October 27, 2009
information excavation, digital archeology, offline privacy
During the workshop we will explore the contents of found hard-disks (hard-disque trouvé). Using methods borrowed from computer digital forensics participants will peek into the lives of others – former owners of scavenged hardware. Hard-disks as the most intimate part of any computer system. In case of a personal computer – the most intimate part of person’s life. Deductively, we will try to discuss and recreate ‘psyche’ portraits of those strangers and restore the time-lines that otherwise would have faded away. In the times of paranoiac privacy awareness we forget that online is not the only place to loose your identity. Although more and more personal data is stored on the Internet servers it is still written to hard-disks. There were several reports about Internet server’s hard-disks ending up on flea-markets, being sold for little money.
By the end of the workshop all the hard-disks and/or the data will be destroyed!
All participants are asked to go local flea-markets or second-hand shops to pick up few old hard-disks. You may try eBay as well. Older = better, those disks don’t need to be of large capacity, in fact 8-16 Gigabytes is the best size to be able to analyze it during one-day session. They also don’t need to have any operating system. Make sure the disks are 3.5” and have standard IDE interface, this is how it might look like:
Everybody is also expected to bring laptops (PC, Intel Macs) capable of booting from USB-sticks or CDs and equipped with USB2.0 interfaces. GNU/Linux command line knowledge will be advantageous, however it is not required.