Kroll Ontrack – Storage Visions 2015 Update

The first stop at Storage Visions 2015 is with Kroll Ontrack. Recently we were presented with an issue where a close friend of ours had a USB flash drive that corrupted suddenly. Our first step was to check Google for possible solutions or tricks that can magically give us access to the data on the drive. After endless hours of researching and many cases of trial and error, we determined that the drive was experiencing some sort of hardware issue. The only solution we were presented with was utilizing the four wires of a USB cable and to solder them onto the PCB to by-pass the USB port. However, this proved to be insufficient to recover the data. We were left with no other options, but to resort to NAND removal, which is a technology that was not readily accessible. Upon presenting our dilemma to Kroll Ontrack, their response was with optimism and an arsenal of incredible solutions.


We met with Peter and Troy who gave us an overview of the solutions that Kroll Ontrack has readily accessible. Their arsenal includes consumer and enterprise data recovery, computer forensics and e-discovery, and secure erase verification.

A common concern by consumers and manufacturers with flash memory is the verification that all their data is completely erased from their drive. While this is much easier with a hard-drive, which can be completely overwritten to ensure a secure erase, flash drives are much harder to verify that they have been securely erased. We were told that Kroll Ontrack has been approached by several manufacturers who want to ensure that their flash drives are securely and completely erased, or better put, to sanitize their flash media.

Their process includes:

  • Device Preparation; where known specified data patterns are written to the media.
  • Sanitization Procedure; which is almost self-explanatory – the drive is sanitized and erased utilizing the customer’s sanitization process.
  • In-depth Analysis Performed; the media is then thoroughly searched for any remaining portions of the known specified data patterns. They even search within bad blocks, user data and spare pool areas.
  • Detailed Report; this outlines the entire process that was taken to analyze the sanitization process as per the customers specifications, which is then followed by results of the analysis.

iPad Fire

Kroll Ontrack provides similar solutions for the end-consumer, for $65 they will analyze the drive and provide a detailed report regarding what data is recoverable and an estimate for the data recovery. The image above showcases an iPad which was recovered from a fire and Kroll was able to recover the data from it. Depending on the extent of the data recovery, whether it be minor or extensive, pricing can be very reasonable, especially if Kroll can recover priceless photos, maybe from a wedding.

Kroll Ontrack also takes part in computer forensics and e-discovery, while this isn’t focused on flash storage alone, it is still an important product to touch on. When it comes to litigation and preserving continuity with cyber evidence, Kroll Ontrack provides a means of protecting and securing the evidence.

For more information, hop on over to Kroll Ontrack’s website!

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