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Thread: Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

  1. #1
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    Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

    Hallo

    Having recently migrated from Windows to Ubuntu, I wanted to install a program equivalent to Erase which allows one to securely wipe files using the context menu. I have searched the normal Ubuntu repositories (Applications -> Add/remove). Searching with keywords Erase, Wipe, Nuke etc did not bring any hits.

    Does anyone know if there is a Linux equivalent and if so would be so kind as to supply a link.

    Thanks in advance
    Kind regards Euphorion

  2. #2
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    Re: Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

    Two that come to mind are 'Shred' and 'SRM'. Shred I believe is installed by default and SRM (SecureReMove) needs to be installed via Synaptic, apt-get or aptitude.

  3. #3
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    Re: Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

    This comes up all the time.

    The problem is that secure erase of data from a hard disk doesn't actually work. It doesn't work on Windows either. However, if it will make you feel better when you run shred, go ahead...

  4. #4
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    Re: Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

    That's true. It's extremely difficult if not impossible to make data non-recoverable if the 'right' people want to get at it.

    I've heard that when the Inland Revenue want to dispose of hard drives securely they have them put in a furnace.

  5. #5
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    Re: Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

    Quote Originally Posted by 289Shelby View Post
    That's true. It's extremely difficult if not impossible to make data non-recoverable if the 'right' people want to get at it.

    I've heard that when the Inland Revenue want to dispose of hard drives securely they have them put in a furnace.
    Even ashes can be re-assembled with the right tools.

    /sarcasm

    shred will do the job just fine for what you want to do. Let's say for instance you want to shred everything in a directory called foo.
    Code:
    shred -uvz foo/*
    Of course, have a peek at the manpage.
    good luck.

  6. #6
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    Re: Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

    Hallo to all who answered.

    Thank you very much for your contributions. For my purposes Shred or SRM will do nicely. I just want to keep the inquisitive user at bay, so that they can't read deleted files containing personal information.

    Thanks
    Kind regards Euphorion

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Secure Erase (wipe) of Files

    If you look around in the forums (sorry I don't ahave the reference handy) you will find how to recover files that were deleted with shred and srm. The point is that when you overwrite a file you don't actually write over the same sector. This is to prevent a system failure to wreck important data. However it renderes those wiping program useless. There is only two way to achieve what you want.

    Shred or srm the whole partition
    create a file that will use all the free space and then shred that file (for the less paranoid who consider one pass to be enought just create a file with /dev/random as input and erase it)

    The most conveniant way to keep the inquisitive user at bay is to use encryption. You can create a fully encrypted system with the alternate cd.

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