A team of researchers in Germany have created a computer programme to put together 45 million pages of police files shredded into 600 million pieces.
Almost 18 years ago the agents of the communist East German State Security Service (Stasi) used a Paper shredder to destroy a number of secret documents.
But according to nature.com, Bertram Nickolay, head of security technology at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK) in Berlin, has revealed the development of reconstructive software to put the documents back together.
The pieces of torn Paper are scanned and analysed by 16 computers for 25 different features, eventually piecing the documents together like a jigsaw.
The IPK revealed that piecing the documents together would take 30 people 600 to 800 years by hand, while the computer programme is expected to take around five years.
It is unlikely the Stasi had any Paper shredders as innovative as the SpamTrap made by Bill Shackleford.
Mr Shackleford’s Paper shredder is designed to destroy spam emails as soon as they reach the inbox.
Spam is proving to be an increasing problem for British businesses, with recent research by Vasco Data Security revealing that 85 per cent of emails received by small and medium sized UK firms in January were spam.