Phill Hallam-Baker's Security Blog
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Shredding Documents isn't always perfect
Douglas Heingartner's story in the New York Times highlights an old problem but one that still suprises many. If you want to make sure that a document cannot be read, don't shred it, burn it. A paper shredder is great for making papier-mache to amuse the children, but it does not prevent a determined snoop.
In the aftermath of the invasion of the US embassy in Tehran the students spent long hours piecing together shredded documents by hand. The Iranian government publishes books of some of the choicer pieces of information.
What was only possible by hand and eye twenty years ago can now be done by computer. It is now possible to unshred documents on - well an Enron scale.