• First (unregistered)

    First post!

  • Lostdreamer_NL (unregistered)

    you meen frist right ?

  • PUNish0r (unregistered)

    "and, after finding a convenient sawhorse replacement, saw no need"

  • Arenlor (unregistered) in reply to PUNish0r

    You make me sick.

  • Biodegradable (unregistered)

    This doesn't compute. If the damage was caused by a saw, there would be no need to "crack open" the old disk. The damage would be obvious from the outside of the server, let alone the drive.

  • dude (unregistered) in reply to Biodegradable

    Severe vibration induced head crash. A sabre saw is also called a reciprocating saw or "sawz-all". They vibrate violently while making very short work of any rough cut.

  • joelkatz (cs) in reply to Biodegradable
    This doesn't compute. If the damage was caused by a saw, there would be no need to "crack open" the old disk. The damage would be obvious from the outside of the server, let alone the drive.

    How would you know from looking at the outside that vibration from a saw coupled through a piece of wood into the case of the disk and caused the heads to smash into the rotating surface?

  • Asuyuka (unregistered)

    Ouch.

    I have seen a few crashed hard disks like this. It's painful to witness.

  • Turbulence (unregistered)
    was quite a sight to see.

    Come on Alex, you can do better than that

  • tOmcOlins (cs) in reply to Turbulence
    Turbulence:
    was quite a sight to see.

    Come on Alex, you can do better than that

    Obviously, he meant the site of the damage.

  • Murphy (unregistered)

    Murphy chuckle chuckle Murphy want more

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to tOmcOlins

    Considering his track record, he probably didn't. He just got lucky.

  • Prinny (unregistered)

    Atleast we now know of a effective way to dispose of hdd with sensitive data at any institution with a workshop. :)

  • dkf (cs) in reply to Prinny
    Prinny:
    Atleast we now know of a effective way to dispose of hdd with sensitive data at any institution with a workshop. :)
    It doesn't dispose of the data. It just leaves it in tiny pieces at the bottom of the drive enclosure. Anyone with enough time and patience could piece it all back together again. Simple!

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

  • Quirkafleeg (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    Considering his track record, he probably didn't. He just got lucky.
    Well, yes…
  • Mike (unregistered)

    TRWTF is that when the first disk crashed, no one bothered to ask if the CONSTRUCTION GUYS IN THE SERVER ROOM had anything to do with it. It seems like if I had a catastrophic failure in a critical system I might ask the CONSTRUCTION GUYS IN THE SERVER ROOM what kinds of activities they had been taking part in just before they failure. Of course having CONSTRUSTION GUYS IN THE SERVER ROOM might not be the cause of the failure, but that seems like a great place to start asking questions!

  • Mike (unregistered) in reply to dkf
    dkf:
    Prinny:
    Atleast we now know of a effective way to dispose of hdd with sensitive data at any institution with a workshop. :)
    It doesn't dispose of the data. It just leaves it in tiny pieces at the bottom of the drive enclosure. Anyone with enough time and patience could piece it all back together again. Simple!

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    The last company I worked for focused on exactly that issue. Many of our competitors simply drilled holes through a drive and its platters to "destroy" the data. Others would hit the drive with a hammer, cut it in half with a saw, or run it through a degaussing ring. Some just used DBAN or similar software. We went one step further with our 3-stage shredding system, which basically turned the drive into sand which was shipped to a smelter.

  • sushi pit (unregistered) in reply to Murphy
    Murphy:
    Murphy chuckle chuckle Murphy want more
    Murphy grow up first
  • alegr (cs) in reply to Mike
    Mike:
    dkf:

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    The last company I worked for focused on exactly that issue. Many of our competitors simply drilled holes through a drive and its platters to "destroy" the data. Others would hit the drive with a hammer, cut it in half with a saw, or run it through a degaussing ring. Some just used DBAN or similar software. We went one step further with our 3-stage shredding system, which basically turned the drive into sand which was shipped to a smelter.

    With modern self-encrypting drives it's not necessary. You just rewrite the encryption key and all data becomes garbage.

  • dan (unregistered)

    TRWTF is that I'm here commenting on Christmas Day.

    Captcha: populus. Is it me or does that one come up a lot?

  • EmperorOfCanada (unregistered)

    Could have been worse. They might have been in need of a spare anvil.

  • Mike (unregistered) in reply to alegr
    alegr:
    Mike:
    dkf:

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    The last company I worked for focused on exactly that issue. Many of our competitors simply drilled holes through a drive and its platters to "destroy" the data. Others would hit the drive with a hammer, cut it in half with a saw, or run it through a degaussing ring. Some just used DBAN or similar software. We went one step further with our 3-stage shredding system, which basically turned the drive into sand which was shipped to a smelter.

    With modern self-encrypting drives it's not necessary. You just rewrite the encryption key and all data becomes garbage.

    Until that encryption method is broken, possibly by a competitor with a great desire for your company's information, or a rogue government. Either of those entities may have billions of dollars to spend and plenty of spare time to burn on just that.

    Physical destruction > all other methods.

  • dkf (cs) in reply to Mike
    Mike:
    Physical destruction > all other methods.
    Especially if you can arrange for a small fire. Raising the disk platters over the curie temperature of the magnetic material used scrambles all the bits utterly in addition to any other damage done.
  • blah (unregistered) in reply to dkf
    dkf:
    Mike:
    Physical destruction > all other methods.
    Especially if you can arrange for a small fire. Raising the disk platters over the curie temperature of the magnetic material used scrambles all the bits utterly in addition to any other damage done.

    Bah, humbug! Anyone with a Christmas stocking can catch the smoke, condense it back into ash, and then magentize it. I think they call it coal.

  • hikari (cs) in reply to alegr
    alegr:
    Mike:
    dkf:

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    The last company I worked for focused on exactly that issue. Many of our competitors simply drilled holes through a drive and its platters to "destroy" the data. Others would hit the drive with a hammer, cut it in half with a saw, or run it through a degaussing ring. Some just used DBAN or similar software. We went one step further with our 3-stage shredding system, which basically turned the drive into sand which was shipped to a smelter.

    With modern self-encrypting drives it's not necessary. You just rewrite the encryption key and all data becomes garbage.

    No encryption is unbreakable, it's just a matter of the resources you have available; including time, money, tech, etc.

    Of course, encryption isn't supposed to be unbreakable, it's just supposed to be unbreakable for long enough that the data it's protecting no-longer requires protecting.

    If you really want the data gone for good, physical destruction is the only way to go.

  • Gerhard (cs) in reply to Mike

    After having worked for years with construction workers I can tell you that construction guys will never admit anything.

    Ask them if they have touched any of the equipment and they will tell you they were nowhere near it.

  • moz (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Slicerwizard (unregistered) in reply to Turbulence
    Turbulence:
    was quite a sight to see.

    Come on Alex, you can do better than that

    No, he can't. Just look at his track record.

  • Dylan (unregistered) in reply to dkf
    dkf:
    Prinny:
    Atleast we now know of a effective way to dispose of hdd with sensitive data at any institution with a workshop. :)
    It doesn't dispose of the data. It just leaves it in tiny pieces at the bottom of the drive enclosure. Anyone with enough time and patience could piece it all back together again. Simple!

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    A head crash might only destroy some fraction of the data rather than ruining the entire platter, and somebody could clean up the dust, replace the heads, and ruin your day.

  • EmperorOfCanada (unregistered) in reply to Mike

    King of the comments!

  • Tangr (unregistered)

    Google "sawhorse" and TDWTF is the fifth result.

  • Vijay (unregistered)

    "Hear a blog" could (also) be near the title of the blog....rather than at the end.

  • Marian Kechlibar (unregistered) in reply to hikari
    hikari:
    alegr:
    Mike:
    dkf:

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    The last company I worked for focused on exactly that issue. Many of our competitors simply drilled holes through a drive and its platters to "destroy" the data. Others would hit the drive with a hammer, cut it in half with a saw, or run it through a degaussing ring. Some just used DBAN or similar software. We went one step further with our 3-stage shredding system, which basically turned the drive into sand which was shipped to a smelter.

    With modern self-encrypting drives it's not necessary. You just rewrite the encryption key and all data becomes garbage.

    No encryption is unbreakable, it's just a matter of the resources you have available; including time, money, tech, etc.

    Of course, encryption isn't supposed to be unbreakable, it's just supposed to be unbreakable for long enough that the data it's protecting no-longer requires protecting.

    If you really want the data gone for good, physical destruction is the only way to go.

    One-time pad is provably unbreakable; every plaintext is equally probable.

  • alister (unregistered) in reply to Mike

    yeah, mind you if you have a phb for a boss, anything is possible - like letting the guys cut the floor tiles in the server room right beside the tape drives (cleaning tape anyone?)

  • marty (unregistered)

    One of these days dailywtf is going to have an entree that is not made up.

  • hoodaticus (unregistered)

    Fucking union labor!

  • publiclurker (unregistered) in reply to marty

    What makes you think this is made up? Many moons ago when I was in college we had one of our hard drive systems "self destruct". It turns out that someone was cutting a hole in the cinder-block wall behind the hard drives and the resulting dust overloaded the filters and crashed the drives.

  • takatori (cs) in reply to marty
    marty:
    One of these days dailywtf is going to have an entree that is not made up.

    I've had Alex post several of my own stories, so I can testify that a lot of these entrees are genuine.

    He does edit them to make the storytelling more compelling, though, which introduces little logical inconsistencies that all of us detail-oriented and nitpicky readers see as major flaws.

    In my own stories I've seen a lot of comments picking over little details to "prove" that the story was made up or otherwise falsified, when in fact there are details missing which were glossed over to make it read easier, or edited to make the point more clear.

    I think people might be surprised just how common these outlandish stories really are.

    For instance: I once installed a T1 line to a "datacenter" which consisted of lots of desktop PCs scattered around the cabinets, tables, floors, and beds of a travel trailer parked next to a dairy farm.

  • lolwtf (cs) in reply to marty
    marty:
    One of these days dailywtf is going to have an entree that is not made up.
    TDWTF has entreés now? Come for the WTF, stay for the meal...
  • RayS (cs) in reply to marty
    marty:
    One of these days dailywtf is going to have an entree that is not made up.
    There's always one who has to starter off. With an attitude like that, you will get exactly what you desert. Aperitif all, the site is just made up of our contributions.

    I've had two stories published, a long time ago true, and they were untouched (I pre-anonymised).

  • Jaime (cs) in reply to Marian Kechlibar
    Marian Kechlibar:
    hikari:
    alegr:
    Mike:
    dkf:

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    The last company I worked for focused on exactly that issue. Many of our competitors simply drilled holes through a drive and its platters to "destroy" the data. Others would hit the drive with a hammer, cut it in half with a saw, or run it through a degaussing ring. Some just used DBAN or similar software. We went one step further with our 3-stage shredding system, which basically turned the drive into sand which was shipped to a smelter.

    With modern self-encrypting drives it's not necessary. You just rewrite the encryption key and all data becomes garbage.

    No encryption is unbreakable, it's just a matter of the resources you have available; including time, money, tech, etc.

    Of course, encryption isn't supposed to be unbreakable, it's just supposed to be unbreakable for long enough that the data it's protecting no-longer requires protecting.

    If you really want the data gone for good, physical destruction is the only way to go.

    One-time pad is provably unbreakable; every plaintext is equally probable.

    Yeah, but key management is a very difficult problem with one time pads and is often not unbreakable in practice.

  • Keith Brawner (unregistered)

    I cannot believe that I'm hearing arguments against physical destruction like "such and such algorithm is provably unbreakable" and "such and such encryption makes it so hard that everyone will just give up".

    Seriously? The bonfire technique for secure data destruction is remarkably effective, and simple enough to be able to be done by monkeys. The above techniques for encryption and such are if you want the data BACK one day. If you want the data GONE, the only true way is to destroy it.

    The US Government posts a list every year of the 'approved' ways to dispose of classified material. Things such as "burn it", "drown it in acid", and "utilize a cross-section shredder to the specified 1mm setting" appear every year. Things such as "keep the data on the hard drive, but make sure that it is encrypted! Then throw it in the trash or auction it on eBay." never show up. When your data getting into the wrong hands can literally kill people, why not just start a 5 minute fire?

  • bored (unregistered)

    TRWTF #1 is not having vital replacement parts on hand in case of DR.

    TRWTF #2 is actually moving into a Data Center AS it is being built

    TRWTF #3 is not shipping the employee in the box also.

    captcha: cogo

  • OddOne (unregistered) in reply to Keith Brawner
    Keith Brawner:
    Seriously? The bonfire technique for secure data destruction is remarkably effective, and simple enough to be able to be done by monkeys. The above techniques for encryption and such are if you want the data BACK one day. If you want the data GONE, the only true way is to destroy it.

    The US Government posts a list every year of the 'approved' ways to dispose of classified material. Things such as "burn it", "drown it in acid", and "utilize a cross-section shredder to the specified 1mm setting" appear every year. Things such as "keep the data on the hard drive, but make sure that it is encrypted! Then throw it in the trash or auction it on eBay." never show up. When your data getting into the wrong hands can literally kill people, why not just start a 5 minute fire?

    That's what thermite is for - very few people actually need secure erasure, and when secure erasure is a life-or-death matter the drive WILL be melted down to slag. Most high-security environments have thermite plates or grenades sitting atop equipment racks for precisely this purpose.

  • Somone (unregistered) in reply to Jaime
    Jaime:
    Marian Kechlibar:
    hikari:
    alegr:
    Mike:
    dkf:

    OTOH, I don't believe that any person with enough patience to do that exists anywhere in the world.

    The last company I worked for focused on exactly that issue. Many of our competitors simply drilled holes through a drive and its platters to "destroy" the data. Others would hit the drive with a hammer, cut it in half with a saw, or run it through a degaussing ring. Some just used DBAN or similar software. We went one step further with our 3-stage shredding system, which basically turned the drive into sand which was shipped to a smelter.

    With modern self-encrypting drives it's not necessary. You just rewrite the encryption key and all data becomes garbage.

    No encryption is unbreakable, it's just a matter of the resources you have available; including time, money, tech, etc.

    Of course, encryption isn't supposed to be unbreakable, it's just supposed to be unbreakable for long enough that the data it's protecting no-longer requires protecting.

    If you really want the data gone for good, physical destruction is the only way to go.

    One-time pad is provably unbreakable; every plaintext is equally probable.

    Yeah, but key management is a very difficult problem with one time pads and is often not unbreakable in practice.

    Same here, Alex has posted a few of mine, including the coal one a few weeks back. They are true but altered to make 1.) a good story, 2.) protect the guilty.

    For example the coal one, did miss out a bunch of information that would have explained why it did and was possible and could happen again. Disclosure of that information would have made the guilty party obvious to many, it would have end up being the length and all the excitement of an epic book on the life of a civil servant account. The story was actually however pretty accurate.

  • Beldar the Phantom Replier (cs) in reply to Mike
    Mike:
    TRWTF is that when the first {0}, no one bothered to ask if a {1} had anything to do with it. It seems like if I had a catastrophic failure in a critical system I might ask a {1} what kinds of activities it had been taking part in just before the failure. Of course a {1} might not be the cause of the failure, but that seems like a great place to start asking questions!
    Why spend time trying to come up with a witticism that will never get featured? Why not use the COMMENT-O-MIKE?

    Just in time for the new year, the last comment your family will ever need! It's like Mad-Libs®, but more useful! It comes pre-filled with ("disk crashed","CONSTRUCTION GUY IN THE SERVER ROOM"), but can be changed to any other combination* for work or play.

    Other phrase combinations* include: -("car crashed","TEENAGE DRIVER IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT") -("pizza burned to a crisp","doughnut in the pizza oven") -("crisis pregnancy occurred","failed contraception device") -AND MANY, MANY MORE!!

    Have your credit cards ready!

    *Other phrase combinations sold separately

    Edit: Holy cow - first try! :D

  • marty (unregistered) in reply to publiclurker

    What makes me think it is made up is that pressure on the case of the server would not apply pressure to the heads onto the surface of the disk. Not quite the same thing as dust.

    Plus the overall made-upity nature of most wtf stories make them outlandish poorly imagined tall tales.

  • Nasty Gash (unregistered)

    The server room where I used to work was being expanded. A concrete wall was to be removed. The construction crew was briefed that the hard disk drives were not to be moved and were to be covered with plastic sheeting to protect them from the dust. This was 25 years ago - the disks were the large, multi-platter cartridge type that were loaded into the top of a half-refrigerator sized drive. Imagine my horror when I walked in and saw one of the workers standing on one of the drives with jack hammer in his hands, ratta-tatta-tatting away at the wall, chunks of which were falling, nearly missing the drive. Fortunately, apparently no damage was done.

  • frits (cs) in reply to marty

    It's not the pressure on the case, it's the transfered vibration of the sabre-saw while the hard drives are not parked that causes the damage.

  • Quirkafleeg (unregistered) in reply to bored
    bored:
    TRWTF #3 is not shipping the employee in the box also.
    Don't forget the air holes.

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