What is the HMG IS5 method?

HMG IS5 (Infosec Standard 5) is a software-based Data Sanitization method, used in some file shredder and data shredder programs to overwrite existing information on a hard drive or other storage device.

HMG IS5 (Infosec Standard 5) is a software-based Data Sanitization method, used in some file shredder and data shredder programs to overwrite existing information on a hard drive or other storage device.

Deleting a hard drive using the HMG IS5 method will prevent all file recovery methods based on software that finds the information on the drive and also has the ability to prevent most hardware-based recovery methods from extracting information.

This method of deleting data actually has two similar versions - HMG IS5 Baseline and HMG IS5 Enhanced. The following article will explain the differences between them, as well as some programs that use this Data Sanitization method.

What does the HMG IS5 method do?

What is the HMG IS5 method? Picture 1
Method HMG IS5

Some methods of deleting data only overwrite the number 0, as with Write Zero. Other options like Random Data only use random characters. However, HMG IS5 is a bit different because it combines both.

The HMG IS5 Baseline method is usually performed in the following way:

  1. 1st time: Override number 0
  2. 2nd: Write a random letter and verify the recording

Here is how HMG IS5 Enhanced normally works:

  1. 1st time: Override number 0
  2. 2nd: Override number 1
  3. 3rd: Write a random letter and verify the writing

HMG IS5 Enhanced is almost identical to the popular DoD 5220.22-M method, except for the first 2 times that require no verification. It is also very similar to CSEC ITSG-06, overwriting the number 1 or 0 the first two times, then ending with a random character and verification.

Verification ensures that the data has actually been overwritten. If verification fails, the program will most likely repeat the recording or give you a message that it did not complete correctly.

Note : Some data shredder and file shredder programs allow you to create your own custom deletion methods. For example, you can add a series of random characters and then overwrite the number 0 or whatever you like. Therefore, you can choose HMG IS5 and then make a few changes to make it your own. However, any method of deletion other than what is explained above is technically no longer an HMG IS5.

HMG IS5 support programs

Eraser, Disk Wipe and Delete Files Permanently are some freeware applications that allow you to erase data using the HMG IS5 method. Other programs also exist, but they are not free or only free during the trial period, like KillDisk.

Like you read above, some programs allow you to build your own Data Sanitization method. If you own a program that supports custom methods but it doesn't seem to allow you to use HMG IS5, you can create a similar program using the same overrides described in the previous section. .

Most data destruction programs support a variety of Data Sanitization methods in addition to HMG IS5. This means you can open one of these programs, like the ones mentioned above and choose another Data Sanitization method, if then you decide to use something that is not HMG IS5.

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