Samsung’s German branch has taken data protection to a whole new level. A customer who wanted to service his Samsung 980 Pro drive was asked to destroy it by drilling a hole in it or smashing it with a hammer. Everything for the security of his data.
Return SSD drive can be a delicate process that brings with it some concerns about the security of the data stored on it. A user and journalist of a German website Igor’s Lab discovered a rather unconventional RMA policy authorizing the replacement or repair of goods. When trying to return his Samsung 980 Pro SSD, he was asked by the German branch of the company to destroy it with a drill or hammer.
The entire disc return process started completely innocently. Its user had to provide some required information, such as the serial number, proof of failure, and the expected steps the company would take to correct the problem. A diagnostic scan in Samsung Magician revealed that the drive had crashed with several errors in the NAND flash memory. The next step was to return the disk, but the client was concerned about the data still stored on it.
At this stage, there was a telephone correspondence between Samsung and the client and although the details are unknown, it can only be assumed that this was an exceptional case where the client stored very sensitive data on a dying drive. Upon providing a written explanation as to why the drive could not be returned as is, the user discovered an unusual return policy.
According to correspondence from Samsung, the customer was asked to “drill holes in the SSD or smash it with a hammer” while providing photo or video evidence of the destruction of the unit. The idea was to physically prevent access to the data, thus ensuring its complete protection.
The editor of Igor’s Labs took Samsung’s request seriously and approached his 980 Pro with a grinder, defeating any possibility of recovering data from the disk. They even published a movie on YouTube from the execution of equipment. The recording shows how individual NAND layers are destroyed. Needless to say, all data has been destroyed, giving the customer peace of mind. The disk has finally been sent back to Samsung, and the customer is waiting for a new copy.
Konrad Siwik, journalist Dobreprogramy.pl