What is the ISM 6.2.92 Method?

Details on the ISM 6.2.92 Data Wipe Method

Folders next to shredded documents
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ISM 6.2.92 is a software based data sanitization method used in various file shredder and data destruction programs to overwrite existing information on a hard drive or another storage device.

Erasing a hard drive using the ISM 6.2.92 data sanitization method will prevent all software based file recovery methods from lifting information from the drive and is also likely to prevent most hardware based recovery methods from extracting information.

Keep reading for more details on what ISM 6.2.92 actually does as well as the applications that will let you run this particular data wipe method.

Note: ISM 6.2.92 is similar to other data wipe methods except that it's the Australian government's data sanitization standard. RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, for example, is Canada's, New Zealand's is NZSIT 402, and Russia's is GOST R 50739-95.

What Does the ISM 6.2.92 Method Do?

Some data sanitization methods that work similar to ISM 6.2.92 include Write Zero and Pfitzner. However, the former only writes zeros to the storage device while the latter uses a random character.

The ISM 6.2.92 data sanitization method is a little different, and is usually implemented in the following way:

  • Pass 1: Writes a random character and verifies the write

If a drive is under 15 GB in size, the ISM 6.2.92 specifies that the drive being sanitized must be overwritten three times with a random character.

ISM 6.2.92 is a bit like the Random Data wipe method except that Random Data normally does more than just one pass of random characters. Also, ISM 6.2.92 doesn't require that the pass be verified.

When the pass is verified, all that means is that the software implementing ISM 6.2.92 will make sure that the data was actually overwritten with random characters.

If it didn't complete properly, the software will prompt you to rerun the pass, or it might do so automatically.

Note: ISM 6.2.92 may be used a little differently in some programs because the software might let you customize the sanitization method. For example, you can add more passes of random characters or add a pass for just zeros. However, any method that's different from what I explained above is technically no longer the ISM 6.2.92 method.

Programs That Support ISM 6.2.92

I don't have any download links to free programs that utilize the ISM 6.2.92 data sanitization method. However, I do know of a couple applications that let you build your own custom data wipe methods, which means you might be able to make a method that's similar to ISM 6.2.92

With CBL Data Shredder, for example, you can choose to erase the device with one pass of random data. Hard Disk Scrubber is another program that lets you customize the data sanitization method to make one most like ISM 6.2.92.

If you happen to find a data destruction program that does support ISM 6.2.92, it most likely will also support other data sanitization methods, so you'll have lots of options if you later decide not to use this particular data wipe method.

More About ISM 6.2.92

The ISM 6.2.92 sanitization method was originally defined in the Information Security Manual (ISM) issued by the Australian Department of Defense: Intelligence & Security.

The latest version of the ISM can be downloaded from the Australian Government Department of Defence website.