PETER GUTMANN ALGORITHM

When the erasure method of Peter Gutmann is used, the data on a data carrier is overwritten up to 35 times with defined values. This method of erasure is extremely time-consuming, but it is still considered to be a very secure method for data erasure without leaving any risidues. The Gutmann method is used in numerous software solutions. Such data-destruction programs utilise the Gutmann algorithm to overwrite existing data on a hard disk or other storage medium.

The software-based Data Erasure with the Gutmann Algorithm works as follows:

Overwrite Data
Pass No.Data WrittenEncoding Scheme Targeted
1Random
2Random
3Random
4Random
501010101 01010101 01010101 0x55(1,7) RLLMFM
610101010 10101010 10101010 0xAA(1,7) RLLMFM
710010010 01001001 00100100 0x92 0x49 0x24(2,7) RLLMFM
801001001 00100100 10010010 0x49 0x24 0x92(2,7) RLLMFM
900100100 10010010 01001001 0x24 0x92 0x49(2,7) RLLMFM
1000000000 00000000 00000000 0x00(1,7) RLL(2,7) RLL
1100010001 00010001 00010001 0x11(1,7) RLL
1200100010 00100010 00100010 0x22(1,7) RLL
1300110011 00110011 00110011 0x33(1,7) RLL(2,7) RLL
1401000100 01000100 01000100 0x44(1,7) RLL
1501010101 01010101 01010101 0x55(1,7) RLLMFM
1601100110 01100110 01100110 0x66(1,7) RLL(2,7) RLL
1701110111 01110111 01110111 0x77(1,7) RLL
1810001000 10001000 10001000 0x88(1,7) RLL
1910011001 10011001 10011001 0x99(1,7) RLL(2,7) RLL
2010101010 10101010 10101010 0xAA(1,7) RLLMFM
2110111011 10111011 10111011 0xBB(1,7) RLL
2211001100 11001100 11001100 0xCC(1,7) RLL(2,7) RLL
2311011101 11011101 11011101 0xDD(1,7) RLL
2411101110 11101110 11101110 0xEE(1,7) RLL
2511111111 11111111 11111111 0xFF(1,7) RLL(2,7) RLL
2610010010 01001001 00100100 0x92 0x49 0x24(2,7) RLLMFM
2701001001 00100100 10010010 0x49 0x24 0x92(2,7) RLLMFM
2800100100 10010010 01001001 0x24 0x92 0x49(2,7) RLLMFM
2901101101 10110110 11011011 0x6D 0xB6 0xDB(2,7) RLL
3010110110 11011011 01101101 0xB6 0xDB 0x6D(2,7) RLL
3111011011 01101101 10110110 0xDB 0x6D 0xB6(2,7) RLL
32Random
33Random
34Random
35Random

Quelle: Peter Gutmann – University of Auckland

Erasure of a hard drive with the Gutmann algorithm makes it possible to exclude a software or hardware-based recovery options. Originally, the Gutmann method was developed for hard disks produced earlier. Today, hard disks do not have to be erased by means of a 35-time data overwriting. Mr. Peter Gutmann nowadays believes that a modern hard drive only needs a few owerwriting passes to ensure the secure data erasure.

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