Don't Enlist in De-NIST . . .


De-NISTing is often touted a standard step in electronic discovery: system files from widely distributed programs are identified by a master list kept by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. If the hash values of files in a data set up for production match those in the master list kept by NIST, you know that they can be removed. See the NIST site at: http://www.nsrl.nist.gov/ . However don't let the widespread use of this term give you false confidence in the government and its master list. Craig Ball did his own study of the NIST list in August 2011 and found it to be sorely lacking. See: https://ballinyourcourt.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/de-nisting-defective/

Ball found that the NIST was lacking most of the files used with Windows 7 and the MS Office 2010 Suite. De-NISTing is a fine concept - but don't rely on the the NIST list to remove all of the system files from your production.


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