Despite Adam Lanza‘s concerted efforts to smash his computer’s hard drive so as to thwart investigators eventual efforts after the actions he planned to commit that fateful Friday morning, it is now being reported that experts are still hopeful that that there still may exist a window in which some data may be restored. Nevertheless that window is increasingly looking slim as time goes by.
cbs: Connecticut State Police have handed the smashed hard drives found in Lanza’s mother’s home over to the FBI. CBS News’ Bob Orr reports Tuesday that the hard drives were smashed into so many small pieces that the FBI lab has been unable to retrieve any data. And Cyber experts are not optimistic.
Flashback Data, which is not working on the case, is a company that specializes in data recovery and computer forensics. David McGroty, director of forensics operations, tells CBS News that it’s not simply a matter of whether or not the hard drives were smashed. Where a computer drive is broken is crucial to data recovery.
Goes on to say David McGroty:
“One of the things that cause data to not be recovered is to see if the disk can be re-aligned. Some electronics on the bottom could be smashed,”
With respect to the parts on the bottom of a drive, McGroty offers the following: “but it could be matched and replaced to make the drive work.”
The worst-case scenario, McGroty says, is if the “platters that hold the data either made of ceramic of metal. Ceramics struck with a hammer will shatter. Obviously that is a game over.”
Hardly the good news investigators were hoping for, although there is still hope if Lanza’s hard drive was smashed from the outside and there was no damage on the platter.
What makes the insistence of Adam Lanza’s smashed hard drive is the fact that he was a computer connoisseur who in the end was able to leave no digital traces of his actions, thoughts or doings. With no profile on twitter or even Facebook discerning clues as to the mindset of Adam Lanza and his actions leading up to the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre have become increasingly difficult.
Nevertheless there is hope investigators may still come up with new information.
If investigators can find what service’s Lanza used, they could potentially unlock his Web history. McGroty says, for example, if he was using an Android phone, police could subpoena Google to access his Gmail. There are some things that can’t be erased because the data is held by a third party.
“It’s difficult to live in a modern world without leaving footprints. Even if you’re clever, you’re still going to eventually Google something. Over time you do leave these traces out there.”
Of course in the end one has to wonder if Adam Lanza was secretive going all along and as much as it is unimaginable to most of us that one could not leave a dialogue or a digital footprint for an individual who spent the greater part of his existence alienated from the real world and existing in his own surreal world should we really be surprised that in the end he chose to keep his actions and thoughts a total secret, save of course for one action that he wanted us all to sit up and notice…