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*nix Thread, What's the best way? in Technical; At the end of this month my leased dedicated server expires and I'll not be renewing. What's the best way ...
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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    What's the best way?

    At the end of this month my leased dedicated server expires and I'll not be renewing. What's the best way to wipe the hard drive clean? It's only hosting a forum and a Joomla test site but I would like to wipe the drive clean nevertheless and make it difficult for anyone to recover data.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Hammer?? Kill Disk?? Those are my prefered tools of choice.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Not from a remote datacentre, they're not.

    I would stop service you want to wipe data for, uninstall their packages, and then use shred on their data directories.

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    dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/hda If you have multiple drives, you'll need to do /dev/hdb, /dev/hdc, etc.

    To go a bit faster, use /dev/zero (to fill the disk with zeros) or /dev/urandom (for not quite random data)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixman View Post
    dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/hda If you have multiple drives, you'll need to do /dev/hdb, /dev/hdc, etc.

    To go a bit faster, use /dev/zero (to fill the disk with zeros) or /dev/urandom (for not quite random data)
    Thanks. Shoould I run that a few times, perhaps a mixture of both commands, or will one do?

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    As root:

    rm -rf /*

    Reboot, and enjoy.

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    If the host is any good they will have a backup, so I'm not quite sure what you would achieve by wiping the disk. IIRC you need to rewrite data on the disk seven times before it gets too difficult to recover !
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripley
    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 3rd February 2009 at 10:53 AM.

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    We use Dban here.

    It is supposed to be able to wipe data to MoD standards and you can download a bootcd image.

    Takes quite a while if you set it to the MoD standard wipe as it does multiple passes.

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    kesomir's Avatar
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    I also back Dban, but - can't use it on a remote computer in a datacentre.

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    Hehe indeed

    I hadn't fully registered what had been said... sorry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    Thanks. Shoould I run that a few times, perhaps a mixture of both commands, or will one do?
    Once will do, but if you are really paranoid, run a mixture several times. Here is a link Dave Farquhar's Silicon Underground - Wiping a disk securely

    rm -rf /* is NOT good enough; anyone with half a brain knows how to get files back from an rm.

    Anecdote time. Back in the early days of SCO/Unix, if you ran rm -rf * from / it would continue to run right up until the /bin/rm file was removed, and then the command would crash, leaving your machine in a very strange state. Some commands would work, and some wouldn't, depending on what had been written where on system install. I tried it once just for a lark and got my botty smacked for the pleasure.

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixman View Post
    rm -rf /* is NOT good enough; anyone with half a brain knows how to get files back from an rm.
    Why would a hosting company require the files back, why would they waste resources on very few files that may/may not be important. If the hosts are reputable, they won't give a damn, and the easiest way to just leave the disk in a state for the next user would be rm -rf.

    The hosting company are likely to hold backups, so your data is always their's, they'll have a copy somewhere, and will likely format the disk themselves and re-install said linux operating system for the next lease holder.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    Why would a hosting company require the files back, why would they waste resources on very few files that may/may not be important.
    And when the new image on the disk doesn't overwrite all the space and the next leaseholder recovers them?

    @Edu-IT: Once should be fine, it's pretty thorough.



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