[Security and Privacy] Your Computer is lying to you

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[Security and Privacy] Your Computer is lying to you

Postby Wighar on Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:59 pm

Is my computer lying to me? :lame:

Well Yes it is, "How?" you may wonder, well lets take something simple as an example, you recently bought the next version of your Operating system say Windows XP to Vista, ro even Vista to Windows 7.
now either you do a so called "clean" install, this is when you format your harddrive before installing the OS or even delete the partition and make a new one and format it before the installation.

Ok so it's clean right?, well.. no, its called Data Remanence
Wikipedia quote for 'Data Remanence' wrote:Data remanence is the residual representation of data that has been in some way nominally erased or removed. This residue may be due to data being left intact by a nominal delete operation, or through physical properties of the storage medium. Data remanence may make inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information possible, should the storage media be released into an uncontrolled environment (e.g., thrown in the trash, or given to a third-party).

Over time, various techniques have been developed to counter data remanence. Depending on the effectiveness and intent, they are often classified as either clearing or purging/sanitizing. Specific methods include overwriting, degaussing, encryption, and physical destruction.


To technical?, heres the simpler explanation, when performing things like new partition and format operations on a harddrive it dosent really clean out all files completly infact it leaves much of it behind and this can be extracted in a few ways, you are probably used to the Windows trashcan that holds files that you removed.
:!: Fact: Windows Trashcan is a Hidden folder where files are moved to and only appear as if removed from the apparent harddrive, thus making it easy for the common user to return deleted files.

but what about SHIFT+Delete?, acctualy it dosent remove the file totaly either, allthough it does crash the file and remove some clutter it is still physicly on the Harddrive and can be obtained with any file recovery agent.
But what then is needed to really clean these remnants of the files from the disc which i don't want anyone to be able to find permanently?

there are a few software out there that can perform file shredding, these simply shredd the file during deletion spreading the remnant multiple pieces so that it could not be re-assembled correctly, that is if not using state of the art forensics computer software and being relativly a expert in the field of computer forensics.

now this is getting to be a rather long post so i wont go in depth on this but go directly to what i belive to be the most permanent way to removed files and such.

I myself use a file deletion software that erases the file then overwrites the area that the file was stored in using random 0's and 1's, the software i specificly use is FreeEraser from http://www.codyssey.com/, but don't think I stop there, I also use a application to "Scrub" my freespace on the harddrives thus cleaning away temporary files that the system makes and deletes daily that remain on the harddrive.
I use Disk Scrubber v3.2 from http://www.summitcn.com/hdscrub.html, it also preformce the same file deletion that the FreeEraser does, but dosent come with a hand transparent icon one can drag and drop the file to be deleted in.

To my suprise after running the disk scrubber once my system performance in the windows vista performance thingy went up 0,2 points making my overall 5,9 (the overall result is based on the lowest of all results from the performance tests)
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Wighar
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