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Ever reported data recovering from broken CD/DVD/HDD?

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williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

Hello

I am curious to know if has ever been reported any significant data recovery -texts, images, music(sound files)from

1. CDS and DVDs broken into four or more pieces.

2. Drilled/perforated Hard drives(around 6-8 chisel holes around 1 cm each). ?

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Topic starter Posted : 19/01/2013 5:24 pm
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

Before you answer my questions I am posting here an article I have found on this regard, and based on this I wanted to add a third question is this article about something real or about paranoia?

http//www.deathvalleymag.com/2010/06/23/info-security-nuking-your-data/

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Topic starter Posted : 19/01/2013 6:18 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

And before asking this question

1. CDS and DVDs broken into four or more pieces.

you might have searched a bit on the board (or simply have all your banks of memory properly connected and recall how you ALREADY asked it)

However, here
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=9811/

With reference to the "article" you just posted a link to, there is an English word (starts with "b", ends with "t", eight letters long) that is commonly used to describe contents such as

The only sure fire way to destroy data on a drive is to melt it down. Just destroying the device into pieces won’t do unless you use a special shredder and end up turning it into dust. Even broken into pieces, a DVD/CD can be recovered (at least parts of it anyhow).

Software such as EnCase will allow you to recover data on an amazing amount of destroyed data and I have both seen and heard of cases where criminals had thought they had ‘destroyed’ the hard drive by smashing it with a hammer, but ended up only pissing the investigators off and working harder to find something.

It is not like asking same question over and over will change the answers you will get (or change reality).

This one is actually (almost) a "new" one

2. Drilled/perforated Hard drives(around 6-8 chisel holes around 1 cm each).

The answer is STILL NO (at least for any decently modern hard disk, anything manufactured, say, after year 1998 or 2000).

jaclaz

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Posted : 19/01/2013 9:36 pm
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

hello jaclaz. Thanks for your comments.

1

I remembered to have asked already a very similar question before posting this second message about that subject. However, the new hue regarding it(at least for me)is not only this article I posted, mentioning certain apparently new software capable of doing it, but, also, that this supposedly software or "new techniques" was the subject of talking some days ago between a friend of me, computing engineer, and me. According him, this kind of data retrieving was possible(shattered CD or DVD). So I decided to expose here the matter again. Now I see you think that article is "bullshit" . wink I suppose, then that these statements about data retrieving are made for commercial purposes.

2

Regarding the hammered and drilled hard drives, your answer makes me wonder what happens exactly with hard drives made around 1998-2001, for laptops. The ones I am refeferring of are 2,5 ones whose plates are made of glass/aluminum/ceramic substrate and that after each drill they break into diminute fragments. About these destroyed drives, my friend´s opinion was that no data can be actually retrieved from them. However as I said, your answer, partially, makes me to doubt. Could you clarify it please?

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Topic starter Posted : 19/01/2013 11:49 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

1. NO, that is the SAME EXACT question (already replied to), if you had actually read the replies, you would have seen how the number of pieces is irrelevant (until we are within the use of "normal" hardware). In the last reply there is also a link to a relevant paper that analyzes a particular approach with dedicated hardware.

I never said that the whole article is b**lsh*t, the quoted part is, and clearly exposes the fact that the Author has either NO idea of the differences between hardware and software or mixes them liberally.
Encase (or any other software, rest assured) does not (and cannot) recover "destroyed data", at the most it can recover data which indexing system has been destroyed, and LIMITED to software erasing it.
If you prefer, if you give me a hard disk and a hammer I can guarantee you that the Author (and his friends from which he "heard" these stories) will not be able to retrieve anything from it after I place a single blow on the HD platter, NO WAY (let alone using Encase only).

2. There are several ways (materials) with which a hard disk platter is made and many drilling techniques.
In theory it is perfectly possible to drill a hole in a platter without altering/breaking the rest of the platter.
The whole point is - again - exactly the same as the one ALREADY talked about to death here
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6564240/#6564240

Such a cleanly drilled platter won't (obviously) work anymore in a "normal" disk drive.
The technique (both theory and practice) discussed in the above link may work as well, though.

I will try to re-cap for your benefit, hoping to make the matters more clear (and hopefully to avoid having again and again the same questions asked).

Let's assume (to simplify) that there are ONLY three types of hard disks
1.manufactured until 1996 (MFM/RLL)
2.manufactured since 1997 and up to 2006 (PRML/EPRML)
3.manufactured after 2006 (perpendicular recording)

For #1 we have a valid theory and a SINGLE report (partial, not fully documented) of someone having put it into practice.
For #2 we have a (similar) theory (hopefully as valid as the above) and NO reports of anyone EVER having been able to put it into practice (and each year, due to increasing areal density the theory becomes more difficult to be put into practice)
For #3 we don't have a theory, let alone someone that put it into practice.

jaclaz

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Posted : 20/01/2013 3:41 pm
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

Hello jaclaz. thank you very much for your interesting and clear post. Being a lot of internet sites a source of misinformation always is important that experts like you make clear the ideas, sometimes, even, repeating them, in the same way that misinfrmations are again and again repeated wink

By the way, is possible for a non expert to easily recognize visually which type of hard drive does he has in order to apply it any of the 3 you mention? thanks again

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Topic starter Posted : 20/01/2013 5:02 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

By the way, is possible for a non expert to easily recognize visually which type of hard drive does he has in order to apply it any of the 3 you mention?

I really don't get it.
Apply WHAT?
There is NOTHING that can be applied.

I listed a simplified 3 types list specifying that for TWO of them there is NO known method/tool/hardware/approach capable of recovering ANYTHING.

For the first one there is ONLY one person that reported some partial success (and obviously he is an EXPERT, and to - hopefully - be able to replicate what he did you will need to become a - BTW extremely good - expert).

So a non-expert (actually as well as let's say 99.9999% of actual experts) can do nothing about any of the types in the simplified list.

What would be the sense of being able to visually distinguish these types?

And "visually" and "visually for non-experts"? 😯

No, there is nothing "visually".

And AGAIN, you already got an answer to a very similar question
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6564280/#6564280

BTW I am no expert, I just stayed at a Holiday Inn.

jaclaz

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Posted : 20/01/2013 10:59 pm
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

Why do you get angry, jaclaz? D

surely I don´t expressed correctly or perhaprs you dont understand me. I just asked if I can know,recognize which of the 3 categories you stated fits any specific hard drive, for example the old ones I have.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/01/2013 12:01 am
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

The sense of that quesion is simply curiosity.

By the way, one of your replies to my first yjread on the question you say

" The answer is that - at the state of the art - (and EXCLUDED what the National Security Agencies may have in their secret labs) a single, neat or rough, cut through a CD/DVD, passing through the center hole and thus dividing the CD in two pieces is enough, even if you have both pieces, to avoid the reading of any data from it with any commercially available device.
This doesn't mean that it is "impossible", only that noone has ever documented the successful recovery of any data from such a damaged CD/DVD."

However at the same study whose link you posted, the author seems to have recovered significant information from CD fragments(unless I had not understood correctly the article).

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Topic starter Posted : 21/01/2013 12:30 am
mscotgrove
(@mscotgrove)
Senior Member

I think jaclaz has ever right 'sound angry'

He gave you typical dates for drives. I think every drive I have seen has a date on it. What more information do you need?

As for CDs, this was discussd at length on your previous posting, some time ago.

My question is why are you asking the questions.

1) Do you wish to recover such data - what budget do have for such attempts?

or

2) You have data you want to destroy and make sure no one else can ever read it?

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Posted : 21/01/2013 12:53 am
Beetle
(@beetle)
Active Member

I suggest the OP carry out a bit of an experiment with a CD.

To the OP…

Take one and snap in half with your hands ( wear gloves! ). You will see that the substrate ( that's the silver material ) will pulverize along the fracture lines into a lot of little pieces. I don't know how you could re-assemble a useable readable CD from these tiny fragments. As for HDD with a hole drilled in it, I doubt a drive head would survive passing over the resulting burrs.

I think if the OP does some observation of the physical properties of a broken ( not scored ) optical disk he will see what Jaclaz is getting at.

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Posted : 21/01/2013 1:15 am
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

Why do you get angry, jaclaz? D

Because I feel that at least big parts of the "sent messages" don't go through and never reach you.

surely I don´t expressed correctly or perhaprs you dont understand me. I just asked if I can know,recognize which of the 3 categories you stated fits any specific hard drive, for example the old ones I have.

And you already asked a very similar question and you were already replied, you need to know, capacity, number of platters, derive areal density, cross-check with manufacturer specs when available, compare with year of production, verify with several different sources, then, you will be able to make an educated guess.

And of course there are many more than three categories - hence the concept of "simplified list".

Now try reading carefully and attentively the quoted sentence (of which I have highlighted some relevant parts that you seemingly missed)

The answer is that - at the state of the art - (and EXCLUDED what the National Security Agencies may have in their secret labs) a single, neat or rough, cut through a CD/DVD, passing through the center hole and thus dividing the CD in two pieces is enough, even if you have both pieces, to avoid the reading of any data from it with any commercially available device.
This doesn't mean that it is "impossible", only that noone has ever documented the successful recovery of any data from such a damaged CD/DVD.

So. let's try again AFTER having ALREADY discussed in detail what "secret" means
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6562637/#6562637

Three points

  1. What the G-men can (or cannot) do is SECRET (noone except them and a few other authorized people that will keep their mouth shut know exactly what they can do).
  2. There is NO commercially available device/method to recover data from a broken CD (again to the best of my knowledge).
  3. There is/was an experimental theory and an experimental project aimed to read data from a CD through imaging it with a microscope (and a link was given to the report about that research).
  4. [/listo]
    I hope there is no issue with items #1 and #2 above.

    About #3, if you READ that document, you will possibly gather that (again main points, if you read it attentively you will find more) that the experiment was made on a non-broken CD, on page #16 "Present technique" is estimated at 67 year time to read a complete CD, what was written to the CD was not "random data", but it was a specific sized (very small) grey scaled bitmap (i.e. a non-encoded file that can be easily be represented partially if partial data is missing) forming a "pattern" repeated over and over (and they knew where this info was written to on the disk surface and conversely where to look at and also what to look for).
    The CD used in the experiment is NOT broken into pieces.

    That is a report about an EXPERIMENT that proves an UNDISPUTED theory (a media that is read through optical means may be read also through different optical means), but that besides the good results is NOWHERE representing a viable data recovery method.

    IF - over the more than 8 (eight) years elapsed since - they have managed to reduce the time from actual 67 years to the hypothetical 475 hours (or less) AND IF *something else* is invented to "keep together" the pieces of a broken CD on the spin AND IF precision is bettered as to allow NO reading errors (and thus recover encoded data formats such as .jpg or .zip) AND IF this enhanced precision can be extended on a sensibly bigger data extent (the WHOLE SIZE of the file that was partially recovered was 11 Kb) AND IF this can be reproduced over several makes/models/brands of CD (both "pressed" and "burned") THEN they would have something that might develop into a commercial device (which costs I won't even dare to guess-estimate).

    And in any case it would ALREADY be late, as the CD is not used anymore and DVD has a MUCH HIGHER data density (thus posing new issues).

    jaclaz

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Posted : 21/01/2013 1:41 am
williamsonn
(@williamsonn)
Member

jaclaz. thanks for your patience and kindness, but not get angry, please 😉 I appreciate much your interesting information. Now, ALL IS MUCH more clear for me.

Only a question more, please. Your last words are not totally clear for me

"And in any case it would ALREADY be late, as the CD is not used anymore and DVD has a MUCH HIGHER data density (thus posing new issues)."

Do you mean that DVD recovering, more currenly used than CD, and having, of course much more density


Would be more difficult to read f broken, or, instead, easier?


Again, thank you very much )

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Topic starter Posted : 21/01/2013 5:27 am
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

Do you mean that DVD recovering, more currenly used than CD, and having, of course much more density


Would be more difficult to read f broken, or, instead, easier?


Let's temporarily forget about broken optical media.
Let's check your eyesight. 😯
Following are two text lines, which one can you read more easily wink ?

  1. This line represents some text written on a CD.
  2. This line represents the same line but written to a DVD.
  3. [/listo]

    But, when you go beyond the first impression (and get yourself a suitable magnifying glass to read the second line) you might want to consider how this also implies that you have to break DVD's in smaller pieces as a DVD fragment the same size you used to break CD's into may contain as much as 13 times the amount of information than a CD fragment.

    jaclaz

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Posted : 21/01/2013 3:33 pm
sgreene2991
(@sgreene2991)
Member

According to a friend in Federal LE, under the right circumstances they can recover portions of data from a CD or DVD. What those circumstances are and what tools they use I couldn't find out. HDDs are a little different. If the platter has been dinged, dented, scratched, touched, or anything of that sort, it is highly unlikely that you will ever be able to get anything off of it. So to solve that, I just use HDDs for target practice. Plenty of dirt, lead, and dings to keep everything out of someone elses hands. And they're very resilient, which means you can hit them multiple times!

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Posted : 22/01/2013 4:31 am
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