Details on how data is being kept in memory/on disks, most frequently being applied to databases, media banks and backup-recovery solutions.

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47
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
41
votes
8answers
7k views

What are some considerations before moving personal data to Google Drive?

I am considering uploading some (all) of my digital personal data to Google Drive. I guess this would instantly grant access for NSA to my data. (Is that right?) Who would have access to my data on ...
41
votes
4answers
25k 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?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

ZX Spectrum tape loader: how was copy prevention implemented?

I am curious how copy prevention was implemented for games or other programs loaded from cassette on the micro computers of the early 1980s, such as the ZX Spectrum 48k. If I recall correctly, some ...
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 ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Considerations for long-term key storage (paper backup, media for vault storage)?

I'm reviewing our company's security procedures regarding cryptographic keys and master passwords, and also my private system at home. The key generation process is pretty much the same as that ...
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How should an application store its credentials

When developing desktop applications, you will occasionally have to store credentials somewhere to be able to authenticate your application. An example of this is a Facebook app ID + secret, another ...
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
1answer
5k views

When using AES and CBC, is it necessary to keep the IV secret?

If I encrypt some data with a randomly generated Key and Initialization Vector, then store all three pieces of information in the same table row; is it necessary to encrypt the IV as well as the Key? ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

How secure is Intel SSD Encryption?

Are there any known flaws in the full disk encryption on Intel 520 series SSD drives? Specifically, it seems these drives generate an internal AES key automatically, even when no password is set. But ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it okay for API secret to be stored in plain text or decrypt-able?

Aren't API keys considered usernames and API secrets considered passwords? Why is it that API servers like Amazon Web Services allow you to view your API secret in plain text? It makes me think they ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it really secure to store API keys in environment variables?

This site says it is best to keep API keys in environment variable out of the code. And here Storing Credentials Securely You should take great care to ensure your credentials are stored ...
7
votes
1answer
878 views

Is the SD card write protection hard-wired or optional?

According to Wikipedia, the SD card reader recognizes if the little tab on the left of the SD card is in the "lock" position or not. Thus, a SD card reader can still write on the SD card even if the ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is Firefox Password Manager less secure than LastPass?

After installing the LastPass password manager, I am presented with a login dialog including the option to "Disable Insecure Firefox Password Manager". (This option appears as long as the Firefox ...
6
votes
6answers
20k views

It is safe to store photos and documents on skydrive / google cloud services?

I have over 20GB of photos and documents stored on my hard disk without a backup. I'm thinking about saving all of them in a cloud service such as Microsoft Skydrive or google cloud, but I'm wondering ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Implications of securing data in RAM

Someone told me that his company is storing all application data (at least the sensitive data I guess) in RAM for security. Their application runs for long periods of time, so data stays in memory for ...
6
votes
4answers
257 views

Where should a team store server credentials [duplicate]

Imagine we are working in a team of around 5 people. We all install new servers on a monthly base and need to find a better way of storing and sharing the server credentials ...
6
votes
1answer
438 views

How could a system be zero-knowledge?

I'm actually interested about zero-knowledge storage system. Those system where the storage provider claims he can't have any access to the data stored. As far I know, the data are encrypted using a ...
5
votes
3answers
252 views

Safe storage service for private keys

Is it currently technically (as opposed to financially) possible to provide a fairly secure means of providing a storage facility for private keys, not excluding physical verification etc? As in, you ...
5
votes
3answers
386 views

Are there any disadvantages to encrypting the password hash?

Is encrypting the password hash in database more secure than storing only the hash? Suppose we store encrypted SHA-256 result with AES instead of hash directly. Is this a good protection from a ...
5
votes
1answer
934 views

Do TrueCrypt volumes look like random data?

Let say I use Eraser (or other tools) to erase my hard drive (using DoD standards which is 7 times or Gutmann which is 35 times), These eraser tools just write random data on the hard drive many ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

If I fill a hypothetical 1gb HDD with 1024 single 1mb files, will all sectors be overwritten?

When a file is deleted, its only marked as an unused sector of a hard drive. Im wondering if it's possible to fill a 1gb HDD with 1024 individual 1mb files to completely use every sector?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Where do I securely store application-specific symmetric key?

I am writing an application App1. This application uses SQLite database and I plan to encrypt it using AES256. For symmetric encryption I need a key, which I need to store somewhere. From a similar ...
5
votes
2answers
921 views

Encrypt user data when they log in with Facebook, Gmail, etc

I made a login system. The user can login by: using a normal email / password (bcrypted). using a service like facebook, gmail, etc. So far so good. Now I want to store sensitive information (ftp ...
5
votes
2answers
672 views

What SSD maker has implemented Secure Erase to spec?

I have a Kingston hyperx drive circa 2012. I kicked off a secure erase on it. I then remounted the drive and was horrified (well, not really more like bemused) to see my whole parts of my old file ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

Security of PGP for Long-Term Storage

How secure are PGP/GPG encrypted mails? I realize that it's probably fine for regular e-mail scenarios, but what about the security over longer time periods (>30 years)? Is the 4096 bit limit for ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

How to securely store application data on mobile device

How can security be enhanced to the maximum in a messaging app storing messaging history on the device (like whatsapp)? I am specifically referring to methods to minimize the risk of the data being ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a commercially available self destructing HDD (set in BIOS) exist?

Does a self destructing HDD (physically destruction) that will destroy after a certain time exist, or when I use some software to initiate its self-destruction? I guess it need to be set in BIOS or ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Safe ways to store passwords without hashing them

I'm working on an email client for Windows, and to send emails, my application needs to have the email address and the password of that email address. When the user gives his password, I store it ...
4
votes
4answers
457 views

Security of Cloud Storage

What are the main security risks of popular cloud storage services such as Dropbox? I am torn between the convenience of cloud storage and the potential security risk of it. How can I evaluate whether ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Security of Microsoft OneDrive

A friend asked about putting some of his data on Microsoft's OneDrive. I did some research, and what I learned seems very surprising. It appears that all the user data on MS OneDrive is store ...
4
votes
3answers
608 views

Is it ok for software to store passwords locally in plain-text?

There are already plenty of questions about what to do when websites store plain-text passwords. But this one is a little different. I use a piece of open-source (see below) software for playing ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Does Windows have a built-in password store?

What passwords are stored in Microsoft Windows? How can I know what password are saved in computer?
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Keeping a user's passwords, but can't hash them

I'm making a web application to provide intermediary service for customers to facilitate their interaction with a set of other web applications. A simplified example would be to let a user access his ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How can salted, hashed password storage be combined with a plaintext, nonce and hash based authentication?

My understanding is as follows: To securely store a password (e.g. in a database), you use a hashing algorithm designed for this purpose (designed to be slow, e.g. bcrypt), and you use a unique salt ...
4
votes
3answers
98 views

Can I show Credit Card Data to final customers and be PCI Compliant?

I work with reservation management syatems. In the hospitality industry there is the concept of credit card as guarantee. By it when making any kind of reservation you are asked for your credit card ...
3
votes
3answers
233 views

How can a site know about insecure password?

I received an email from my web host recently that informed me I had an "insecure" password on one of my email accounts and that I had to change it. Their definition of what a secure password is as ...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

How can I ensure that Dropbox is using only its folder?

I'm using several cloude storage services, like Dropbox. Each have windows app for its synchronization, and this app actually can read anything from my disc, not just files from its 'synchronized' ...
3
votes
3answers
118 views

Are mail-servers removed from security concerns in contrast with cloud storage?

I have meet people and even businesses that are against using the cloud for data storage invoking security risks. In the same time they seem perfectly fine using email services (usually from obscure ...
3
votes
6answers
310 views

Is it okay to wrap a cryptographic hash with MD5 for storage?

Is there any security issues if you wrap your cryptographic hash with MD5 for storage purposes? For example: $hash = md5(hash($password,$salt,$rounds)); Note: hash() uses scrypt or bcrypt or pbkdf2 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Deduplication of Encrypted Files

Let's assume I have an 18GB database that is backed up nightly by dumping the database and then encrypted using a modern algorithm such as AES-256. This database has a daily update of rate of ...
3
votes
5answers
512 views

PCI-DSS and salt storage

PCI-DSS states the following: 3.5 Protect any keys used to secure cardholder data against disclosure and misuse I have a service which stores a salted bcrypt hash of the user's PAN. Assuming the ...
3
votes
2answers
459 views

How Securely Store Sensitive Data on Mobile Appliation

i want to develop a mobile bank app (windows phone, android, ios) that interact with bank channel. first time when user opens application the key exchange process begins and at end of this process a ...
3
votes
2answers
537 views

How secure is the private storage of a mobile app

Are there any know security flaws/hacks to gain access to the private storage(file system or SQLite database) of Android and iOS applications? What measures do Google and Apple take to "prevent" ...
3
votes
3answers
102 views

How is truncation according to PCI DSS secure?

In section 3.3 of the PCI standard, it says that when displaying PANs, limiting visibility to the first 6 and last 4 digits of the PAN is considered secure. Doing some quick math, on a 16 digit PAN, ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Optimise user data fetch using S3

I'm writing a mobile app that communicates with my server using REST. Upon every launch, the app makes a call to the server api to check whether there was a change in the user details (using a ...
3
votes
2answers
892 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
53 views

Is it safer to store valuable information on a unsecure client or send the data through the internet?

Background: I'm creating a secure web app with the purpose to act as a no-knowledge storage for small data (we're talking a few bytes). Since all the encryption and decryption happens client-side, ...
3
votes
1answer
209 views

How to store client secret securely on application base in Windows?

I would like to store valuable client data (ex. passwords, OAuth tokens) in a way that they will be accessible only from one application (separation on application base). The mechanism must be ...