Secure-delete-files

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Description

When files are deleted, data still resides on the hard drive (though the reference to the file is removed). Even if the data is over-written by other files, it's still possible to restore the old files (there are tools for it). You will find below a list of tools for Mac OS, Windows and Linux to securely remove files.

Standards

US DoD 5220.22-M standard

DoD 5220.22-M is a software based data sanitization method used in various data destruction programs to overwrite existing information on a hard drive or other storage device.

The DoD 5220.22-M data sanitization method is based on a 3-passes (E-norm) or 7-passes process (ECE-norm):

  • Pass 1: Writes a zero and verifies the write
  • Pass 2: Writes a one and verifies the write
  • Pass 3: Writes a random character and verifies the write

Gutmann standard

The Gutmann method consists in writing 35 times on a hard drive. Gutmann himself considers this method as unuseful and outdated.

RCMP standard

The RCMP TSSIT OPS-II is a software based data sanitization method used in various data destruction programs to overwrite existing information on a hard drive or other storage device.

The RCMP TSSIT OPS-II data sanitization method is usually implemented in the following way:

  • Pass 1: Writes a zero
  • Pass 2: Writes one
  • Pass 3: Writes a zero
  • Pass 4: Writes one
  • Pass 5: Writes a zero
  • Pass 6: Writes one
  • Pass 7: Writes a random character and verifies the write

Tools

Mac OS

  • finder > empty trash in secure mode
  • CCleaner is also available for Mac OS.

Windows

eraser

The eraser utility

Features:

  • Supports US DoD 5220.22-M and Gutmann standards
  • On demand and Schedule deletion
  • Integration with explorer (contextual menu)
  • Also comes with a portable executable easy to install on a USB flash drive

Download

freeraser

The freeeraser utility

Features

  • Drag and drop
  • fast method
  • filling space with random data
  • US DoD 5220.22-M and Gutmann standards

Download

SDelete

The SDelete utility

Features

  • CLI (Command Line Interface) based tool
  • Supports DoD 5220.22-M with custom number of passes
  • Zero free space (optional)

Download

CCleaner

CCleaner

Features

  • Available for Windows and Mac
  • Supports US DoD 5220.22-M (1, 3 or 7-passes) and Gutmann (35 passes)
  • Applies to an entire drive (no selective file)

Download

DP Shredder

DP Shredder

Features

  • Supports RCMP, DoD 5220.22-M (3 and 7 passes) and Gutmann (35 passes)

Download

Linux

shred

$ sudo apt-get install coreutils

secure-delete

$ sudo apt-get install secure-delete
srm
Secure remove; used for deleting files or directories currently on your hard disk;
smem
Secure memory wiper; used to wipe traces of data from your computer’s memory (RAM);
sfill
Secure free space wiper; used to wipe all traces of data from the free space on your disk;
sswap
Secure swap wiper; used to wipe all traces of data from your swap partition.

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