Adam Lanza Smashed Computer Hard Drive
Before Friday’s school massacre, Adam Lanza removed his computer disk drive and smashed it, making it difficult, if not impossible, to recover data, authorities and tech experts say.
Lanza may have also overwritten the drive, wiping out the data, tech experts said.
The FBI electronics experts will examine the drive to see whether its data is salvageable. Authorities are also attempting to learn whether Lanza communicated with others about possible plans to kill his mother and attack the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The Hartford newspaper writes that one source said Lanza “used the computer to play a violent video game in which life-like characters engage in graphic battle scenes.” The game was not identified, but other news outlets reported that it was Dynasty Warriors.
If the 20-year-old Lanza knew enough to remove the hard drive and break it, data recovery is unlikely, the CEO of Kessler International told Computerworld.
“Obviously, they have a lot of resources to do it. And, if the drive’s platters aren’t smashed they can put them into another drive and read them,” Michael Kessler said. “But if he broke the platters, the likelihood of data recovery is slim to none.”
The head of the cyber-forensics programs at Purdue University, Marcus Rogers, disagreed that data would be irretrievable if the drive’s magnetic platters were broken, punctured or scratched.
He told Computerworld that if some areas are intact, certain devices can read the digital ones and zeroes and transfer the information to a new hard drive.
On the other hand, Brian Cane, a consultant with ECO Data Recovery, said if Lanza overwrote the drive, the data would be lost.