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49
votes
8answers
13k views

How can I reliably erase all information on a hard drive?

As storage technologies change over time, using different encodings and remappings to deal with sector errors, the best way to permanently erase/wipe/shred data changes also. Methods for flash drives ...
47
votes
3answers
18k views

Is it enough to only wipe a flash drive once?

According to the documentation for the "diskscrb" command for wiping conventional hard drives: http://www.forensics-intl.com/diskscrb.html "Conforms to and exceeds the Government Standard set ...
42
votes
4answers
26k views

Why is writing zeros (or random data) over a hard drive multiple times better than just doing it once?

Lots of different programs, such as Darik's Boot and Nuke, let you write over a hard drive multiple times under the guise of it being more secure than just doing it once. Why?
25
votes
2answers
47k views

Can wiped SSD data be recovered?

I was reading another post on destroying IDE drives, and how you could remove data, wipe it, or just destroy the drive. The removed data would still be there in some state, although not easily ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is writing zeros (or random data) over a hard drive used when writing all ones is more beneficial?

As far as I know, in order to securely delete the hard drive's contents, one should fill it with zeroes or, for added security and harder recoverability, random data first and then all zeroes. In ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Secure wiping of EEPROM and flash memory

Older magnetic storage exhibited some data remanence, so a recommendation emerged to wipe data by overwriting it multiple times with varying patterns — the “Gutmann wipe”. More recent hard disk ...
14
votes
11answers
12k views

I'm leaving my job and want to erase as many personal details etc. as possible; any tips?

Obviously this is very open-ended. But, I'm just paranoid about people going through everything on my laptop after I leave my job. Here are the things I'm planning to do: Completely wipe all browser ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are drives overwritten three times when being disposed of? [duplicate]

I am looking at the secure disposal of old flash drives, and one of the standards I have come across says that they should be overwritten three times. Why is one time not enough? I assume doing the ...
11
votes
2answers
833 views

Ensure data doesn't linger after being deleted

I'm trying to make a service that keeps as little data on its users as possible. To that end, I want to make sure that someone using forensic tools won't gain any more information than I would by ...
11
votes
2answers
264 views

“Encrypt and wipe” procedure on Android Lollipop?

I know a lot of people are advocating an "encrypt and wipe" procedure for selling used Android phones. But according to the AOSP website, in Android 5.x Lollipop: Created fast encryption, which ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

How to properly delete all data from cell phones?

Lately I've been thinking to get rid of some old smartphones; among them an Android device and a Blackberry. Not selling or recycling them is the ideal solution, however, I still would like to know ...
7
votes
2answers
304 views

Are there any filesystems that have secure deletion as a feature?

There's many 3rd party tools people have designed to perform secure deletion, but I don't know of any filesystems where secure deletion is built in. In fact, secure deletion has to work around ...
6
votes
8answers
402 views

A computing environment that saves no data

I want to use a laptop which doesn’t save any data, history, passwords anywhere in it. All state information should be destroyed once it is turned off or rebooted, without removing my ability to use ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How can files be deleted in a HIPAA-compliant way?

Any material I've come up with for data destruction standards relate to completely wiping (ATA Secure Erase) and physically destroying hard drives, but I haven't been able to find much about standards ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Can someone tell if you delete deleted files?

I am aware that to delete something completely we will have to use a program that over-writes the deleted file such that it is unrecoverable. Is there anyway to tell that this has happened? Or is the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

ATA security erase on SSD

Is it possible to recovery data from SSD, that was secure erased (https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase), by IT or professional data recovery company? Does this type of erasing ...
5
votes
2answers
761 views

Is it nescecary to wipe and reset the MBR when laptop changes owners even if full disk encryption is used?

Where I'm currently working we use full disk encryption and after a laptop transfer owners we use a secure erasure program. This is quite time consuming and I'm wondering is it necessary? For the disk ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

Overwriting hard drive to securely delete a file?

I am working on a computer that I am not allowed to install new software on. It does not have secure delete software installed. Suppose I have a file (or files) that are sensitive that I'd like to ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How secure is the Windows 8 “Reset your PC” function?

Windows 8 has a feature to "Reset your PC" so that if someone needs to give their computer away, the recipient won't be able to recover data. How secure is it?
5
votes
1answer
87 views

What method could a white-box attacker use to track the deletion of memory / files?

A rather theoretical question: Assuming there is memory with a malware inside it. The malware's goal is to detect if a legit application is about to delete contents of the memory. If recognized, the ...
4
votes
1answer
745 views

Is data-remanence a concern in RAM?

I know data-remanence is a concern on hard drives, but is it a concern on RAM? For example, once a program completes, is its data still available on RAM, just as data on a hard drive remains after ...
4
votes
3answers
118 views

Safely remove original file after encryption

My application encrypts a file, and the result is written to a different one. How do I safely remove the original one (C++)? Update. Wow! The problem is more complicated than I thought of it... 1) ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

What are the benefits of having multiple overwriting patterns for secure deletion? [duplicate]

When installing a new AIX server, there is a possibility to use several patterns for secure deletion. My question: Is it necessary to use several patterns? What is the benefit from having several ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you securely wipe an SSD by filling the remaining space with bogus data? [duplicate]

It's been established that, thanks to our good friend Mr. Wear Leveler, wiping data from an SSD is very difficult. I understand that the one thing you don't want to do is actually attempt to shred ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the security significance of Keyboard and Touchpad controller chips?

In this article from Privacy International, it indicates that when GCHQ undertook the task of destroying sensitive data on system belonging to the Guardian newspaper, in addition to the Storage media, ...
4
votes
0answers
1k views

How can you remove your presence from the Internet? [duplicate]

How can you remove your presence from the Internet? For example from social networks, from email servers, from forums etc. Problem is how records of you are identified on the internet? We have well ...
3
votes
3answers
380 views

What's a good secure file deleter

I've used cipher \w which is built into Windows to overwrite free space but I'm looking for a tool that securely deletes files which have not been deleted yet. It would be a plus (but certainly not ...
3
votes
3answers
572 views

Protect partition from formatting

How can i protect my Linux and Windows partitions from being wiped,from a windows installation CD,with password?
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Is running an erase tool after an OS install sufficient to ensure no data from the old install is recoverable?

How secure do you consider this process? A drive has data from a previous OS installation. A new OS installation is made on the drive, and Heidi Eraser is run on free space. What are the chances ...
3
votes
3answers
184 views

How do I prevent SSD file recovery?

I use a Kingston V300 SSD (specifically SV300S37A) According to this answer The 'best' modern drives support a vendor-specific secure erase functionality. Examples of this are Intels new 320 ...
3
votes
2answers
907 views

Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile

I was reading about Windows Local Policy of "Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile". I need some clarification on this brief policy description: What do it mean by operating system that allow ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you erase a Blackberry without having direct access to the server?

I have a Blackberry with no access to the BIS or BES server that managed it. How does one erase and reset the device to defaults?
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Secure file deletion vs wiping free space

Say I only wanted to delete specific files and want to feel confident they can't be recovered. Is it better to use a specific program (such as Eraser) for wiping only the files, or is it better to ...
3
votes
2answers
899 views

Do any web browsers create cached copies of local HTML files?

Suppose that we create a sensitive file as a HTML document, and then view that file with a web browser such as Firefox, or other. Is it possible that the file is treated as if it were a document ...
2
votes
2answers
534 views

Is it a security issue that Thunderbird only logically deletes emails?

I have several e-mail accounts configured in Thunderbird. I just wanted to move an e-mail from one of my e-mail accounts [A] Trash folder to another accounts [B] Inbox folder. Because the moved e-mail ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

shred - different device size

When I need to properly wipe a harddrive, I tend to use shred on the whole device, i.e. pointing shred to the /dev/sdX without regard to particular partitions; however I noticed that the device size ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Prove that you deleted the file

Is it possible to prove a date that you Deleted a file through the recycle bin? I delete a folder of pictures 2 months ago and somebody is asking to prove that I did it.
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Does microwaving a hard drive erase it?

Kind of a silly question, but I'm genuinely curious: (in part because I recently saw several questions that refer to "nuking" a hard drive...) what would a microwave DO to an HDD? Would it erase data ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Wipe rewriteable optical media (CD, DVD, …) content

There are already several posts here discussing the specificities of magnetic hard disks and SSD and how to properly wipe their content: With magnetic disk a complete overwrite of the disk content ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Tools for Verifying Secure Deletion [closed]

It is recommended to verify the zeroing-out was done properly when you try to secure delete a HDD. From this post, some drives with firmware bugs prevent secure erase from working properly. What are ...
2
votes
4answers
119 views

Can data be forensically retrieved off an encrypted hard drive?

If a hard drive is encrypted, is it still possible to retrieve data off of it? What about if the password to decrypt it is known? If this is the case, given that OSX now encrypts your drive by ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Writing file shredder

I want to write a simple file shredder in c++, i.e. a program that deletes a file so that it is not recoverable. Would the following be a secure and correct way to do that? (1) Open the file with ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How to prevent user from recovering my iPhone data?

If I'm about to sell my iPhone 5, is there a way to make sure that the buyer won't be able to recover anything from my data? Both data that has been recently deleted and data that has been deleted ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Selling HDD - wiping

I am selling my HDD and I want to erase it. I would like to use DBAN, but it doesn't erase HPA and DCO, my question is, does it matter? What data can be here? And my second question - if I wipe HPA ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

How can I securely delete items in a database?

I know that to securely delete files on a system I have to apply some kind of secure deletion (overwritting empty clusters, for example). But when I want to delete some information on a database ...
1
vote
4answers
9k views

How do I securely erase USB flash drives?

I would like to know if there is a way to securely erase USB flash drives without a chance to recover data from it once it has been erased. I know, that programms like DBAN can be used to securely ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Decrypting a Truecrypt system - how to make deleted files unrecoverable? [duplicate]

If I have full disk encryption on my computer and want to decrypt it, but want to delete senstive documents before decrypting, how do I ensure they are unrecoverable post-decryption? Edit: I suspect ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

securely destroying data on an external hard drive [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I reliably erase all information on a hard drive? I purchased an external hard drive and have been saving various things including system backups to it. I got it ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between wiping vs deleting? [duplicate]

I was reading about the Mask malware on Kaspersky. And they mentioned this: “Several reasons make us believe this could be a nation-state sponsored campaign. First of all, we observed a very ...
0
votes
3answers
311 views

How to secure delete inside a virtual machine?

Here is a tricky one: Can you securely delete a file from a VM? I'm sure the answer is dependent on a million different variables, and I'm sure the answer is something like "not really" but I want ...