Questions tagged [deletion]

Secure deletion of data.

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5answers
642 views

How to securely sanitize data tapes, and audit the results?

I work at an electronics recycling facility and we were just presented with an offer from a client that would like to buy our used data tapes. Our problem is that we have never sanitized data tapes as ...
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0answers
65 views

Windows disk write - does short write fill whole cluster?

Suppose I have a Windows program that writes to a hard disk. The hard disk has physical sectors of 512 byte length. These sectors are accessed as clusters of 4 kilobytes each. Therefore, each cluster ...
15
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3answers
5k views

Is there a real-world example of SSD data recovery?

Secure data deletion is known to be more complicated and elusive on a solid-state drive than for a regular hard drive. For instance, the logical block mapping on the SSD's flash translation layer ...
2
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2answers
135 views

Are deleted files more or less likely to be overwritten than blank space?

Let's say that I have some files on a hard drive (the data for each file is represented by a different letter): xxxoooozzzz--------------------   Now let's say that I delete file Z without ...
6
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3answers
299 views

Live OS : secure file deletion

In the case of a Live OS (i.e Tails) where filesystems are kept in RAM, is there any difference in the way a file is deleted ? Specific case considered : files "1.jpg" and "2.jpg" in a running Live ...
3
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3answers
350 views

I am leaving my company. I have been asked to leave my company laptop and a password to access it. What should i log out of

I have been asked to leave my company laptop with a password(which I will change and share) to access it. The reasons for this have been explained to me and are invalid, alas. I am going to assume ...
-4
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1answer
2k views

Can completely overwritten data be recovered? [closed]

Can data that has been completely overwritten ever be recovered regardless of device unless it is an SSD? By completely overwritten I mean that if data is written to a device for 2 years continuously ...
5
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2answers
460 views

Is it secure to overwrite unencrypted files with encrypted ones?

If I have a text file on my desktop and I encrypt it (as in replace it with an encrypted version, not create a secondary file) will the old file still be recoverable? In other words if you replace the ...
2
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3answers
689 views

Why use random value when overwriting files?

Often when I see people talking about safe deletion, I see lots of advice's that you should use random values to overwrite. My question is why is it better or more efficient than filling all bytes ...
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3answers
2k views

How to delete one exe file that is probably malware?

I stupidly saved an .exe file that claimed to be an urgent Firefox patch (318K). I haven't (and won't) run it, but how can I delete it so that it's gone, i.e. no risk to my Win7 laptop? I thought of ...
1
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1answer
202 views

Write to selected disk location to overwrite deleted file

I know that every file on a computer is written to a specific disk location. Using Python I want to locate the file and overwrite it in order for it to be impossible to retrieve it. Using an SSD I ...
2
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1answer
181 views

Are deleted offline calendar events in Android actually deleted?

When an Android app deletes a calendar event in a local (offline / non-synced) calendar, does Android's Calendar Storage (com.android.providers.calendar) actually delete the event or does it just flag ...
0
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1answer
521 views

How do I wipe a disk that DBAN can't read?

I have a Samsung 850 SSD that has recently been dying on me -- there appear to be some memory issues. I'm considering sending in the drive for replacement under the warranty program, but it contains ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Are files deleted before encrypting then formatted able to be retrieved?

On a drive I have a folder of files, I then just soft delete these files (not wiping them or overwriting with any data). After I soft delete them I encrypt the drive and wipe it with a single quick ...
2
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1answer
993 views

How to securely delete full vm

We have a Windows 7 virtual machine on VMware Workstation 11. The VM is now encrypted (using Workstation) but wasn’t always. The VM has confidential information on it and as we no longer need it, we ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Can a full SSD or HDD recover deleted data?

I've always been curious. It may be a stupid question but what if you deleted a file then filled up the SSD or HDD. Could your deleted data be recovered or is it physically impossible? I know Windows ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Can data be restored from a hard drive after using magnets to wipe the data? [duplicate]

Can a 512GB SATA hard disk be successfully restored after using magnets to wipe off it's data? From the movie: "The Core", https://youtu.be/g3KPSyNxnL8, rat using magnets to wipe his drive and puts ...
23
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3answers
8k views

To what extent does formatting a disk (securely) remove its data?

If the goal is to make data no longer retrievable, how secure is it to format the disk? I assumed formatting the disk overwrites free space (thus making it a safe bet no one's going to be able to ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Will completely wiping your hard drive remove all malware? [duplicate]

I recently bought a new computer. Now I want to convert my old PC into a Linux system. However, I want to start completely fresh and not bring over any malware. I am already planning to wipe ...
8
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1answer
964 views

Cases where DBAN has won

Are there any real life cases where software such as DBAN (to securely erase disks) has beaten government/law enforcement agencies? I found this online which lists each time encryption has beaten ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Magnet to wipe HDD [duplicate]

This question is for HDD, not SDD. Would a Neodymium magnet like this one be strong enough to wipe the contents of a hard disk drive? How long would such an act take to destroy any data so it's not ...
5
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2answers
8k views

What is the difference between the different wiping methods used by DBAN?

I was wondering what is the difference between the various wiping methodologies that DBAN offers DBAN Website Once you start the program, there are a few methods available for wiping the disk. 1.- ...
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1answer
2k views

Data wiping. SSD VS eMMC how are they the same and how are they different?

looking into how to properly erasing data from solid state devices is quite the topic with a different answer from just about every webpage I read. I understand there are issues with wiping data from ...
0
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2answers
382 views

How reliable is the method of overwriting deleted files with large files? [duplicate]

In addition to the question posted regarding purging data without formatting and the ability to recover data with forensic tools, how reliable is the method regarding overwriting with large file sets? ...
1
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1answer
263 views

Securely remove data from hard drive without killing recovery partition

Information Security vs Business question here: IT department asks me for a way to securely remove data from a hard drive because they want to sell old hardware. I suggest DBAN as a secure wipe ...
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2answers
156 views

Why don't OSes offer secure file erase/wipe? [duplicate]

Inspired from here: Why didn't OSes securely delete files right from the beginning? And why do they still not do this? The point that seems to be taken there is why it is not the default, but the ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Is there a risk that file shredders and free space wipers steal our confidential data?

I was wondering how secure are the file shredding software and free space wipers? Lets say we are using PC Windows, and software CCleaner (from piriform) or File Shredder (found here) to securely ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Deleted files and their traces

Lets say we delete various files , from hard disk A, with shift - delete , windows 8 . Then we copy new files to the same hard disk A. Then those new files we just copied there to hard disk A, we ...
88
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11answers
20k views

Why didn't OSes securely delete files right from the beginning? And why do they still not do this?

After decades of hearing that "delete" does not really make the data impossible to recover, I have to ask WHY the OS was not corrected long ago to do what it should have been doing all along? What is ...
2
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1answer
127 views

What full-disk secure erase solutions exist for SSDs (OS X)? [duplicate]

I want to back up the contents of my Macbook before encrypting it, but after I'm done, I would like to sanitize the SSD that I have backed up my files to, since it will be unencrypted (no point ...
6
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1answer
541 views

Method for securely removing files from a solid state drive

I've thought of a method for securely erasing single files on a solid state drive. This method will work only if the drive is encrypted, and it will work even if someone cracks the encryption key for ...
4
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1answer
4k views

Does the ATA Trim command irrecoverably delete data on an SSD?

I occasionally see people reference the difficulty of deleting data from an Solid State Disk. Because of the nature of SSDs (wear leveling, etc), simply writing to the same sector of the disk doesn't ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Wiping a computer of personal information while keeping the operating system intact

I have a unique situation but will try form this as a generally applicable Q&A: I must leave my Operating System intact, but completely wipe my information from the computer. How can I do this? ...
7
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4answers
2k views

How to avoid local caches when I open encrypted files

For personal usage I tend to keep things that I want to hide or protect in rar archives encrypted and protected with a password. Today I launched an antivirus scan, and as result it found malware in a ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Securely decommissioning a dedicated server

One of my dedicated hosting CentOS servers hit 12 years. I received an end-of-life notice on it, and I started receiving SMART errors as well. I guess it's time to let it go. But before I do, I'd like ...
3
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1answer
789 views

Why does UNIX `shred` command rename files to 000, then 00, then 0 before deleting?

I was using shred to get rid of some files and I noticed that it did the following: shred: 0000: renamed to 000 shred: 000: renamed to 00 shred: 00: renamed to 0 Does anyone know what's the point in ...
2
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1answer
160 views

Apple's Keychain - good security?

This management system runs under a user's password. Should you let this software manage your Disk Utility encrypted folder passwords and the like (e.g. GnuPG!)? My thoughts are, "No." Why should ...
3
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1answer
2k views

How long is the information on Facebook stored? [closed]

I was wondering how long Facebook stores our photos and posts? I hear two theories, one saying it is around half a year, after which all the data centers are going to erase our data. The other one ...
25
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4answers
3k views

Is a file shredder/secure erase necessary when you have full disk encryption turned on?

The password manager that I use has instructions to migrate to a new file format: Export existing passwords to a temporary text file Change password manager to new format Import passwords from ...
6
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1answer
688 views

What is the security value of chattr +s?

Most modern Linux file systems support extended attributes. +s is secure deletion which ensures (at least intends) that the data in a file is overwritten with zeros when the file is deleted. Some ...
2
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1answer
105 views

What is the risk of data being recovered from SAN storage after logical deletion?

The specific scenario involves Linux servers on VMware hosts with SAN storage. If files containing sensitive data are deleted by Linux, can they be recovered by a low level tool similar to what might ...
22
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3answers
2k views

I forgot to shred a file before deleting it (on Windows). How do I shred that part of file system now where the file was located?

My company has a policy that files have to be shredded after they've been read. They provide with a tool shred.exe that I run on the file and it overwrites it with garbage in the file system before ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Would the theory of creating tons of duplicates of a small file, 'wipe' the hard drive?

Mentioned here: https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-5521 I was just curious if this would really work. It makes sense to me. As long as they don't do reverse forensics on the bits on the hard ...
4
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1answer
663 views

Overwriting disk with random data vs. encrypted zeros

Most disk encryption guides recommend to overwrite the disk with random data before encryption, this is discussed here. However the time this takes with the "standard" source of random data can be ...
11
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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 default,...
3
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2answers
1k 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 is ...
3
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2answers
523 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 ...
19
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4answers
6k views

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

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 ...
4
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3answers
5k 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 ...