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165 votes
Accepted

Wiping an SSD with Parted Magic seemed too quick

Modern SSDs use a technology called SED which allows instant erasure. It works by transparently encrypting the entire drive and keeping the key on the drive. ATA Secure Erase is then implemented by ...
forest's user avatar
  • 66.8k
155 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

This approach to data destruction is theatrical and has little grounding in reasonable threat models. The most effective policy to ensure safe and responsible disposal of SSDs is: Use full-disk ...
Polynomial's user avatar
  • 135k
51 votes
Accepted

Does the destruction of sensitive information limit the choice of hard drives to non-flash based devices?

Data destruction is a technique of last resort. If you are planning to use a new storage device, you should use full disk encryption. This allows you to either destroy the encrypted master key or ...
forest's user avatar
  • 66.8k
18 votes

How secure is hardware Full disk encryption (FDE) for SSD's

TL;DR: Do not use hardware encryption on any storage medium no matter whether it's a thumb drive, an HDD, or an SSD! That's a really, really bad idea! Hardware manufacturers are know to have included ...
UTF-8's user avatar
  • 2,330
18 votes
Accepted

Should I trust that the Android factory reset actually erases my data?

All android 7+ devices are enrolled with File Based Encryption (FBE) that encrypts /data partition from first boot. FBE keys are bound to TEE and user screen lock authentication. On factory reset, TEE ...
defalt's user avatar
  • 6,861
16 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

If you really want to be sure the data is unrecoverable, take the drive to a place that does document and hard drive shredding. They'll put the drive through a machine that will shred it into hundreds ...
mti2935's user avatar
  • 23.6k
13 votes

Does the destruction of sensitive information limit the choice of hard drives to non-flash based devices?

Tl;dr: Because you can never trust all storage drives to securely wipe themselves, you must plan as if none of your drives can be securely wiped. Placing a dependency on the type of media is not the ...
John Deters's user avatar
  • 34.2k
12 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

It appears that heat is unreliable to erase data on memory chips (the flame of a butane lighter, like yours, burns at under 1430 °C). However, the nail in the chips will prevent them to be readable ...
A. Hersean's user avatar
  • 10.5k
10 votes

How to erase as much as possible an SSD without ATA Secure Erase?

I don't know why you say that SSDs implement ATA Security Erase improperly. Modern ones implement it using SED (which uses an encryption key known to the drive and stored in non-volatile memory for ...
guest's user avatar
  • 246
10 votes
Accepted

Is GNU shred relevant for SSDs?

The Gutmann method is not useful for any modern device, whether a hard drive or a solid state drive. The fact that you cannot safely wipe a solid state drive due to wear leveling is irrelevant. For ...
forest's user avatar
  • 66.8k
10 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

I joined from SO just to suggest this (also was unable to just upvote Polynomial's fantastic post above, so I figured I'd just add another way to destroy it successfully). Scrub rust off of some iron ...
Jimmio92's user avatar
  • 209
8 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to take an image of the firmware of HDD and SSD?

There is a standard to write firmware, the ATA DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE command and the segmented version (transfer protocol 3), but there is no standard for reading the firmware back. As another answer ...
forest's user avatar
  • 66.8k
8 votes
Accepted

How to securely erase the free space on an SSD in windows 10?

Assuming that the SSD has a properly implemented TRIM function, then Free Space should already be wiped for you, this is what TRIM does as a side effect of preparing deleted/unallocated files for ...
user10216038's user avatar
  • 8,123
8 votes

Have I properly destroyed my SSD?

@Polynomial is right that software full-disk encryption, enabled from the beginning of the drive's lifetime, is the best way to protect your data. (I don't trust ATA Secure Erase—it's too hard to ...
Kevin Riggle's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Password managers and SSD wear and tear

TL;DR: Full-disk encryption: do not blindly trust what is repeated on the Internet. While there is some technical truth behind these claims they may be incomplete or not match current technologies. ...
WhiteWinterWolf's user avatar
7 votes

How does full disk encryption cater for overprovisoned disk space in flash devices and can this result in data leakage?

FDE does not need to know anything about overprovisioning. If the partition is encrypted, no plain-text will ever be written anywhere. Blocks reserved for wear leveling will either have un-initialized ...
ThoriumBR's user avatar
  • 54.4k
7 votes
Accepted

How does full disk encryption cater for overprovisoned disk space in flash devices and can this result in data leakage?

If you encrypt the disk from the start, when you first start using it, then this isn't a problem. All data you write is encrypted and remapped sectors just lead to encrypted data being remanent on the ...
Polynomial's user avatar
  • 135k
6 votes

How BIOS password stored internally?

Is password hashed before saving to CMOS? Depends on the BIOS. Which hash algorithm is used? Depends on the BIOS. How much storage is dedicated for passwords? Depends on the BIOS. What is ...
DepressedDaniel's user avatar
6 votes

ATA Secure Erase is too fast

This is most likely entirely normal, because of how modern SSDs are designed. When you use ATA secure erase it is not wiping the whole disk. It is removing the encryption keys on the drive controller, ...
David's user avatar
  • 744
5 votes

SSD Erasure verification

Because of the way SSDs manage writes, it is not possible to truly verify that data has been erased without modifying the low-level firmware on the drive itself. Below are the features SSDs have (wear ...
forgetful's user avatar
  • 209
5 votes
Accepted

HDD password vs Bitlocker

There's no practical way to inspect the Samsung disk's implementation of AES-256. The same is true of the Bitlocker algorithm, but the software implementation has a few advantages: Microsoft can ...
mgjk's user avatar
  • 7,525
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 ...
Overmind's user avatar
  • 8,899
5 votes
Accepted

Does full disk encryption offer mitigation in the case of the firmware of an SSD being compromised?

Partially. Full disk encryption, when done through software (e.g. LUKS), means that a compromised storage device will only ever see encrypted data, never decrypted data. It will never have access to ...
forest's user avatar
  • 66.8k
5 votes
Accepted

Does formatting an SSD securely delete all data?

In theory, yes.* In reality, it depends on the SSD's implementation of TRIM. TRIM is an optimization. Its actual implementation is left up to the manufacturer. Currently, most SSD manufacturers will ...
forest's user avatar
  • 66.8k
4 votes

Integrity of an SSD forensic image

The "solution" is to thoroughly document your imaging procedure, including pictures, chain of custody, write blockers, and so on, so that if/when someone does call your methodology into question, you ...
fallacy's user avatar
  • 66
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 ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 498
4 votes
Accepted

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....
Joshua Murphy's user avatar
3 votes

How do I verify that my FDE/SED Opal SSD is indeed encrypted

You cannot independently verify the encryption function of OPAL drives because: the encryption and password-derivation happens transparently: you either have a password-protected disk which doesn't ...
flakeshake's user avatar
3 votes

How to erase as much as possible an SSD without ATA Secure Erase?

Short answer: Disabling the HPA and resetting the DCO only unhides previously reserved sectors on the drive, and does not involve any secure erasure itself. It only makes these sectors available to ...
aguest's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

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

At a stage where the OS cannot do even raw read/writes to the disk you have usually lost as a normal user. Further access is probably only possible by using special functions in the firmware which ...
Steffen Ullrich's user avatar

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