43 votes

How to safely wipe a USB flash drive

To quote the ISM (Australia's military standards for cyber security). Security Control: 0359; In flash memory media, a technique known as wear levelling ensures that writes are distributed evenly ...
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  • 1,349
23 votes
Accepted

How to safely wipe a USB flash drive

Next time you're about to put sensitive data on a flash drive, consider encrypting it first! Strongly encrypted data is useless without the key, and if you securely erase the drive first, all that ...
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17 votes

How to safely wipe a USB flash drive

A quick check at amazon.com shows 64GB USB drives in non-designer cases go for about $20. Less if you buy in bulk. Since you want "quick and efficient" lets factor in the time needed to overwrite the ...
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  • 179
14 votes

How do I securely erase USB flash drives?

UPDATE: Upon looking back it looks like using random data is not really necessary as a successful platter-level 'previous state' attack on a zeroed drive has yet to be proven possible in a real-world ...
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13 votes
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RAM Encryption. Is it possible?

Without adding any additional hardware, is RAM encryption possible? Sure. You can encrypt whatever you like in RAM, just like you encrypt everything else. The more interesting quesstion is "where are ...
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  • 9,470
11 votes

Is it possible to completely wipe a flash memory?

This topic has already been covered here and there. To sum up: If you simply overwrite the complete disk (as a block) with data (random, null bytes... it does not matter), then there may be parts of ...
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11 votes
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Recovery of EEPROM data after bulk erase operation

summary If you decap the dies, you can. The pads exist but are not bonded but available. The reason that you can get the information is that the timers that are used to inject and tunnel the ...
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  • 546
9 votes
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Is the SD card write protection hard-wired or optional?

Wikipedia is correct: on SD cards, you have to trust the host system (whatever the card is plugged in to) to honor the physical write protect switch. Here is the relevant text from the publicly ...
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  • 9,263
7 votes

How do I securely erase USB flash drives?

Without knowing your particular use case I'll supply an alternative answer that you might find useful, and it's one I use myself. Encrypt the data stored on the device. Use a device such as the ...
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  • 1,020
5 votes

Is moving data between devices on an SD Card safer than a USB stick?

While SD cards cannot be programmed to behave as a different key of USB device like a keyboard (i.e. Bad USB) they have their own vulnerabilities since they also contain firmware which can be hacked. ...
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5 votes

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

Recovery is only possible under certain conditions: have an older SSD with no TRIM support or have Windows XP (as it does not support TRIM) or another old OS with no TRIM support or you connect the ...
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  • 8,799
5 votes

Can wiped SSD data be recovered?

I'd like to refer to this video. It explains how data can be recovered from HDDs using thresholds. Which includes that the given signal-level returned from a HDD ain't only based on the current ...
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  • 2,740
4 votes

RAM Encryption. Is it possible?

Absolutely, particularly if you are using RAM as non-persistent storage in which case you can encrypt it like any disk, file or directory after partitioning it off and mounting it in namespace. ...
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  • 1,221
4 votes

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

My very first thought: Nobody can be absolutely sure that something has not happened, so the only acceptable answer to your question would be an example. I'm trying to explain my thoughts on why you ...
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  • 498
3 votes

Is it possible to retrieve flash-based encrypted disks content (SSD, cellphones, USB sticks, ...) after password wipe/replacement?

It is indeed possible that the block containing the key cannot be properly erased. That's why LUKS uses AFsplit to store the key on disk. The idea is essentially to expand a key that would normally ...
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3 votes
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Lighteater - BIOS/UEFI vulnerable

First, there's a terminology issue when talking about this stuff. Strictly, 'BIOS' and 'UEFI' are different programming interfaces for the firmware present on PC motherboards. However, in a PC context,...
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3 votes

Anonymity of sneakernet: identifiable information on removable storage

Very plausible. Windows stores device information from connected USB devices in the registry, this is commonly used in forensics. If you attach an iPod/iPhone, it can leave traces on the local ...
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  • 9,691
3 votes
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Read-only vs. Write-protected

Read-only means one can only read from it. Write-protected means that writing is possible but controlled. Those controls can fail. If "read-only" is defined in the hardware, then it will always be ...
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  • 123k
2 votes

What SSD maker has implemented Secure Erase to spec?

Who are you defending against? No, really, because remember, with SSD, there are sectors that go bad that are no longer writable. With ATA Secure Erase, the drive is also supposed to erase the ...
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2 votes

Can wiped SSD data be recovered?

Encrypted data cannot be decrypted unless you use the hash key or password, but it is an offence to withhold the key when ordered to reveal it by a court. Also, securely shredding may get rid of the ...
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  • 21
2 votes

My boss knew I had put a file onto a memory stick?

This depends on the logging which was in place on your system when you were doing the copy. Logging the file copy is not enabled by default. There are other programs you can indirectly get that ...
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  • 8,913
2 votes

How do I securely erase USB flash drives?

Encrypt a large picture of noise such that the file size occupies most of the drive. Do the same for a medium sized picture and then a small picture. Copy the large picture to the drive and if you ...
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  • 21
2 votes

How do I securely erase USB flash drives?

Make a big file full of random data that fills the entire device. Delete it then do it all over again a few times. This should defeat load leveling.
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2 votes

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

Modern solid state drives use SED (Self-Encrypting Drive) for secure erasure, specifically via the ATA Enhanced Security Erase functionality found in many drives. The drives store an encryption key in ...
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  • 199
2 votes

Linux command to wipe files on an SD Card?

Flash storage is inherently different from spinning disk storage at a physical, and operational level. Unlike spinning disks, flash storage has a limited amount of write cycles. The solution to ...
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  • 21.5k
2 votes

How is it possible that hardware-encrypted flash devices are safe?

How is this in the case of hardware-encrypted pendrives? E.g. this one. Does one always require installation of drivers / software for such a device? Yep, generally devices like that require special ...
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  • 38.7k
2 votes
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How to physically destroy an SSD at home?

The most practical option for physically destroying an SSD is to simply use a hammer. If you can, open the SSD and locate the data-bearings chips and make sure that each chip is sufficiently destroyed....
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2 votes

I snapped my micro SD card into 8 pieces before throwing it away. Should I be worried that someone can get my data?

Should you be worried? No! Is it technically possible, probably. Here is an example SD card Xray, although not specifically a SanDisk. The memory chips are very small and unless you broke that ...
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  • 7,298
1 vote

Linux command to wipe files on an SD Card?

Are there any commands, tools or python libraries to securely wipe files from an SD card (flash memory)? There are many tools that can "securely" wipe files from the "block-level" disk (i.e., the ...
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  • 4,772

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