Erase hard drive by government standard

Wed Jul 18 2018 by William

Data Wiper provides 6 kinds of wiping schemes, 3 of which are from the list below, or government standard from different government agencies and private institutes. Data in this table is from wikipedia, I ordered them by passes, you can click on to read more

Overwriting Standard Overwriting Rounds Pattern Notes
NSA/CSS Storage Device Declassification Manual (SDDM) 0 ? Degauss or destroy only
NIST SP-800-88 1 ?
Australian Government ICT Security Manual 2014 – Controls 1 Random pattern (only for disks larger than 15 GB) Degauss magnetic media or destroy Top Secret media
New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau NZSIT 402 1 ? For data up to Confidential
British HMG Infosec Standard 5, Baseline Standard 1 Random Pattern Verification is mandatory
NIST SP-800-88 Rev. 1 1 All zeros Applies to modern magnetic media only. Recommends cryptographic erase as a more general solution.
German Federal Office for Information Security 2–3 Non-uniform pattern, its complement
British HMG Infosec Standard 5, Enhanced Standard 3 All ones, all zeros, random Verification is mandatory
U.S. Navy Staff Office Publication NAVSO P-5239-26 3 A character, its complement, random Verification is mandatory
U.S. Air Force System Security Instruction 5020 3 All zeros, all ones, any character Verification is mandatory
U.S. DoD Unclassified Computer Hard Drive Disposition 3 A character, its complement, another pattern
Communications Security Establishment Canada ITSG-06 3 All ones or zeros, its complement, a pseudo-random pattern For unclassified media
Bruce Schneier's Algorithm 7 All ones, all zeros, pseudo-random sequence five times
U.S. National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (DoD 5220.22-M) ? ? No longer specifies any method.
Peter Gutmann's Algorithm 35 Various, including all of the other listed methods Originally intended for MFM and RLL disks, which are now obsolete


In general, this table contains 1, 2-3, 7, 35 passes of overwriting methods, although they’re from different countries, they can be categorized like this. And Check out the Data Wiper wiping methods, we have

  • Fill with zero (1-pass)
  • Fill with pseudo random (1-pass)
  • Fill with zero and one (2-pass)
  • DoD 5220.22-M (3-pass)
  • DoD 5220.28-STD (7-pass)
  • Peter Gutmann’s Algorithm (35-pass)

Although we only built-in 6 kinds of them, but 3 of them are from government standard, and the rest 3 of the wiping methods are performing the same effect like standards of 1-pass and 2-pass from the standard list, we may not include all name of the standards, we actually are doing the same thing. So hopefully, when coming to secure data erasure, Data Wiper can be the option

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