Written by:Driper
Thursday, January 01, 2009 

Some people believe that data security is possible via disk destruction and many people have told me a story about erasing hard drives with magnets.

Many people have told the story in which for some reason be it police raid, simply the need to protect sensitive data or alike a magnet or electro magnet has been used to destroy the data.


An elaborate method once explained how a software pirate had placed a assortment of wires around the edge of his 'lab' door and when the police dragged the computer through the door frame the disks (and evidence) was destroyed.


The sheer amount of wire that would need to be wound around a door frame in order to have any effect on even a floppy disk that results in loss of data would make this concept unachievable.


The best part in smashing this myth comes from physics. The drive platters (data containing parts) are encased in metal (the case). The casing acts as a Faraday shield, isolating the contents from external magnetic fields. Without explaining this to much it will protect the platters inside from any magnetic field that a consumer level magnet can create.


As an aside there is theory to suggest that electro magnets beyond the reach of 99.9 percent of the population could effect a hard drive.