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Marcello Pietrelli e Gianni Baini
So, Mr. Bond, you think you have won because you have our hard drives! Your Q Branch experts will never be able to recover the data! SPECTRE wipes its data with Files Terminator, a freely available computer program; freely obtained, Mr. Bond, from the Internet!
James Bond immediately came to mind when we downloaded and opened Files Terminator and clicked the Method Deletion menu button. This free utility securely deletes files and folders using a list of algorithms that reads like a confrontation at Checkpoint Charlie: British HGM IS5, Russian GOST P50739-95, US DoD 5220.22-M(E), German VSITR, Canadian RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, Bruce Schneier, and Peter Gutmann, in addition to Pseudorandom and Random. Each method is described in a window below the menu in large letters. There’s also a Destroy Free Space tool that can wipe a drive’s free space and even automatically shut down the computer when the job is done. Beyond a language option, the only thing left is the tool itself, accessed by two buttons: Destroy File(s) and Destroy Folder. We started by terminating an instruction sheet we’d saved to the desktop, using the fast pseudorandom method. The program warned us that deleting the data would make it unrecoverable. We proceeded, the job was done, and the file was terminated. Next we tried stronger methods, with similarly speedy results. The Bruce Schneier method is slow, and the Peter Gutmann method is marked (NOT RECOMMENDED) so we skipped it. The disk space wiping tool won’t wipe protected drive spaces but works quickly otherwise.
We can’t help but think that Files Terminator’s developers are missing a trick by not building on the James Bond/Cold War thing that these algorithms have going on. While they’re powerful, up-to-date standards for handling (make that obliterating) today’s and tomorrow’s data, the nomenclature has the retro vibe of the missiles-and-microfilm era. You needn’t smirk, Mr. Bond: Your termination will be far more elaborate but just as thorough as Files Terminator’s methods.