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posted Feb 12, 2012, 10:16 AM by David Khorram
National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST Special Publication 800-88

Destruction of media is the ultimate form of sanitization. After media are destroyed, they cannot be reused as originally intended. Physical destruction can be accomplished using a variety of methods, including disintegration, incineration, pulverizing, shredding, and melting. If destruction is decided upon due to the high security categorization of the information or due to environmental factors, any residual medium should be able to withstand a laboratory attack. *Disintegration, Incineration, Pulverization, and Melting. These sanitization methods are designed to completely destroy the media. They are typically carried out at an outsourced metal destruction or incineration facility with the specific capabilities to perform these activities effectively, securely, and safely. *Shredding. Paper shredders can be used to destroy flexible media such as diskettes once the media are physically removed from their outer containers. The shred size of the refuse should be small enough that there is reasonable assurance in proportion to the data confidentiality level that the information cannot be reconstructed. Optical mass storage media, including compact disks (CD, CD-RW, CD-R, CD-ROM), optical disks (DVD), and magneto-optic (MO) disks must be destroyed by pulverizing,crosscut shredding or burning. Destruction of media should be conducted only by trained and authorized personnel. Safety, hazmat, and special disposition needs should be identified and addressed prior to conducting any media destruction.