February 16, 2005 4:23 PM PST
Sick of your PC? Pulverize it
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Security means business at RSAFebruary 18, 2005
The Westboro, Mass.-based company released two new hard disk drive degaussers--smallish boxes that completely wipe out data on hard drives and render them functionally useless--at the RSA Security Conference taking place here this week.
The company largely markets its equipment to sensitive government agencies and others with high confidentiality requirements, said Michael Paciello, director of commercial sales. It got its start back in 1968 following the USS Pueblo Incident. The North Korean military nabbed a "fishing boat" off their waters that happened to be piloted by CIA agents. The boat was captured while documents were being thrown overboard.
Soon after, the government issued a bid for shredding equipment, he said.
"We get a lot of corporate customers too," he said. A little while ago, for instance, one large financial institution purchased a disintegrator to shred 145,000 data storage tapes. Casinos also buy them to get rid of old chips.
The Mag EraSure Professional released this week doesn't physically alter the disk itself but destroys it nonetheless. The machine exposes a hard drive to rare earth magnets for about a minute. The machine wipes out any data loaded on the drive, as well as the software loaded by the manufacturer, rendering it inoperable. Degaussers from competitors take longer when wiping out a drive, Paciello claimed.
The desk version costs about $25,000 while a mobile version, which needs a little more time to destroy a disk, costs about $20,000.
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