sensitive data on disks (was: FreeBSD I LOVE YOU)

Matthias Buelow mkb at
Thu Jan 20 22:07:01 PST 2005

John wrote:

> What do you folks have on your hard drives that is worth thousands
> of dollars and weeks of time for someone to recover?

Err.. I'd guess that most people who use their machine for business have 
sensitive data on it that can easily be at least a couple thousand 
dollars worth... for companies that could easily be many millions, of 
course.  Customer databases, or strategy plans can ruin a company, if 
falling into the wrong hands.

> If it was as easy as you describe, we'd rarely need backups.  Your
> disk drive crash?  Oh, just bring it to the local recovery service
> and they'll get all your data back for $9.95.  NOT!!!!

It doesn't cost $9.95 but for $9950 you'd probably stand a good chance 
of getting (hopefully large) parts of your data back.  After all, 
there're enough companies specialized in just that.  A friend of mine 
did employ a data recovery company on such an incident not too long ago.


P.S.: As a side note, I recommend using some kind of crypto block driver 
for laptops, on NetBSD I use cgd, which works very well, on FreeBSD 
there's gbde, although I've never used it and don't know how reliable it 
is.  The performance hit is acceptable, with cgd, I get ca. 50% the 
write performance on my old Armada my700, so it doesn't really affect 
ordinary use.  I understand that there exist similar things for Windoze 
aswell, don't know if it's in XP Pro out of box, aswell as probably for 
MacOS X.

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