The Verdict on UltraWipe From Here

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by luv2bsecure, Sep 20, 2002.

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  1. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Hello everyone!

    I have been reading the thread on UltraWipe and became curious. I had heard of Red Strike, but not this program. I downloaded it yesterday and spent about two-hours with it.

    It's awful.

    Here is their description of their DOD Standard Wipe:

    U.S D.O.D 5220.22-M Standard, defined in the US National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual of the US Department of Defense (January 1995; chapter 8, section 3, 8-306. Maintenance).

    Data is overwritten seven times to all addressable locations:

    Pass   Data
    1   A random character, n = [0, 255]
    2   A random character, n
    3   Complement of previous character, ~n
    4   A random character, n
    5   A random character, n
    6   Complement of previous character, ~n

    7   A random character, n


    Okay, sounds good....They also have what they call a DOD+:

    The third wiping scheme employed by the UltraWipe utility, designated as the DoD+, was conceived in order to effectively overwrite and to alter the magnetic polarity of each domain on the disk platter as much as possible so it will be impossible to determine their previous state. The program’s multiple overwrite capabilities (up to seven times) erases files completely by using pseudorandom number generator. The D.o.D+ pseudo-random data scheme, (created with pseudo-random number generator) is made in random order. This overwriting method is recommend for maximum security.

    It all sounds good, huh?

    Except that it failed the "File Recovery Pro" test miserably.

    Every single file I erased, using both "shredding" methods were easily recovered - including the entire Temporary Internet Files folder.

    This always upsets me because as far as I am concerned, whether it is free or not, (as UltraWipe is) a security/privacy tool should do exactly what it says it will do. False security and programs like this breed paranoia. Am I safe - or am I not? To give someone false security with their hard drives is akin to selling a dead bolt lock that opens with ease from the outside while everything looks right from the inside, and all inside feel safe and protected. False security is cruel and inexcusable. Unfortunately, programs like this are all over the web.

    HOWEVER, yes, you can feel secure. There are good programs available and all of the good tools do the job and do it well. So well in fact, that the never ending search for something "better" is of no value. You really do get what you pay for in many of these "erasing cleaners".....If you cannot afford one of the 3 or 4 truly quality tools - then get Sami Tolvanen's ERASER and configure it manually (it's easy, just takes some time) to wipe everything all the others do.

    But, UltraWipe? I was embarrassed for the people offering this. It is clearly the worst I have ever tested. My recommendation? Delete - Delete - Delete and stick with proven products. Cleaning utilities of this type are one of those software utilities that must be just right -- or it's worthless.

    The view from here is that UltraWipe is indeed ---- worthless.

    It's been a long day and a late night. Time to crash.

    Best to all,

    John
    Luv2BSecure
     
  2. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Hi John,

    Thanks for all the info: much appreciated !!!
     
  3. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Good research John - thorough as usual. Frankly, I'm beginning to wonder how many times the same damned wheel needs reinventing... (sigh)
     
  4. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    Thanks luv2bsecure. I need to get a recovery program. I'm so glad you pointed this out. I'm also glad I used eraser when I used ultrawipe. :D But as for now the program has been unistsalled.
     
  5. Prince_Serendip

    Prince_Serendip Registered Member

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    :) Hi Everyone!

    Excellent review! There's a proggy I'll never use!

    This gives me an idea. Every now and then we encounter proggies like this one. Why don't we start an awards process for them? We could call it something like "Awarding The Order of the Pantomime-Horse!" Any Pantomime-Horse program is one which is utterly and completely useless! Who writes that stuff anyway? Why bother?

    The award would be made with humorous though serious intent. They could also be rated by say, "One to Five BOO's?"

    What do you think?

    Best regards from Larry! ;)
     
  6. root

    root Registered Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to do the work and post it here John.
    I'm the kind of guy that might just get a proggie like that and trust it to do its job, especially since its very easy to write a program to do wiping like that.
    Guess you just can't trust any of them anymore. :(
     
  7. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    John.Thank you for exposing Ultra Wipe.It seems a lot of people are considering these programs for their pc's.It is really cool that someone like yourself takes the time to verify or disprove the claims made by some of these programs.Good Work and Thank You again.
     
  8. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    Hey, Root! It seems you're another Mod slipped in unannounced! Congrats!
     
  9. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    John,
    great research as usual !
    I also agree that Eraser is a great proggie. Do you know if Eraser has been altered in any way since it was sold to Garrett Trant ??
    Also, what is your very valued opinion of John Solway's "Clean Disk Security" file wipe program ??

    best regards,
    bill
     
  10. Randy_Bell

    Randy_Bell Registered Member

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    I think Norton's WipeInfo (part of utilities or systemworks) does a pretty good job of file wiping too. :)
     
  11. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    And not one "smite" I might add....hmmmmm....?
    Just kidding !!

    kindest,
    bill :D
     
  12. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Hi Randy_Bell,

    Welcome!

    Norton's WipeInfo is good for what it does, it's just very limited (wiping files and free space).

    Bill,

    Kevin Solway, the amateur philosopher from Australia, is one smart cookie. Clean Disk Security is a very good program and does just what it says it will do. There are a few things I would change. I'm not sure why he hasn't made the change, as I have heard so many people say this, but there needs to be the ability to run it straight through without user intervention. The swap file cleaner with its auto-boot to DOS is nice. It would be in my top 2 or 3 erasing programs. Again, though, he has added deleting temp Internet files I think and a few things, but it's still basically just a good erasing program for individual files, folders, free space and the swap.

    I'm with Checkout on this. Why reinvent the wheel? We already have some really good programs to clean Windows files, index.dat, cookies, MRU, etc. Why keep looking for programs that do all of this when the ones out there are truly good pieces of software? But, for heavy-duty erasing, Sami's Eraser and Kevin Solway's CDS are two of the best.

    Thanks for all the kind words everybody! I was surprised to see results like that from UltraWipe. I mean, it obviously did nothing! I agree with whoever said it above, why even bother putting something like that out? Makes no sense at all.

    Have a great weekend everyone! (What's left anyway)

    John
    Luv2Bsecure
     
  13. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    John,
    your right ! It's Kevin Solway, not John Solway ! :rolleyes: Must have been thinking of you when I was posting !!
    Have a good week-end my Friend !
    bill ;)
     
  14. Phazor

    Phazor Registered Member

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    I downloaded Eraser to try it out, although im new to it, it seems to be a great program, however i was just thinking of posting a message on that program until i found this discussion.
    My orginal question was going to be " How do i know it works?" But i can tell from most of the posts here that i probably dont really need to worry about it as it sounds like it does work. Im still curious though as to how do you know it did what it was suppose too_O

    Some questions

    . Which would be what programs?

    Would like to know what guys recommend?

    As far as using eraser i would be interested in hearing what you have it set up to erase and how?

    Phazor
     
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