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Thread: Securely delete files

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Beans
    18

    Securely delete files

    Ubuntu 11.04

    Shred does not appear to be available anymore and secure-delete man site (www.thc.org) appears to be a hacker site that doesn't mention secure-delete. Anybody have any other suggestions?

    Buck

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Beans
    1,531

    Re: Securely delete files

    You want to delete a file and then write zeros on the space where the files used to be?

    Try zerofree in the software center.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Al Ain
    Beans
    8,475

    Re: Securely delete files

    Shred and the like don't quite work, for various reasons.

    If you want to have proper security, encrypt your file system.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    /dev/root
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    Hidden!

    Re: Securely delete files

    I think shred can still work in order to wipe a partition or whole drive. Probably it is possible for the intelligence services of the superpower states to recover the information from faint magnetic traces, if shred was set to overwrite several times, but I would say it is safely wiped. Maybe the default setting is too low.

    But it is not reliable for files due to journaling and various automatic backup schemes. There might be other instances of the file that you shredded, and you cannot be sure that you find all of them.

    And in a larger scale: when something is uploaded to the internet, it will stay there forever ...

    Zerofree wipes/fills the unallocated 'nonzero' space with zeros, so that deleted files cannot be recovered with tools like PhotoRec, which is good against intruders, but bad if you need to recover deleted files. Unfortunately, zerofree cannot solve the problem of other instances of your deleted files, that you cannot be sure that you find.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Securely delete files

    Try bleachbit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Beans
    185

    Re: Securely delete files

    What if you overwrite the file(s) with zeros/random data before deleting them?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    /dev/root
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    Re: Securely delete files

    Quote Originally Posted by gsgleason View Post
    What if you overwrite the file(s) with zeros/random data before deleting them?
    This is what is (was) done by shred. But as stated in the previous posts it is not enough on the file level. But it works when you want to wipe a whole disk drive.

    I agree with HermanAB, that if you want to have proper security, encrypt your file system!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Al Ain
    Beans
    8,475

    Re: Securely delete files

    When your file system is encrypted, then to delete the files securely, you simply hit yourself upside the head with a brick to forget the password...

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