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Questions tagged [deletion]

Secure deletion of data.

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3 answers
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How file deletion works?

If deleting files just removes the references then why not just delete the actual files instead of just removing the references? Just removing the references leaves the file intact until it is ...
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Deleted Message history on my iPhone is still on Apple Watch [migrated]

My partner has a message on his Apple Watch but denying it came from him. I searched his iPhone and couldn’t find the original message. Could this message have came from his Apple Watch only or ...
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2 answers
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If we open a file using a program, but then later securely delete that file, is it possible for that file to be recovered via that program?

Or I open a video using vlc media player, and later delete it securely. Does vlc "retain" some of the parts of that video even after deletion?
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2 answers
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How do I delete files securely? [duplicate]

I'm trying to make an app that can encrypt files and decrypt them on demand(for educational purposes) I need a way to: delete the file from where it was before delete the file each time the app ...
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How secure is BIOS nvme sanitization/secure erase

Googleing or just casually browsing this very site one could easily encounter scary stories about malware that gets into firmware of external drives or infects the BIOS. If someone uses a few years ...
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What is the best method to safely erase Flash Drive, Hard Disk and NAND Flash from Smartphone? [duplicate]

I am consulting here to find out how the content of a storage device can be erased so that it is not recoverable. When I say, that it is not recoverable, I do not mean that methods that are too ...
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1 vote
1 answer
130 views

Log4shell - Should affected servers be "nuked from the orbit"?

Considering how log4shell seems trivial to exploit and the important control level it gives to an attacker, should we wipe everything affected and start over? For example, we find out that a publicly ...
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1 answer
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Can SD cards on mobile phones and tablets truly be erased?

When performing a factory reset on Android devices, it is my understanding that the pointers to the data located in the SD card are simply erased while the data itself remains intact, waiting for ...
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2 answers
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What happens to apps, files, objects in a VM if it gets deleted

Usually, when a file is deleted on your computer, it is simply unlinked. The file data is still stored on your disk, there's just nothing pointing to that spot in the memory, and the OS interprets ...
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Encrypting file = Overwriting file?

When thinking of encrypting a file (also how I implemented it in a program of mine), I think of getting the data of a file, encrypting it, and writing it back into the file (overwriting the file). But ...
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1 vote
2 answers
160 views

Which temperature ensures permanent erasure of data on flash?

Which heat ensures permanent loss of data on flash memory, in particular, on consumer-grade USB thumb drives (e.g., http://www.amazon.de/dp/B085SXT9FS or http://www.hood.de/0094819941.htm )? How long ...
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1 vote
1 answer
371 views

How can I wipe an infected SSD [duplicate]

Recently my PC fell subject to some malware. The malware is hidden and all the antivirus software can't find/detect it. The things it has done so far is spyware like, it disabled System Restore from ...
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Is there some way to "fully delete" received and sent SMS messages (and any other "deleted" data") on my cellphone?

I have a cheap cellphone bought about ten years ago. It has a physical SIM card. I have in-phone "deleted" all sent and received messages, but very strongly suspect that these are still ...
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Unable to wipe corrupted-on-format Veracrypt USB drive (write-protection issue)

At the end of the process of formatting a large USB drive with VeraCrypt, I was told there was a hardware error that had caused corruption. Possibly a bad build block that third party software could ...
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Is there a fullproof way to safely erase SSD data, without physically destroying it?

During my search for an answer to this question I found that TRIM may not be reliable(https://blog.elcomsoft.com/2019/01/life-after-trim-using-factory-access-mode-for-imaging-ssd-drives/)as well as ...
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Securely deleting Volume Shadow Service (VSS) in Windows 10

Suppose that VSS is enabled and snapshots exist. If I run a program to wipe the free disk space on my drive, would this delete the VSS snapshots? It might do since the program works by filling up the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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If SSDs cannot be securely wiped then why can't we recover files after crypto virus attack?

It is my understanding that SSDs do not allow user to overwrite any specific file completely (wear-leveling). So in case of ransomware attack such as CryptoLocker, doesn't that mean there is still, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
418 views

What is encryption key reset and why it is safer than zero-write?

I am about to return my ThinkPad laptop to my (former) employer. I found a very nice solution to erase / protect my private data -- ThinkWipe application in ThinkPad's BIOS. I made use of it right ...
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1 answer
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Does certutil -delkey actually delete the certificate and private key?

I am trying to delete a certificate and it's private key using certutil -csp "Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider v1.0" -delkey "the key container". This gave me a command ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Print sensitive info without leaving data on the printer

I'm not sure if there is already a question here about this because I can't find anything. But I'm wondering if there are any "safer" ways to print sensitive information without leaving ...
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Does running "rm -P /path/to/file" secure erase file from a data forensic perspective when used on spinning disk?

According to man rm: Overwrite regular files before deleting them. Files are overwritten three times, first with the byte pattern 0xff, then 0x00, and then 0xff again, before they are deleted. How ...
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1 vote
3 answers
273 views

Reccomended way to securely erase SSD storage of a smartphone? [duplicate]

As far as what I understand there are different approaches and I have a few doubts regarding each of them: On the one hand, it seems that factory reset does not securely erase itself data from SSD ...
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0 answers
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secure deletion in virtual machines [duplicate]

when we securely delete a volume in a machine which is installed in a virtual machine or docker, for example by overwriting 7 times or more, we securely delete the data in virtual disk (in guest) and ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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How to ensure that information deleted from external hard drive cannot be recovered after being sold? [duplicate]

I've finished migrating data from several drives on to one newer disk. The older drives were a mix of old mechanical drives, thumb (flash) drives, and SSDs. Now I will dispose of the worthless drives ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Storage media byte state from shelf and after different formatting algorithms

We are told to erase (overwrite) sensitive files, not only simply "delete" it (i.e. only remove the information where it exists). For the moment being, I'd like to focus on the following and ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Do external harddrives keep track of the computers they're plugged in to?

I know that it's possible for a computer to set up logging or auditing, and keep track of what devices are plugged into IT. But do external harddrives keep track of what computers THEY are ever ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How do I destroy references to wiped files?

I partially wiped my hard drive using the null-fill method through command prompt by copying a 1 Gigabyte file filled with NULL over and over until I ran out of space. After that I tried recovering ...
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1 vote
2 answers
166 views

Deleted files still detectable with Wondershare RecoverIt

Basically I have a few files / folders that I want permanently deleted. I deleted them securely with hardwipe, but when I try to search into the folder where they were located with Wondershare ...
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1 vote
3 answers
517 views

Is Eraser secure and efficient?

I have come across a file eraser called Eraser, and I have two questions about it: Are file erasers sufficient for completely removing secure files/folders on a computer (meaning is it possible, in ...
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1 answer
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Can File Shredder shred just one file? [closed]

Can File Shredder be used to purge specifically Temporary Internet Files rather than the whole disk? Is there any option to just shred the Temporary Internet Files, and nothing else? Is this a good ...
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2 votes
1 answer
247 views

Erasing hard drives (HDD & SSD) for donation

I'm planning to donate a laptop to a school, for kids to use from home during the pandemic. It's my previous work/development laptop, so I want to erase the drives as securely as possible (within ...
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0 votes
2 answers
9k views

What information do ISPs delete after retention period?

Whenever I read something like "ISPs store your data" or "ISPs delete your data after 6 months" or anything like that, I imagine data to be the following things: (1) At what time I ...
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0 answers
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Wiping a hard large hard drive efficiently but securely step by step

I want to sell my old 4TB Hard Drive. Of course I want no one to steal my data. Overwriting the whole drive with zeros with dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda would take about 18h. But I cannot reboot my PC ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Still able to recover files after running cipher.exe on windows 7

After running cipher.exe on my entire C: drive, I'm still able to recover deleted files using recuva. In fact, doing a before and after, I see no discernible difference in the files that are able to ...
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0 votes
2 answers
285 views

How to secure file delete/wipe on mobile phones?

With old HDD to secure delete a file you need to use Gutmann standard, but with new HDD you can use only 1 pass overwrite I'm not sure what hard drives mobile phones use and don't know how many passes ...
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6 votes
3 answers
292 views

Using an example to comprehend why “safely” erasing a drive yields better results than filling it up with meaningless data

A hypothetical 1GB USB stick is full of sensitive documents/images/etc. and it is not encrypted. The owner wishes to discard it and is aware of having to safely erase it first. There are several tools ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Destroying data on storage drives via overwrite methods really doesn't work?

I'm going to sell a computer hard drive on the Internet, it's a 500GB SATA hard drive, I really used it 3 or 2 years ago, I never used it again, I used about 20 or 40% of the space. I have read about ...
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1 vote
2 answers
288 views

What’s the best way to permanently delete data from your iPhone?

As the title suggests what’s the best way to permanently delete data from an iPhone. I know when you delete something, it’s not really deleted, but merely marked as ‘free space’. So how, on an iPhone, ...
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39 votes
7 answers
8k views

At what point is deleted data irrecoverable?

From reading around on the internet I get the impression that barring physical damage, deleted data can be always be recovered using sophisticated digital forensics. For this reason the advice is ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Secure deletion on Android

My understanding is if I delete photo001.jpg, this deletes the index and assigns it to the free space to be overwritten. So this brings me onto my next scenarios. If I have a device capable of 8gb ...
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1 vote
1 answer
100 views

How to verify secure erasure of Android and Apple mobile devices

I'm aware of how to securely sanitise and verify the sanitisation of data from both HDDs and SSDs, but mobile phones complicate this due to being there a lot of proprietary layers standing between the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
600 views

Parted Magic Secure Erase Verification Level

I've been experimenting with the latest Parted Magic Secure Erase to wipe HDDs and SSDs. After the Secure Erase completes, I noticed in the logs that the verification level is 10%. Excerpt from the ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Is it possible to delete all traces and files on a mac? [duplicate]

Is it possible to delete all traces and files on a mac, so no one can recover files and there will be no traces at all for this files or any activity?
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0 votes
1 answer
266 views

Can the photos/videos I deleted a year ago can still be on my iPhone or on the Internet?

I have been getting paranoid lately and decided to ask for your insight on this issue. A year ago, I took photos of some personal information (cc, passport, etc), and deleted them a month later, along ...
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1 vote
2 answers
415 views

Does crypto shredding count as deletion in regards to CCPA?

I have a compliance question around crypto shredding and CCPA. I'm basically just wondering if crypto shredding is sufficient to comply with the CCPA customer deletion requests. I know that crypto ...
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1 vote
2 answers
156 views

Benefit of remote wipe when the drive is encrypted?

How much is "remote wipe" beneficial for company data protection on company laptops, assuming that the storage is encrypted? I understand it so that only determined, targeting attackers are ...
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26 votes
5 answers
8k views

Permanently erasing a file

As far as I know, there is a table of files present in the hard drive that does not contain the data of each file but can point you to it. When you delete a file, the record of it gets deleted from ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Detect use a private key by more than one or by someone other than the owner [closed]

I'm designing a protocol over the SSL but I faced a challenge. In the network each user takes a private key from authority. I want to just the owner can use his/her the private key. there are two ...
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to make information unrecoverable?

I manage a company's equipment and the manager has used a piece of equipment for the last 3 years. He told me, that he will give that equipment to one of the employees. However, he has told me to ...
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2 votes
2 answers
297 views

Fetching GPG private key from Linux server to decrypt files on a Win 10 computer in production

I have a need to fetch automatically the GPG private key from a Linux server to decrypt files on a Windows 10 computer in production. There are a few challenges here: How to assure SCP from the ...
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