The Hand

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Overview

The Hand is a system for detecting when your hard disk has been used without your knowledge. Sometimes this happens when the disk is copied surreptitiously.

The Name

"Talk to The Hand."

Theory of Operation

Modern hard disks include diagnostic sensors and logs which are used to predict if the disk may be about to fail. This is part of a system in the hard disk called SMART. In many cases, SMART tracks the total time the disk is turned on too, like an odometer.

To determine whether your disk has been copied without your knowledge, two counters are kept. One is the SMART power on counter in the disk, and the other is kept separately, on a web site or in a file on the hard disk. When the computer is turned on and off, the two counters will synchronize. If the disk is ever powered on without being attached to the computer, the counters will go out of sync and a warning can be issued with the amount of time the disk was on.

Tools

Mac

http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter/

Run the application, go to preferences. Right-click on your disk and select "Check SMART Attributes." Copy the text in the window that appears and send it

Windows

Linux