Thursday, 15 November 2007

Data Recovery

Last weekend i spent several hours taking some digital photos and stored them on a data stick. Got home from the office and to my horror saw the statement "no disk in drive please place a disk in drive- e and retry".

I tried not to panic and wend and dug out my old data recovery disks like Norton Utilities , Tech tools and Disk Warrior. They all seemed to see the data stick and said it was unformatted. After reformatting - i checked the health of the disk and all looked well so i asked it to start data recovery.

About an hour later it cheerfully proclaimed that no files could be recovered. So i guess that old school disk recovery tools are no good with flash memory.

Sure that there must still be something on the disk somewhere i did a bit of 'googling' and sent a few emails to friends and found a new generation of disk recovery tools. After a quick file download i manged to install 'PhotoRecover' and found 141 files on the disk, all of which were recovered within a few minutes. And off i went with my 'photoshopping'.

Another product that was recommended was 'handy data recovery' both seem to work very well with recovering files that you have deleted from you digital camera accidentally or corrupted / reformatted memory sticks.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Securing email

I decided that it was about time that i studied for some more IT certification exams last week, and chose Security + from comptia (25 years old this week - happy birthday comptia) as a good starting point.

One of the first areas i started to read about was email security, s/mime and pgp etc, which all kind of made sense. So having done the theory i thought I'd have a go at setting it up for myself.
I did a quick search on the net for free certificates and found there were a few to choose from i went with comodo. Filled the email address i wanted a certificate for and created a revocation password, they posted me a username and password within a couple of minutes and it downloaded straight to my browser (flock - see previous post). I exported the certificate to the desktop creating another password. Opened my email client (outlook) and added the digital signature....

So now when every i send an email the recipient can verify that it really is from me.

The next stage would be to encrypt mail from my account to the recipient. This is a little harder as both the recipient and sender has have their accounts set up to enable this. The good thing is that when you send an email with a digital signature that signature can be used by the recipient to send encrypted email back to you.

Out of interest i check the several thousand messages from several hundred senders in my mailbox and found none at all which had been digitally signed. Surprising as quite a large number of those senders work in the it industry.