What's the Best Way to Copy Data Without Leaving a Trace?

If I want to copy data from one hard drive to another, what should I do to hide the trace, since those data are quite private? Is there any way to accomplish this such that someone inspecting the system won't be able to verify that specific files were copied? Thanks in advance!

Best Answered by

Jerry· Answered on Sep 06, 2023

It depends on the type and severity of cyber security measures implemented on your computer or server.

Note: While thinking about ways to copy data without leaving a trace, consider the consequences of your actions! It is illegal to access or copy classified files outside of specified protocols.

The default configuration of stand-alone computers would not include anything that may provide conclusive proof of unauthorized copying. If you work for a small company, you may have the chance to achieve that. You can just plug in a USB drive to copy them or put the file into a RAR/ZIP and email them to yourself.

However, larger corporations usually have active monitoring software on their system. It will create a log automatically as long as a file is copied, which is common for sensitive and classified data.

  • Boot the System into Another OS

Creating a bootable USB drive that contains a different operating system might be helpful. The bootable USB will load a whole operating system and will work independently from the Windows currently installed on the PC.

Then, you can copy data, and Windows won't create logs or alerts; monitoring software in Windows won't be active as well. The computer won't even connect to the network by default. USB access can be denied if files are sensitive enough, though. The monitoring system will create alerts if an external device is plugged into the computer.

  • Image the Hard Drive

There's another way to bypass Windows and monitoring software – using backup software like EaseUS Todo Backup to create an image of the hard drive. Under usual circumstances, image backups must exist outside of central servers and cloud solutions.

However, you'd better use the same software and hardware as the one who manages the computer. After creating the image, you can take it home and restore the image to access the data.

Again, I highly recommend that you obtain data through a legitimate application process to avoid potential legal issues.

Related article: How to Image a Hard Drive Windows 10 in 2 Different Ways

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