Category Archives: software

Securely erase individual files

As I might have previously mentioned1) 2), pressing “delete” in Windows (or on Linux or Macs) does not remove the file from the hard drive. The only thing that happens is that in the big list of files, the entry for that file is removed, so that the operating system knows that if it wants to, it can go ahead and write to the place on the hard drive where that file used to be stored. Now, you can wipe the entire hard drive if needed, but is there any way of securely removing individual files?

Short answer: No.

For the long answer, read on below.

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Filed under hard drive wiping, NSA, operating systems, security, software, Windows Vista

Can God Create a Rock So Heavy Even He Can’t Lift It?

Relax, this hasn’t turned into a religious blog, I’m simply drawing a parallel to one of the best data recovery companies out there, Norwegian Ibas. Ibas are experts on recovering lost or hidden data. And it’s amazing how often they succeed. Take a look at this charred wreck of a burnt PC1):

Burned PC 

On this particular PC 100% data was recovered.

What’s this got to do with you, you ask? Or with Gawd, for that matter?

Well, if you have sensitive data that you do not want anyone to find, let alone be able to read then companies like Ibas (or NSA, for that matter) are your worst nightmare. If the data has ever been stored on your computer these guys can probably find it. Pressing “Delete”, formatting the disk or using “fdisk” or similar tools will NOT do the job. If you have data that you want to get rid of, you need something serious.

Hence the God analogy – Ibas know how to treat the data so that they themselves cannot recover it. Enter: ExpertEraser

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Filed under data forensics, data recovery, DBAN, hard drive wiping, hard drives, Ibas, NSA, privacy, security, software

EPIC Online Guide to Practical Privacy Tools

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is an independent non-profit public interest research center. They work on privacy issues, open government, free speech, and other important topics related to civil liberties.

If you’re not already a supporter, you might consider becoming one.

Anyway, today’s blog post is about their list of privacy tools. It’s certainly not a complete list, and they’re not doing anyone any favor listing Skype under “Voice Privacy” and “Secure Instant Messaging” (since Skype is Eviltm), but the list is a great compilation of good tools.

Check it out here: http://www.epic.org/privacy/tools.html

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Filed under Good Guys ©, integrity, privacy, software