File Shredding Apps...

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by KindaParanoid21, Jun 22, 2014.

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  1. KindaParanoid21

    KindaParanoid21 Registered Member

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    Curious as to what y'all use regarding file shredding? I've been a loyal Heidi Eraser user for years, though didn't like their updated version from 12. Just now I went to their site to try their newer version, but that is their newer version! From 12!!

    So if it doesn't need an update so be it, but I can't imagine in two years or over that something hasn't been necessary to upgrade.

    Anyway, thoughts are appreciated!
     
  2. blainefry

    blainefry Registered Member

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    I think most disk eraser apps have file shredding capability...

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-hard-drive-eraser.htm

    I tried to use Eraser to wipe a hard drive a couple weeks ago. I didn't like it. And I really wanted to. Of course I love that it's FOSS, plus at first glance it just looks cool. I also like having all those wipe options available (not that I'd ever really use them all). But it seemed unreasonably slow, and didn't even offer much in the way of progress readout and that sort of thing. Plus it just felt awkward. The way you have to create a job and then run it wasn't very intuitive, and with such bare-bones in-app information, it was a little hard to really feel confident it was doing what I wanted it to.

    I actually ended up using CCleaner, and was much more pleased with it. Despite using that program for years, I'd never bothered to try out the wipe feature before.

    As for file shredding though, I usually just use AxCrypt. It's also FOSS, but I mostly use it out of convenience, thanks to its existence solely in the right-click menu. I suppose I might try Eraser for file shredding on bigger jobs. Might be faster than AxCrypt. Of course another option is to just delete the files (skip or empty the recycle bin) and then wipe the free space. All the disk wipers will do this.
     
  3. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I've been using CCleaner for years, and nothing but it. I set it up for just 1 "secure" pass (simple overwrite), and check everything except "Wipe free space"... which I do only once in a long while.

    I also have it set up to automatically/securely delete the contents of my sandboxes when I close them.

    It also shreds 3, 7, and 35 times, but I find it all to be overkill and pointless/excess wear on my HD.
     
  4. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    CCleaner does NOT erase file names if that is important to you. Therefore, I use PrivaZer via right click menu.
     
  5. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    when I'm through with a drive and I want to make sure no one will read from it I use this

    1195421765134612385rejon_Hammer.svg.med.png
     
  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    FileMenu Tools. Don't use file shredding enough to warrant a dedicated app, especially since I've got my RAM disk for temporary files, cache, downloads, etc.
     
  7. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I use CCleaner's Drive Wiper to wipe free space on non SSD disk. I use 1 pass overwrite. It deletes MFT free space also.
     
  8. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    If an application is feature complete and is not part of the attack surface, it doesn't need updating. It's not like it loses performance or ability with age. The only thing I don't see mentioned on their site is Win 8.1 compatibility, but on the forum, they're saying it is compatible. Myself, I still use version 5.7 on XP and my default system. It's always worked just fine.
     
  9. KindaParanoid21

    KindaParanoid21 Registered Member

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    Blainfry - Yeah, it definitely leaves a bit to be desired function \ GUI wise.

    noone_particular - Nice... You addressed what I was thinking but like, not saying! Honestly that was in the back of my head... Like will it still work as well, has it lost its edge or functionality since it hasn't been updated in years!?!

    Appreciate the help guys!
     
  10. Tipsy

    Tipsy Registered Member

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  11. KindaParanoid21

    KindaParanoid21 Registered Member

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    Tipsy - Ummmm, wow?!? I'm switching over to PrivaZer thanks to tobacco's suggestion, and if I can get IER I'll give it a run after I run PrivaZer
     
  12. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I did an experiment with Axcrypt a long time ago. I wiped my HD. Then I copied some files over and encrypted them with Axcrypt. I ran recuva and at least some of the original files could be recovered. So my thinking was that Axcrypt somehow makes a copy or something like that. Maybe this isn't the case now but it was then because the original files were availble from Recuva. So if I were going to encrypt a sensitive file I would first copy it over to a truecrypt container and encrypt it there and wipe the original on my desktop.
     
  13. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    As far as I know Data shredding/Erasing/overwriting decreases the life of Solid State Drives and flash drives. Which is why with Ccleaner you are supposed to not run it using secure delete on a SSD.
     
  14. blainefry

    blainefry Registered Member

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    I'm not sure how this applies to what we're talking about.

    I said I use AxCrypt for file shredding. Not encryption. And I'm not sure it can even do any sort of disk wiping.

    On top of that, you're not giving enough details. What did you use to wipe your HD? Were the files you copied back onto it the same ones you supposedly wiped? Perhaps your wiping didn't go as planned and Recuva found remnants from before the wipe. What operation did you use to encrypt the files? Did you choose "encrypt", or "encrypt a copy", or some other option?

    And all that being said, yes, ultimately I'm not sure exactly what process AxCrypt employs when you encrypt a single file. I actually have heard before that it leaves a trace of at least the file name on your drive. In fact, Ask Leo discussed this very possibility:

    http://ask-leo.com/encrypting_using_axcrypt.html

    Without being familiar enough with how it works, I personally wouldn't use it to secure something on my own drive. The only thing I would use it for encryption-wise is if I needed to quickly encrypt a single file to be transported or stored on some other medium or sent to someone.

    But again, we're not even talking about encryption here. This is a thread about file shredding. That's what I use AxCrypt for.
     
  15. blainefry

    blainefry Registered Member

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  16. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    Their talking about whole disk Erasure, single or mutable sensitive files or freespace still can't be overwritten without wear or degradation to the SSD.
     
  17. Tipsy

    Tipsy Registered Member

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    "Deleting files immediately would cause extra wear on an SSD, which is why they don't do it.
    Likewise, it is almost impossible to securely delete an individual file on an SSD, because the way that SSDs write and delete files is scattered, and a user has no control over what an SSD is doing where. If that's the kind of security you're looking for, your best bet is encryption, which we will cover in a little bit.

    The overwriting procedure that works so well for HDDs doesn't work as well for SSDs for a couple of reasons. One is that many SSDs have extra storage space that's not accessible by users. This is called over-provisioning, and some deletion tools won't give you access to this area (if you can go through the BIOS and uninstall your drive, you can get full access).
    . . .
    some still had old readable data on them after twenty overwrites. This can happen because of firmware bugs, and unless you're able to physically confirm that this procedure works on your SSD of choice, it's not reliable enough for a real secure erase.
    . . ."
    http://arstechnica.com/security/2011/03/ask-ars-how-can-i-safely-erase-the-data-from-my-ssd-drive/
     
  18. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Some swear SSD drives make it a lot harder for the user to wipe data, when asked why that is so, they usually give answers that actually contradict what they are saying. Why? The other side of this is that forensics people see SSD drives as nightmares due to garbage collection and TRIM. It is very, very difficult to recover anything from SSD drives. Just Google - data recovery ssd - and start reading. Google - data recovery ssd (and add one more word) forensics - and you will see how turned around everyone is on this issue. SSD is your friend if you want less data recovery - period. Add hardware encryption to the equation and....

    By the way, anyone using CCleaner thinking they are deleting anything could be in for a surprise. I've run tests time and time again and it's the least effective free space wipe I've ever seen. To me, you can't beat BCWipe. It's even better than Eraser with just a single wipe. Grab a free trial and see for yourself.

    CCleaner is good at ridding the system of "junk" but, please, don't rely on its free space wipe. It's truly awful and has been for some time, why it hasn't been addressed is a mystery to me. Privazer is better at the "junk" anyway. That's one tool that's very hard to beat. BCWipe just has some features that make it a tad better with free space.
     
  19. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    Disable pagefile.sys & hiberfil.sys & after cleaning & erasing Free Space = No Trace !

    Disable SR or VSC, or delete them often & then clean FS etc !
     
  20. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    Eraser v5.7 on XP (yeah, I know it is a 2003 version) :)
     
  21. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Oh I'm sorry. I didn't even know that Axcrypt could wipe a file. I assumed that you meant encrypting it which is sort of like wiping it, making it unreadable. I wiped the HD with R-wipe and ran Recuva afterward to verify. I posted about that here at Wilders a long time ago. I wiped the HD and then searched for specific images like Bugs Bunny. Images that would be easy to detect and know that they were part of the experiment. I wiped with R-wipe before all of these experiments. And I used different cartoon characters with each experiment. I also did experiments with sandboxie configured with eraser. The axcrypt experiment was around that time. Images from browsing were available after a Recuva scan after using Sandboxie configured with eraser. Images were left After enabling Returnil and restarting, too. The only thing that worked was running a browser from a USB. Just running the browser from a USB without sandboxie or Returnil prevent the images from being left behind. Or from within a truecrypt container. But anyway, it was around the time that I did these experiments. And someone mentioned that Axcrypt makes a copy. But this was about 4 years ago so it may no longer be relevant..
     
  22. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Why not just encrypt the pagefile?
     
  23. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    @ caspian

    Because not having one is 100% better !
     
  24. KindaParanoid21

    KindaParanoid21 Registered Member

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    LockBox - Would you say BCWipe is better than eraser? Like another poster said these programs generally don't "degrade" over time, I'm paraphrasing of course. So I guess it comes down to recoverability, and is BCW any better than eraser in that regard? Thanks again!
     
  25. febainy

    febainy Registered Member

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    What about BleachBit in Linux or the cipher command in Windows XP for wipe HDD? (cipher /W:c:/)
     
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