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Slashback: Compromise, Bugs, Slag

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the congratulations-fkp dept.

Slashback 262

Slashback with more on Bill Gates' comments on bugs in Microsoft's code, the recent compromising of millions of credit card numbers, more .uk domain waffling, and more, including a foolproof way to stop anyone from reading data off of your discarded hard drive's platters.

Let me just slide your card a few dozen more times ... Any Web Loco writes "Following on from this piece on /., this story in the Sydney Morning Herald tells us that the company that got hacked (exposing up to 8 million credit card numbers) was Data Processors International. Not much to the story, but we now know who it was."

Another reason to be cautious about domains with "uk" in them. An anonymous reader writes "The Register reports that Nominet has looked at opening .net.uk up or killing it off and then decided it can't decide. The chair of sub-committee responsible, Clive Feather, is currently standing for re-election to Nominets Policy Advisory Board. The sub-committee he chaired had suggested shutting down net.uk entirely, which the main board rejected. His position must surely be under scrutiny by the internet community."

Interesting bugs are in the teeth of the beholder. dvdweyer writes "I myself do remember having read the whole interview with Bill Gates in Focus, a German weekly news magazine (their online service now seems to be part of MSN *yuck*). There are however resources online which provide full sources, in English, most notably RISKS in issue 17.43 (not 17.42) with a follow-up in issue 17.44."

When fan-subs just aren't what you want. May Kasahara writes "Studio Ghibli fansite Nausicaa.net now has official release dates for Region 1 DVDs of Kiki's Delivery Service , Laputa: Castle in the Sky , and Spirited Away , as well as official preview artwork of the disks and packaging. As a side note, the site now has a page up for Miyazaki's upcoming Howl's Magic Castle . See you at the video store on April 15!"

Fonts make your terminal much more useful. Russ Nelson writes "The Bitstream Vera fonts are available for trial use. Bitstream is still tweaking them, so they're under the provisional "no redistribution" license. You can download them yourself, though, and in about a month, put them in your software distribution. Kudos to X co-creator Jim Gettys for finally getting X some professional-quality fonts."

Dear Mr. Ashcroft: I hope you find this slag useful. eecue writes "Due to the recent MIT study concerning data recovery from old hard drives, we decided that the only foolproof means of data removal was complete destruction."

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Next on slashdot... (-1)

Want Some Shoes (640625) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348393)

Shoesback!

MY CAT'S ASS SMELLS LIKE CAT SHIT!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348400)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/First_\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__Post_|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\_Tim__/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Re:MY CAT'S ASS SMELLS LIKE CAT SHIT!! (-1, Offtopic)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348410)

You drew a picture?

How did you do that?

YOU FAIL IT! (-1)

Failure Guy (627040) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348411)

It seems you are nothing but a "hole" lot of failure! Ha ha ha!

YOU FAIL IT!

does MIT use decimal ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348424)

Then MIT is stupid. Stop using decimal.

the article is from 1995 (5, Insightful)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348428)

with more on Bill Gates' comments on bugs in Microsoft's code

Reading earlier someone (Presence2) stated:

This interview occured in 1995.. don't you folks read? This was before 98,win2k,ME,XP and even NT was still OS2 in disguise. I'm sure Gates et al said a whole mess of stuff (128k memory?) that looking back now is ridiculus. Why drag a 7 year old article out for /. to rag on? - You're just sifting for dirt.

Dont you even read users posts? Its amazing what you would learn ;)

Actually who knows... (4, Insightful)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348452)

Bill Gates' attitude back then might have had an effect on the development of future OSes. I mean, just because it was so old doesn't make it completely irrelevant.

Still, one would hope that he has had a few changes of heart since then.

Re:Actually who knows... (1)

t0ny (590331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348811)

I hardly think that Gates has any control over how the OS develops. From what I have read, he is a good leader- ie, somebody who hires experts and then expects them to make decisions in their field of expertise.

What is interesting is that this article has probably been posted on /. about 5 million times. One would wonder if the editors actually read this e-rag.

Re:the article is from 1995 (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348469)

Didn't Bill Gates also say that OS/2 is the operating system of the future.

Re:the article is from 1995 (1)

Blind Linux (593315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348793)

That's like asking if Al Gore say "misunderestimated" and "dignitude". :P

In other news (5, Funny)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348484)

I can't wait for Sun to finish on their Oak project for interactive Televisions!

Anyone out there hear of this new free OS called Lineux or something? I think it was written by some student in Estonia or something. Two guys down in San Jose are starting up some company based on this product called "RedHelmet" or something.... but I'm sure they'll go out of business in a year.

I tried to go to their website, but I can't get my Mosaic brower to display these new Jpeg pictures.

Re:the article is from 1995 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348495)

Dont you even read users posts? Its amazing what you would learn ;)

I naively thought the problem was nobody read the stories. Maybe both viewpoints are valid and nobody read Slashdot and the whole thing is a figment of my imagination.

Re:the article is from 1995 (4, Insightful)

stock (129999) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348678)

Well don't you realize that if Bill gates would conduct a interview today with the same statements, he would create a big mess ?

And why would we all suddenly believe that what he said in that interview in 1995 is not valid anymore? Remember latest security flaws on the microsoft platform, and on what massive scale it today happens? That costs fortunes while the legal department of MSFT allows Bill Gates to walk away with a smile.

Robert

It's history (5, Insightful)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348715)

No more ridiculus than looking back on Pearl Harbour or the Gettysburg Address. Humans learn from their mistakes, really clever ones learn from other peoples.

hard drive destruction (1)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348432)

I dont think thats really needed. I remeber reading an article once about how even the most advanced techniques for recovring data ever after multiple writes was about 3-5.

So dd crap from random cd's a few times and its clean.

Re:hard drive destruction (5, Insightful)

Nine Mirrors Turning (33252) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348505)

In an earlier incarnation I used to work for the government doing military research. We had to burn all disc containing classified material. The reason given, since substantiated by a guy at the swedish equiv of NSA, was that a SQUID (Super-conducting Quantum Interference Device) [techtarget.com] could manage at least 25 overwrites, possibly many more. Our security officer built a large bonfire every spring of used hard drives and ignited them with thermite. T'was a grand sight!

Re:hard drive destruction (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348623)


Very true. I have a friend who works for a large think tank up here in Massachusetts, and they had some critical data from a few years ago that they had to get off of a drive that had since been reformatted with a couple of different file systems and used for multiple different OSs in different workstations. (How the hell they ever figured out where the data was in the first place, I'll never know, but anyway :)

They took it to a commercial data recovery service and for about $500 they'll put it through one of those devices that reads weak quantum residues and get you back whatever data it was that you were looking for. Of course, the drive is in itty-bitty irradiated pieces, so you can never use it again, but it works :)

Re:hard drive destruction (2, Funny)

Bull999999 (652264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348806)

Rats, I don't think that my erased porn collection is worth $500...

Re:hard drive destruction (1)

dann0 (555381) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348537)

3 - 5 whats? Is this the odds that it will work (pretty good, I'd place a wager on it)? Is a percentage? Time taken?

Re:hard drive destruction (3, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348582)

No need for dd; its easy enough to write a script that will write 1's to your drive forever, or until the stylus on your drive melts.

I think the underlying issue is that all too often no one takes these kinds of precautions, or no one thinks to take them with a drive that's "Dead". Had a client send me a "dead" drive (awful clicking screeching noise, you know, dead.) Slapped it into an oven for a minute to loosen up the lubricants inside, and was able to write about 60% of the data off it before it crapped out for good.

The way many people take security, I think it's all to the good to tell them to toss a drive in a fire for an hour or so, just to make sure that the data is really gone. Half these jokers think DELETE actually removes information from the drive.

Re:hard drive destruction (4, Insightful)

edhall (10025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348590)

In some cases security has to take into account not only current threats, but future threats as well. Magnetic technology has been advancing quickly. A technology which can pack a terabytes in a square inch is also likely to be able to find and separate the remnants of multiple writes at today's gigabyte densities. If you have something you want to keep secret for the next decade or two, it's prudent to take extreme measures when you wnat to destroy it.

-Ed

netcraft survey says... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348434)

The site www.dpicorp.com is running Microsoft-IIS/5.0 on Windows 2000.

Re: netcraft survey says... (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348546)


> The site www.dpicorp.com is running Microsoft-IIS/5.0 on Windows 2000.

That's pretty much irrelevant until we find out how the numbers were acquired. For instance, if someone hacked an application rather than the OS, or if the hack had inside help (such as a leaked password), then the OS is completely irrelevant.

fifthpost (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348436)

pelvic wooo!

fifth post!!!!

See me where? (1)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348438)

See you at the video store on April 15!

Why should I be at a video store? I already have mine pre-ordered on-line, and with a substantial discount, to boot. The only remaining question is when Nausicaa and Porco Roso are going to be out.

Re:See me where? (2, Informative)

BakaMark (531548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348791)

"Nausicaa" has not been release in Japan on Region 2 DVDs yet.

"Porco Rosso" has been released. The Japanese Region 2 DVD has the English Subtitles and English Soundtracks on it. If you want "Porco Rosso", and cannot wait for the US release, then you will be paying a lot more for the Japanese release.

Anime DVDs for the Japanese market cost a lot more than those sold in the US. To the point that it is a problem for the Japanese Anime distributors when the US Releases flow into Japan at a lower cost. "Porco Rosso" only came out recently, so it is likely that Studio Ghibli is waiting untill they have made enough out of their local market before allowing the US releases to appear. Also the US releases are for the movies that Disney licenced, and it is possible that Disney don't hold the licence for "Porco Rosso" at the moment.

The Bill Gates interview, (2, Funny)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348439)

while interesting, is;
8 years old.
a multiple dupe.

news for nerds, indeed.

Re:The Bill Gates interview, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348528)

Ooh, your powers of deduction are exceptional. I can't allow you to waste them here when there are so many crimes going unsolved at this very moment. Go, go, for the good of the city!

Re:The Bill Gates interview, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348566)

while interesting, is;
8 years old.
a multiple dupe.

In other words, it's the perfect Slashdot story!

Re:The Bill Gates interview, (3, Insightful)

namespan (225296) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348728)

There are a lot of things that are eight years old, or older. The Balkan Crisis, the first US-Iraq gulf war, U2's the Joshua Tree, HTTP .9, HTML 1.0, NeXTStep, the Simpsons, Unisyn 1.x, etc. A few of these things are of current interest because they're still useful/cool/relevant. However, even for the things that aren't currently relevant, they're still useful as historical perspective, especially if you start to look for cause/effect relationships.

Windows NT 4/5, based on the Chicago/Cairo projects, were being worked on clear back in 1994. The corporate culture, shaped by the attitudes of the execs, in turn shaped the software being developed -- software in broad use today. It's history, man, cause and effect, and sometimes it takes a few years (or decades) for everything to propogate -- despite American pop culture's mass ADD.

It's understandable, of course, to accuse slashdot editors/readers of knee-jerk pummeling of MS -- and most days I'm certainly ready to pick up my pitchfork and torch at a moments notice. But this seems to be genuine perspective. Gates is actually correct that moaning about computer woes has a partially social component, but one also wonders if a basically evasive response to the issue of bugs says something about the company that's given the market some really big security problems.

It's interesting that it continues, too. After one of the recent big IIS/worm problems (think it was Nimda) I remember seeing an MS spokesman say that the problem was essentially due to their being a market leader, that any market leader would suffer similarly. This argument seemed rather disingenuous when the actual leader in the space IIS occupied (Apache) had no comparable difficulties, and again seemed to come down to evasion of responsibility for bugs.

I think that's a thread throughout their history: mitigate importance of bugs, evade responsibility, promise more in next release. I don't think it's unique to them, and I'm not entirely sure it's bad business practices, seeing as how it seems to have won them an awful lot. But I like seeing the perspective. It's funny how the Jello makes more sense once you've seen the mold.

Hard Drive Destruction (3, Funny)

OzTech (524154) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348448)

I hope virus creators don't find out about this one...

.net.uk (2, Informative)

blowdart (31458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348455)

Clive Feather: His position must surely be under scrutiny by the internet community.

The UK "internet community" cannot vote, assuming you mean UK internet users as the community. You can only vote in nominet elections if you are nominet member, which costs £1000+ per annum.

Re:.net.uk (3, Informative)

ajvtoo (206001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348602)

Nominet membership is a 400ukp one-off joining fee, and 100ukp annual subscription.

http://www.nic.uk/Members/HowToJoin/ [www.nic.uk]

Standard US DoD SOP (3, Informative)

George Walker Bush (306766) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348457)

for destruction of magnetic data is to use thermite in situations where time is of the essence and less important than safety (eg, your base is being overrun), and acid in other cases. Both are quite effective, needless to say.

Drive slagging.. (4, Funny)

Deamos (108051) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348460)

Now that's how I'd want to get rid of my hard drives.. Anyone have a furnace I can use to get rid of some crapped out drives that came from servers that have pissed me off?

Crash unexpectedly have you? Take that!

Turn them in to paperclips! Finally a way to come through with all those threats! HAH!

Re:Drive slagging.. (1)

JonWan (456212) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348807)

Yep, I do.... I had thought of posting this [idletimes.net] but it was hosted on DSL at the time. It's now on a T3,but I think the little RAC server it's on won't hold up too well.

It turns out that ... (5, Funny)

DogIsMyCoprocessor (642655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348461)

all 8 million credit cards were held by 6 families in an Alabama trailer park.

Sometimes... (2, Interesting)

awx (169546) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348466)

...I hate paranoid companies. I have a pdp11 that used to control an experimental blast furnace at British Steel. Guess what the obvious thing to do with a disk rack full of company when the experiment was ended... :(

.uk (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348468)

Is supposed to be .gb.

If the people in Great britian complain we don't use metric, that I'm sure as hell going to complain that they don't conform to the Domain standard. Take that!

Re:.uk (3, Informative)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348510)

Why should it be .gb instead of .uk? The full and proper name of the country is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and North Ireland. People are more likely to call it The United Kingdom (which fully includes the whole country) rather than Great Britain (which excludes the people in North Ireland, many of whom most certainly want to assert that they are part of the UK rather than their neighbor to the south). I've certainly heard lots of people talk about "The UK", but I've never heard them talk about "GB". There's certainly no reason not to use .uk rather than .gb.

Re:.uk (1)

Nexus Seven (112882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348608)

Why would the people of Britain complain about the US not using metric, when they don't either?

They might complain about the small pint they receive when they order beer in a US bar, though (US pints being 20% smaller than everywhere else)

Re:.uk (2, Insightful)

p_d_austin (652261) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348656)

I'll take each point in turn. 1. You are correct the 2 letter ISO country code for the UK is gb see http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/prods-services/iso3166ma/ 02iso-3166-code-lists/list-en1.html#sz 2. Britain is now forced to use metric by Europe (the french invented it) but a lot of older people are resiting and like to still use imperial (which we invented). 3. The US Gallon is smaller than the Imperial Gallon. 4. A pint is 568ml so in North America we get short changed when you call a pint 16oz, check out the weights and measures act. And what the hell is a sleeve!! 5. Like .com follows the country Domain standard, I know there is .us but who actually uses it. Just for fun keep it light! Paul

Re:.uk (3, Informative)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348685)

It looks to me like .gb and .uk are both TLD's for the United Kingdom. A website in Norway [norid.no] tells me so.

--sex [slashdot.org]

Re:.uk (2, Insightful)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348780)

Great Britain is a geographical term for the largest island of the British Isles, comprising of England, Scotland and Wales, whereas the United Kingdom also includes Northern Ireland which is part of the island of Ireland, hope this clears things up for you. Otherwise your post is valid.

Re:.uk (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348810)

Great Britain is a geographical term for the largest island of the British Isles, comprising of England, Scotland and Wales, whereas the United Kingdom also includes Northern Ireland which is part of the island of Ireland, hope this clears things up for you. Otherwise your post is valid.

In a spirit of hardcore pedantry, I should add that the UK includes more than just the island of Great Britain and the province of Northern Island; Anglesey and the Isle of Wight are parts of the UK, as are the Shetlands, Orkneys and Hebrides, assorted other Scottish islands, the Scilly isles, Lundy, Flat and Steep Holm, that L-shaped island in the Irish Sea off Northern Ireland, and a great many worthless little rocks nobody cares about.

The Isle of Man is technically not part of the UK, IIRC. It's a constitutional oddity, similar to the Channel Islands.

Thats the best way... (1)

Cheeziologist (596855) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348475)

...but wont it work to do something like
for i in "1 2 3"
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda(or appropraite device)

Re:Thats the best way... (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348513)

Why not use /dev/random or another pseudo-random number generator instead of /dev/zero, or at least do one round of zero's, one round of random data, and repeat say... 5-10 times? :)

Aw heck, just rip any boy-band of Spheres CD to fill up the hard drive and you've got enough random noise to fill it up. Just don't listen to it while you's ripping it :D

Wow...fonts (3, Insightful)

Eric Savage (28245) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348493)

10 Basic fonts are just what was holding me back from setting up a Linux desktop. Does anyone have time to set up a site where you give away true type fonts for free? That would be a great idea and I've never seen one.

Re:Wow...fonts (3, Interesting)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348561)

I know your being a bit sarcastic or fecitious, but many of the free TrueType or OpenType fonts available on the Internet aren't exactly the best fonts, primarily when printing or used in any high-resolution, anti-aliased, and/or large font size scenarios. It all has to do with how the fonts are hinted, constructed, tweaked and tuned. It's a painful process, even for professionals who spend their work hours producing fonts.

I personally think it's great that they are providing high-quality fonts that can pretty much be free to distribute or hacked... mostly being a free (gratis) replacement for Verdana (and a couple of other fonts Microsoft includes in Windows and Office).

Data Wiping (2, Interesting)

tarnin (639523) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348500)

Seems to me that writing 0's to the drive is pretty sufficiant for most peoples needs. As it is its near impossible to impossible to retreive data from a disk that way. Turning one into slag after demag and what not is probalby pointless rite now. Of course, if you are thinking long term and have really sensative data that you are storing on a disk somewhere, then slaging is always an option. On the the writing of 0's to the disk. Best that I have come up with for windows is a bootable floppy/cdrom that had any type of program with the ability to write 0's block by block to the drive. This has worked 100% of the times that I have used it. Of course I havent done the extensive work of the MIT students but from the few programs that I've tried to use for recovery, I have come up blank which for what I keep on my drives is good enuf.

Re:Data Wiping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348551)

you are an idiot... if it is ZERO and not a random then it is trivial to read the data (it needs alternating passes of A5 and 5A and even that is not as good as random. youo are an fbi mole.

Re:Data Wiping (4, Funny)

23orgFlea (529647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348604)

I think you missed the point... We didn't slag the drive to get rid of data.. we slagged it becuase MELTING HARDS DRIVES IS COOL! Besides, 0 fills will only stop the curious not the devoted. MELTING STUFF IN A FURNACE IN YOUR BACK YARD IS COOL OK?

Re:Data Wiping (1)

tarnin (639523) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348683)

Bah, running 0's over the drive, like i said, is good enuf to wipe what I have on my drives. If you REALLY want to spend the time running over my drive block by block to find out I had all the star trek eps in divx format, be my guest.

Re:Data Wiping (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348726)

LOL.. you think some piece of $50 "recovery" _software_ is going to get anything off a drive? You're lucky it can read data that hasn't been overwritten at all.

It's a trivial matter to recover data that has been "erased" by writing 0's over it. TRIVIAL. It's a little more difficult if you write true random data mixed with alternating 0/1 bits (overwriting several times, in several passes), but recovery is almost always possible with the right equipment. Complete destruction is the only sure way.

This got modded up, why???

Slashbot morons.

the part I found funny (4, Funny)

prisoner (133137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348517)

was "after a few minutes we saw a toxic smoke" etc, etc. I don't know why but that made me laugh. For some reason I have visions of some geek smelling that shit and saying "that's not so ACK ACK ACK...thump".

Re:the part I found funny (5, Funny)

BRTB (30272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348591)

Nah, the best part is the end of that sentence...
After a few minutes we noticed toxic smoke rising from the furnace vent and
decided to take a look inside.
"Ooh, toxic smoke! Let's get closer so we can breathe it! ::geek looks in and falls over::"

Re:the part I found funny (1)

johnalex (147270) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348794)

If that doesn't qualify someone for the Darwin Awards, I don't know what will.

Re:the part I found funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348659)

Actually, this part is what I found disturbing, considering that if some company had released toxins into the air it would need to report the release as a chemical spill and possibly take action to mitigate the release. Dumping noxious chemicals into the air is most definitely not funny.

So what? (3, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348522)

Bill Gates' comments on bugs in Microsoft's code

So you can justify posting a 8-year old badly written and poorly translated article in an obscure German magazine merely because you think it's a novel way to "stick it to The Man"?

And here I thought that we'd never run out of material to generate amazingly insightful comments and unlimited nasal chuckles from the peanut gallery.

But I guess we've hit a new low.

Hard Drive Destroyed (5, Interesting)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348525)

For those of you without the tools necessary in the pictures above. A Road flare works wonders.

This from personal experience. I work for a rather large company. When we were upgrading from Windows 95 to 2000, many of the exec. at the company expressed concerns about the confidential data on their old machines. We Assured them that the data would be deleted.

We took the hard drives out to the parking lot broke open the drive, started up a road flare and proceeded to melt down the platters. We left the drive 'cool' down and took them back into our exec. and showed them to him. He was quite happy with the procedure. He asked that all exec.'s hard drive be treated the same. We decided at that point our supply of flares would not last so one tech mentioned that he had a blow torch at home. Next morning he returned with 10 nicly blown hard drives.

On another note, I've heard (someone please verify) that the military uses explosives to take care of old hard drives and storage media.

Ted

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (2, Informative)

Nine Mirrors Turning (33252) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348549)

Thermite. Might be classed as explosive, I dunno.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (2)

antiprime (121253) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348564)

Not to worry you, but corporate spies and dirty communists always have a blowtorch at home. That's sop.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (2, Informative)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348596)

I've heard (someone please verify) that the military uses explosives to take care of old hard drives and storage media.

Last I heard, this [easydatarecovery.co.uk] is how they do it.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348629)

Well, I should add that's how the DoD does it. I'm sure the Navy does it some other way, and the Department of State some other way, and so on.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (1)

nateb (59324) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348671)

Thermite. It takes a little bit of heat to get going, but does a great job.

This is after A DOD wipe, of course. (three passes each of 0's and 1's, AFAICR)

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (1)

JasonSkywalker (204047) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348688)

>Next morning he returned with 10 nicly blown hard drives.

God help us all the day porn comes to Slashdot.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (3, Interesting)

il dus (244149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348704)

On another note, I've heard (someone please verify) that the military uses explosives to take care of old hard drives and storage media.
Nope, sorry to disappoint, but we don't do anything like that, though it would be pretty cool. The destruction process is so thoroughly regulated that it's often easier to just lock them in a safe and forget about them. In fact, in my office we have several ten year old hard drives. No one knows what's on them, just that they're sensitive, so they'll probably still be there ten years from now.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (1)

RedPhoenix (124662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348738)

> On another note, I've heard (someone please
> verify) that the military uses explosives to take
> care of old hard drives and storage media.

Depends on the circumstances, and size.

Phosphorous Grenades in some cases (eg: when HD is in a safe).

For operational deployments, some laptops have a 'targetting dot' on them, above the location of the hard drive - ie: 'shoot here'.

Red.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (2, Interesting)

PeterT (15849) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348751)

When I was on active duty in the Navy (back in the dark ages) we just torched the drive with a standard oxy-acetaline cutting torch. 20 inch platters would slag in about 15 seconds. The whole platter would be gone in under a minute. Great Fun!!!

We used thermite grenades for 'emergency' destruction.

HD Windchimes (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348765)

For those of you without the tools necessary in the pictures above. A Road flare works wonders.

I would think that a couple of well placed off center drill holes, along with extended soaking in sea water and or other destructive chemicals would be also effective.

Dis-assembly and conversion to windchimes also is an interesting alternative. Hard drive discs make good raw material for a number of interesting projects.

Re:Hard Drive Destroyed (1)

ecalkin (468811) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348819)

i worked with a gentleman that was working for a military contractor. he said that they did drive disposal via halftrack. when they had enough that were ready to be 'de-classified', they would line them up in the parking lot and drive a a heavy halftrack over them. almost-instant twisted metal.

New business model! (2, Funny)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348533)

1) Advertise hard drive slagging service
2) Keep actual slagging procedure secret
3) ???
4) Profit!

Oh wait; I guess step 2 won't work now [eecue.com] .

fucktard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348710)

that was the link in the article...
sheesh...

This is pitiful. (0, Flamebait)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348540)

BillG is the biggest PR-spin LIAR in the world! What, do you think that people in business, with all of their problems, have time to call Microsoft's technical support and pay 10 dollars a minute to be on hold for three hours before some idiot getting paid $2.95 an hour answers the phone and doesn't know what to do about your bug report? So after 30 years of making crappy products, BillG had to come out TODAY and say this to spin everything around. Anybody who is swayed by what he just said is an idiot.







Yes. I know this article or whatever is over seven years old. No, I don't care. Its age is irrelevant. BillG said this RIGHT NOW and that's the way it is.

Drive slagging. (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348569)


I used to just throw mine into the nearest active volcano, until I found out some volcano-diving kiddie named d4r74 was reading them anyway.

Re:Drive slagging. (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348626)

"After a few minutes we noticed toxic smoke rising from the furnace vent and decided to take a look inside.
We realized we should have removed the PCBs from the drives first... oh well:"

What is more unhealthy? Volcanic gas, or melting hydrocarbons with aluminum? I can't decide.

Re: Drive slagging. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348638)


> What is more unhealthy? Volcanic gas, or melting hydrocarbons with aluminum? I can't decide.

Snort one up each nostril and see which side of your brain dies the fastest.

Re: Drive slagging. (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348771)

But, if I snort up the left nostril, does that correspond to the RIGHT side of my brain? This method is so confusing.

I think they made an idiot proof way to erase a drive, but a better idiot will always find a way...

Insecure Hard Drives - ZERO IT! (1)

harveyswik (592377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348574)

Now why is it we're now accepting that hard drives cannot be effectively erased? The MIT study did not deal with drives that had a "zero all data"(i.e. remove all magnetic variations from the drive) format performed on them.

Re:Insecure Hard Drives - ZERO IT! (1)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348758)

you mean dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/my_hd ??

Gates doesn't say bugs are good! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348588)

Okay, it's 8 years old, so it's irrelevant, but still, the most revealing comment to me is:

The reason we come up with new versions is not to fix bugs. It's absolutely not. It's the stupidest reason to buy a new version I ever heard.

And it makes perfect sense! New versions should not be about bug-fixes. Being told to "Upgrade" should never be a valid response to someone complaining about a bug. Gates isn't saying bugs are in their on purpose, he isn't saying their good. He isn't saying they're in there because that's what sells. He's saying bugs are bad, bugs should be gotten rid of in any given version, and that a new version isn't about bug fixes, it's about new features. Isn't that what a new version SHOULD be?

Some software companies are bad at that. Some companies <cough, Intuit, cough> *DO* insist that to fix a bug, you must upgrade. That is stupid.

Re:Gates doesn't say bugs are good! (1)

zeugma-amp (139862) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348789)

I've seen several folks say that this interview is terribly old news and should thus be heavily discounted. There is some truth to that but here's the problem...

In the last few years, I've heard (well, seen in print) several interviews with Gates where he essentially says the same thing about upgrading for bugfixes is not a valid reason to upgrade. He always gives it the standard MS spin about the great new and shiny features with new releases, but almost always disclaimed bugfixes as the reason people should upgrade.

I'm sure some enterprising individual can locate a few similar quotes with google. I searched a bit last night but got tired of the search, and didn't much see the point since I specifically recall having seen it on more than just a couple of occasions.

Data erasure from the latest Circuit Cellar Ink (3, Funny)

dlleigh (313922) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348597)

Steve Ciarcia describes his favorite method of data erasure in an editorial entitled "Hammers are for Wimps" in the March 2003 issue of Circuit Cellar Ink:

...I decided to revert to a tried-and-true hard drive erasure method that would prove more expedient. I entered the combination to my safe, grabbed a heavy metal object from it, and shoved it into my belt. I picked up the hard drives, walked out behind the house to a safe area, and put them on a stump. I backed up about 20', pulled the 8 3/8" "Dirty Harry" Smith & Wesson Model 27 .44 Magnum from my belt, and BLAM! Instant data erasure.

Very cool magazine. Check it out at:

http://www.circuitcellar.com [circuitcellar.com]

Re:Data erasure from the latest Circuit Cellar Ink (2, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348781)

Not really a very good way of clearing out the data. Consider the data density per inch on a modern hard drive. By putting a couple of bullet holes in the drives how much actual data are you destroying?

Even if you grind the platters, the density on modern drives is so high that you're still leaving large amounts of data lying around.

Gates' Interview (1)

exceed (518714) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348610)

I think that interview is a load of fabricated crap. I don't believe Bill Gates would be talking to consumers in that way, he's a much smarter businessman.

Hard Drive Data (5, Informative)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348616)

Crikey, from the posts here, people aren't very creative on how to get data off of a drive. You don't use any high-level programs like norton, or even something like "dd"; in fact, you use vendor-specific programming modes on the drive. (An example of programs that use such commands would be things like "MaxPower" from Maxtor, where they are clearly getting non-standard data from the drive.)

Then, you use these commands to tweak the calibration registers to move the head a fraction of a track at a time, reading the data at each step. Hopefully, at one extreme or the other, you get a residual of the data. More sophisticated techniques would involve correlating data read at each subtrack step. This is left as an excercise for the reader.

Vera, what do you look like? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348624)

Okay, I didn't even realize the joke until I typed in the subject line. So, does anyone know what Vera looks like? The Bitstream fonts, I mean. Having high-quality good looking fonts is nice and all, but I'd like to know what they look like. Is there a sample picture of them anywhere? I haven't been able to find one.

Dodgy word "slag" (3, Funny)

Nexus Seven (112882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348634)

Slag:
Is this one of those words, like fag and wank that means something horribly different depending on what side of the Atlantic you happen to be speaking?

I think we should be told.

Re:Dodgy word "slag" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348708)

Slag is the stuff left over from the smelting process (i.e. turning ore into useful things through the application of fire, and lots of it).

Uhm... (1)

bnavarro (172692) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348737)

I think you are remembering the movie Alien Nation [imdb.com] . In the movie, the "newcomers" (outer space alien refugees) were pejoratively called "slags".

According to dictionary.com, "slag" has no known real world pejorative meaning.

Re:Uhm... (2, Informative)

Nexus Seven (112882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348762)

slag (WOMAN)
noun [C]
BRITISH TABOO
a woman whose appearance and behaviour, esp. sexual, are considered unacceptable

Studio Ghibli's Japanese Releases (1)

BakaMark (531548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348713)

Both "KiKi's Delivery Service" and "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" Region 2 releases from Japan have english subtitles and the english soundtracks on them. You will need a region unlocked player to watch them.

The storyboards on the 2nd Disk appear to be a standard thing from "Studio Ghibli" with all of their Japan Region 2 releases. It is interesting that the same thing is being done in the US NTSC Region 1 releases.

Spirited Away (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348722)

Does anyone know if the US version will have the red tint that was mentioned a while back here on Slashdot [slashdot.org] a few months ago? The linked site seems to say a new release on VHS over in Japan is correct, but what about the DVD? What about the US DVD?

Our prognosis: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348739)

drive slagging is a fool-proof method to prove you are a dork with nothing better to do than to melt a hard drive.

Why is many writes needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348779)

Lets say you have a secret document in file A, but you overwrite it with file B. Now when you access file A, you get the contents of file B. Since your hard drive reads file B, how can you possibly get back file A? So why is more than one overwrite necessary?

That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5348790)

but when is an uncut Nausicaa coming out?

Next article after MS one (3, Funny)

MrBlue VT (245806) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348792)

Did anyone read the next article after the MS bug one? SMTP chicken and the social contract. It talks about how offended a guy was that someone had his own Domain with an MX record and was, get this, trolling while using the postmaster account! What an egregious crime against man!

Heh, just kinda reminds me of the day when the net was so innocent.

I can't clear my drive, it's dead! deceased! (1)

abirdman (557790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5348821)

The problem with all these hard drive clearing programs is that they require a hard drive which is responding to the OS! As long as it's still responding, I have no desire to clear it. When it's not responding, it's too late to clear it. Slagging it seems a bit over-the-top, though effective. And, as the poster who apparently wrote the article pointed out, it's "Cool!"

So what I'd like is a solution to use on a dead drive, short of thermite (none in my garage) or shooting it with a .44 Magnum (also not an option). My solution has been to take off the cover (voiding the warranty), and dropping into the transfer station. Security through obscurity, though I know that's not really secure.
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