weakened overwritten signals that result are reduced significantly but cannot be eliminated entirely. Techniques exist today to copy data by simple physical contact with the elderly disk or more 'Tom Clancy-like' techniques like field effect analysis.
I have seen enough data recovery to agree with physical destruction of the media. I would do the same today if given responsibility to destroy data. Regards,
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