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Windows 7: Flash drives dangerously hard to purge of sensitive data

21 Feb 2011   #1
Airbot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
Flash drives dangerously hard to purge of sensitive data

Quote:
When secure wiping isn't

In research that has important findings for banks, businesses and security buffs everywhere, scientists have found that computer files stored on solid state drives are sometimes impossible to delete using traditional disk-erasure techniques.

Even when the next-generation storage devices show that files have been deleted, as much as 75 percent of the data contained in them may still reside on the flash-based drives, according to the research, which is being presented this week at the Usenix FAST 11 conference in California. In some cases, the SSDs, or sold-state drives, incorrectly indicate the files have been "securely erased" even though duplicate files remain in secondary locations.
more..


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21 Feb 2011   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Very interesting....might just hang onto all those old flashdrives for a while yet.
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21 Feb 2011   #3
Ciara

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 

Could that cause a problem when performing a clean install of an Operating System ? residue of the previous Operating System could cause system problems.
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21 Feb 2011   #4
metalmania31

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

Looks like the only sure fire way is to actually physically destroy the drive after using it to it's max life.
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21 Feb 2011   #5
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I had thought about buying an SSD, but this may change that. It is not that I have all that much data that I need to secure, but it doesn't take much to be significant. The idea of a lost or stolen drive has never been very nice, but with these I would even be concerned about RMAing one. It makes it sound as though the only safe method of securing data is a big hammer.

EDIT: Seems that metalmania31 and I were thinking along the same lines.
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21 Feb 2011   #6
Fayla

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
 
 

I always physically destroy my old flash drives / hard drives anyway, so this isn't a concern for me. But as someone said, this makes SSDs even more unappealing.
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21 Feb 2011   #7
Ciara

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 

I was to buy a SSD drive later this year as part of a new computer build ... I may well be looking at a mechanical drives now
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21 Feb 2011   #8
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

Perhaps one way to "secure wipe" it would be to put it through a looping defragmentation. Perhaps even a constant and looping performance test using HDTUNE or similar. These are known to shorten the life of the SSD (although I'm not sure exactly what that means).

Perhaps some SSD guru's could comment on that?

I tend to keep my sensitive data off the SSD, so perhaps its not as big an issue at the moment.

Regards,
Golden
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21 Feb 2011   #9
Zepher

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ciara View Post
I was to buy a SSD drive later this year as part of a new computer build ... I may well be looking at a mechanical drives now
Why would this info change your mind? do you often lose your hard drive?
Also, if your mechanical drive fails and you RMA it, the Data is still on it.
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21 Feb 2011   #10
Dzomlija

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

This is no problem that an incinerator won't solve...
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 Flash drives dangerously hard to purge of sensitive data




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