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Erasing An SSD Hard Drive? Not So Fast...

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Since more and more people are heading this way, this is some advice that may keep you out of trouble! :batman:

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    It's surprisingly difficult to permanently and securely delete data from a Solid State Drive (SSD) or USB flash drive, some researchers have discovered. If you have a portable USB flash drive, or a laptop with an SSD hard drive, here's something you need to know...

    Sanitizing Flash and SSD Hard Drives

    I've written previously about erasing all the data from your hard drive, in my article Completely Erase a Hard Drive. So you may know that simply issuing the DELETE and/or FORMAT commands really just hide (rather than irretrievably erase) the data. That's why there are special programs written for that purpose.

    What you probably didn't know is that those programs work very well for traditional magnetic hard drives, but not well at all for flash drives or SSD hard drives. Even worse, researchers at the Non-Volatile Memory Lab at UC San Diego have discovered that many solid-state drive vendors have not properly implemented the "sanitizing" features of SSD standards, leaving random clusters of data still on a supposedly "cleaned" drive.

    Even physically damaging an SSD drive may not be enough. In a paper entitled, Destroying Flash Memory-Based Storage Devices, the researchers calculate how finely one must grind up a flash-based storage device to ensure that its contents can't be retrieved by spies of three different levels of sophistication.

    It's not enough to just break a flash drive in half or drill a few holes in it. At the least, you must make sure the biggest piece is no more than 7.5mm (about ¼-inch) in its longest dimension. Frustrating a hypothetical worst-case spy who has unlimited resources and time requires grinding the storage device up into nanoparticles.

    http://askbobrankin.com/erasing_a_hard_drive_not_so_fast.html

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    and on a related note...

    8 Bizarre Cases of Internet Searches Used as Evidence:
    http://www.oddee.com/item_98930.aspx
     
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  2. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The (literally) sure fire way to destroy a SSD is to put it in an old truck rubber tire, drop some diesel in and light it up. I assure you not even CSI movies can recover one after that.

    Either way, the thought of destroying a marvellous SSD drive makes me cringe.
     
  3. artcore

    artcore Newbie

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    Try covering it in fox poo; if anyone's willing to try after that, they're welcome to whatever secrets I've left lying around. [It is, to date, the most noxiously vile smelling substance I've encountered in my life - kind of like being punched in the nose with faeces.]
     
  4. auxiliarus

    auxiliarus Regular Member

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    Don't download any programs, just fill the USB with 0's and then re-format it to ext4 or ntfs, whatever.
     
  5. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    better yet, don't store anything incriminating on it in the first place!
     
  6. Clifton Allen Says

    Clifton Allen Says Junior Member

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    Simply run a strong magnet over it!!
     
  7. auxiliarus

    auxiliarus Regular Member

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    Good advice, saves a lot of time, lol.
     
  8. auxiliarus

    auxiliarus Regular Member

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    And then fuck up your USB, nice idea, Sherlock.