i'd use "dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda" Urandom is slower but better..
If you have access to dd, you probably have access to shred. It makes several passes using different patterns (25 by default), and has the option of zeroing the drive on the last pass. I believe it meets DOD standards. I'm not sure how effective it is with slack space, which often holds recoverable data even after running utilities that are supposed to wipe data off drives, but dd wouldn't be any better.
Shred works on a filesystem level to delete individual files on the drive. Worse than that, it only works on a subset of filesystems (primarily Linux and Unix based).
You want something that wipes *everything* from the drive, no matter what the filesystem is. dd, or dcfldd (which is what I prefer to use) does a sector by sector copy of data from a source to a destination. So the following command:
dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda
Will effectively fill the hard drive with random data making and data recovery impossible.
From citizen92 at dailykos.com:
Karl Rove and GWB43.com — Huge National Security Threat?
by citizen92 [Subscribe]
Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 02:36:13 PM PDT
Over the past few days, there have been many great diaries about the recent discovery of the gwb43.com e-mail system. A story in the National Journal (only available by subcription) yesterday added an additional nugget — that Karl Rove does 95% of his e-mailing over that server. Nice. And end run around the Presidential Records Act. And a political move to hide what could be incriminating records.
What has not yet been mentioned, however, is the likely huge national security breach that might have resulted from Karl's cavalier practices.
Bear with me.
The White House is a huge target for electronic espionage by friendly and hostile foreign powers. For those of you who may have visited Washington, this may be evident when you stroll by the various embassies scattered around the city — with their unusual sculptures of antennas and wires on their roofs. The Russians have a compound just three blocks north of the White House.
The US Government spends undisclosed amounts on countermeasures to protect its critical information and its secure networks. And it has the experts to make sure that those countermeasures are working.
But, as usual, the government is focused on the foes outside — not the foes within. Government, meet Karl Rove's OpSec (operational security) program.
As you read, I would have to guess (but I have absolutely no knowlegde if this is true or not) that foreign intelligence services have already paid thorough visits to the various servers that are operated by the RNC down in Chattanooga. You know, GWB43.com. RNCHQ.COM. Bobcorker.com. Why? Well, it's been made pretty clear that Karl Rove conducts business through those domains. 95% of his business. And so do other senior White House staff. If you were a foreign spy, wouldn't you be interested? And might it be a possibility, that MAYBE the RNC servers aren't quite as secure as the government servers? MAYBE?
If I were an Information Security Officer for the White House, my system would be "flashing red." Don't forget that Karl Rove is a Deputy Chief of Staff (the number 3 position) at the White House. He likely see's PDB's and other classified information. And for him to be able to do 95% of his work from the RNC account, he would have to get some of this information flowing from the White House network. Heck, maybe he forwards his eop.gov e-mail to the RNC account.
Point being, this could represent a HUGE SECURITY BREACH. I hope that the RNC servers have been seized by someone in US Government (NSA, CIA or otherwise) to find out exactly what has happened here. And I really hope that political muscle hasn't blocked that.
There is a lot more riding on this than just Karl Rove's political future....
Commenter kck suggested that I also point out a few more relevant details.
The "private email addresses" that Rove and some unidentified quantity of White House and possibly other government officials tracks back to a company called Smartech based in Chatanooga, TN. There are some interesting observations about Smartech at Cannonfire's blog, specifically that the gwb43.com domain shares a mailserver with other domains, including:
Cannonfire also observes that the Ohio 2004 election results were tallied on systems maintained by Smartech. Curious yet?
Commenter Rosaura makes an excellent observation on the root of the criminality of this whole outside e-mail system.
Tonight I stumbled across the collection of Abramoff emails connected with the Indian Gaming hoo-haw, and sure enough, Susan Ralston was using SusanRalston@gwb, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and sRalston@rnchq.org.
It's not as if these crooks didn't know it was wrong. Have a look at Rosaura">this email exchange at pages 113 and 118:
From: Abramoff, Jack (Dir-DC-Gov)[/o=GTLAW/ou=WDC/cn=Recipients/cn=abr
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:25 AM
To: Ring, Kevin (Shld-DC-Gov)
Subject: RE: email on jena
Dammit. It was sent to Susan on her mc pager and was not supposed to go into the WH system.
— Original Message —
From: Ring, Kevin (Shld-DC-Gov)
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:26 AM
To: Abramoff, Jack (Dir-DC-Gov)
Subject email on jena
Your email to Susan was forwarded to Ruben Barrales and on to Jen Farley, who read it to me last night. I don't know what to think about this, but she said is better not to put this stuff in writing in their email system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc. Who knows? Just letting you know what she said, Anyway, I had called her to talk about Jena. She has not heard from anyone on the other side of this issue.
— Original Message —
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 4:24 PM
To: Susan Ralston
I don't want to bother you guys with a meeting request, so I was hoping you could pass on to Karl that Interior is about to approve a gaming compact and land in trust for a tribe which is an anathema to
Two things we learn here.
1/Abramoff was aware of the need to lob e-mails outside of the White House e-mail system. And Abramoff is a crook.
2/Jennifer Farley, the was aware of the need to send e-mails outside of the system, and she told Abramoff co-conspirator Kevin Ring as such.
Farley was not the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Nor was she the Deputy Director. Nor was she the Assistant Director. She was the Deputy Assistant Director. That's a low level staff position. A $35,000 year job.
Point being, if low-level staffer Jennifer Farley knew about the e-mail couching, then there had to be a policy mandating these procedures at the White House. And policies are set from the top."
I, for one, welcome our ubiquitious, wall-climbing, robot overlords."