Forensic and Data Recovery Experts Wanted! - Eraser

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Overwriter, Dec 20, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Overwriter

    Overwriter Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    35
    Hello.

    I assume most security minded people have heard of the secure overwriting tool called Eraser. As with most classics Eraser V5 has reached a point in its life where it has to concede to a younger and more agile successor.

    The Eraser Project Team has been developing Eraser V6 this last year and it is nearing completion. Eraser V6 is a complete rewrite of the classic Eraser V5. This is not a simple patching or updating task but a 100% fresh start written with all the knowledge gained from the original V5 and all the advantages that brings with it.

    As Erasers developers take the secure deletion of data very seriously they are asking anyone with an interest in security particularly in the forensic and data recovery fields to assist in confirming Erasers unrivalled ability to securely overwrite data. This is what is known as peer review and as every security conscious individual will tell you without peer review there is no security !

    To save valuable development time The Eraser Project Team ask that anyone wishing to assist in peer reviewing Erasers code, performance and functionality would be of good standing within the industry of computer forensics or data recovery.

    The Eraser Project Team understand that well meaning individuals may wish to assist in testing but may not possess the adequate qualifications or skills to perform a competent analysis of Erasers performance and output. Although very grateful for any analysis The Eraser Project Team ask that enthusiastic amateurs perhaps post their findings on the Eraser forum for discussion rather than trying to contact the developers directly.

    If you are someone who is qualified to assess Erasers performance and you would like to volunteer your services to the open source community please join the Eraser forum and contact me (Overwriter) via PM.

    Thank you.
     
  2. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,633
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
    Nice to see. I been following matters forum side at Heidi's for many years and hope the best for v.6

    FWIW, Eraser is a routine install to all my units no matter what and recommended to anyone else without it which is a lot of peeps i deal with from time to time. After realizing Eraser's usefulness coupled with some of my own technique's i provide them, they say their machines run better then when they first bought it.

    EASTER
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,054
    Why would using eraser make a machine run master, assuming one has already deleted the crude?
     
  4. Overwriter

    Overwriter Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    35

    Thank you for your kind words.:D

    I am also looking for people to help out with the Eraser V6 documentation (User Help File) etc. Would you be interested in helping me out ?
     
  5. Overwriter

    Overwriter Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    35
    I am guessing he must have his own methods.
     
  6. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,633
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
    That's absolutely true to form and recently even found another small utillity to take up even more scrap as i like to call it. I subscribe to the notion that a clean erased and fully swept disk is like waxing a good finish on your vehicle. The smoother the metal = less obstacles/particles and better optimization offers Pure Performance Gains and not only just privacy tracks. Also seems to prolong the life of the HD too provided one routinely also defragments with strategic file placement order.

    And YES! that makes a drive run FASTER! AND RESPONDS! with more zest.

    EASTER

    PS: Overwriter: I hope to be in touch after Christmas Holidays with Family. It's the only time they can pull me away from this addiction :cool:
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,054
    Your analogy gets lost on me. Erasing files smooths nothing on the drive, i just changes magnetic flux. Once the OS doesn't know about the file, the drive ignores what's in that sector, so I still ask the question.....

    How does erasing the disk make it perform better?

    Pete
     
  8. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Posts:
    6,590
    Naturally, it really doesn't. There are one or two scenarios which could help in active file placement, but in the grand scheme of things, the impact should be negligible. On the other hand....
    if there are any noticeable performance gains, it is from this step, not erasing.

    As for the points regarding "waxing" or "smoothing the metal", the physics of these devices simply don't work that way.

    Blue
     
  9. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Posts:
    993
    Location:
    Hawaii
    This sounds like a terrific idea for a brand-new product. DiskWax! Makes your hard disk run smoother, faster, cooler! Keeps on beading year after year! To triple the life of your drive and avoid bothersome head crashes, merely add two drops per platter into the hard disk breather hole using our special applicator tip, and then run the enclosed software to evenly distribute the wax. For a smoother, harder coat, the Pro version includes our proprietary disk baking software.

    This is a once-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunity, folks. Who cares if it works or not -- people will buy anything. Thanks for the great idea, Easter, your check is in the email.

    PS: Overwriter, thank you for posting your announcement in this forum. Although I have been involved in forensics and data recovery for some time, I don't have the qualifications that you seek, so I look forward to testing your new Eraser when it is finally released.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  10. Overwriter

    Overwriter Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    35
    Thank you Easter, we need skilled people ASAP, please don’t forget to get in touch.


    This may not be a problem, how many years have you been involved in forensics and data recovery ? Was it professionally or just for fun etc ? All I am trying to do is assemble a “competent” team together at first, the fully qualified team will follow later. I hate to sound snobby about the qualifications but in order for Eraser to gain serious credibility it needs to have an independent qualified assessment made of it. If you “feel” qualified enough to help get Eraser out of the “Beta” stage before full examination then please contact me.



    Can anyone recommend another suitable forum to post my message on please ? Or feel free to pass the word on yourselves ! Please quote my post in full though.

    Thank you.
     
  11. kareldjag

    kareldjag Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Posts:
    622
    Location:
    PARIS AND ITS SUBURBS
    hI.

    Knowledge is nothing without experience, and being considered as a forensic expert requires a minimum of ten years of practice validation, and i am far away from this statement.
    But jus a few comments.

    Eraser is a popular privacy tool.
    But serious testing requires a long, fastidious and expensive (forensic lab for hardware/exotic recovery) process.
    An easy test that can be done by any user is to asses the efficiency of wiping methods: erase a specific file (a .jpg for instance);and then try to recover it (with free softs like TestDisk/PhotoRec ).
    I guess that Owerwriter might find useful idea of testing in this collection page of forensic papers, especially thoses ones:

    -Counter forensic privacy tools: a forensic evaluation
    -A Methodology for the Examination of the Effectiveness of Secure Erasure Tools running on Windows XP


    But i post mostly to point out some considerations about wiping methods.
    Too much importance is given to number of data overwriting passes.
    It is important to consider that technology (Disks),methods and nomenclature have changed.
    And i doubt that a simple porn image of video requires 7 OR 35 passes: many "phantasms" are exploited by recovery companies (some of then sell the wiper and the recovery solution, and just wonder which one is ineffective ;) )
    And it is explained by theses excellent papers of Daniel Sedory:
    How To Permanently Erase Data from a Hard Disk (if Overwriter likes facts, then i suggest to add this link in Eraser web site)

    That´s perhaps why no recovery company, Kroll Ontrack included, has not yet accepted the Zero recovery Challenge .
    Filling every sector with zeroes is enough for any normal user.

    More over, the DoD does not consider data overwriting as a sanitizing standard method since the middle of 2007 (the reference pdf direct paper is here, read the red last page): only Degaussers (hardware destruction) certified by the NSA are accepted as standard, not Eraser or any super software wiper.
    Then IF Eraser 6 includes this method again, then i guess that the DoD 5220.22-M method should be removed from options menu.

    Personally i use since 3/4 years a tool named SecureTrayUtil that is really enough and useful for me.
    Sarah Dean, the author has published an old comparisons of shredders which includes Eraser, and i guess that the Eraser team can take into consideration many useful options of SecureTrayUtil and USBFlashTool.

    Regarding the code, i think that more Eraser will be beta tested, more some possible bugs will be corrected.
    But this is here an evident and unnecessary remark :)
    And off course, if Fuzzing is a hobby for some people, it is a good first step.

    Wilders is more a general security forums than a forensic one.
    So i can suggest forensic mailing lists, Forensicfocus or the well known (defaced in the past) F3 board.

    hope this helps.
     
  12. Overwriter

    Overwriter Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    35
    Hi kareldjag:)

    Thank you for the excellent post and very useful links. I also agree very much that too much importance is given to the “multi pass” myth / voodoo. I have been campaigning for some time about that myself and got Erasers default settings changed to a single pseudorandom pass.

    I will PM you soon so please keep a look out for it !
     
  13. faterider

    faterider Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Posts:
    64
    May be he means after erasing free space with Eraser, which by default includes clearing cluster tip area and directory entries.

    I'm not in the know here but every time I did this I had noticeable smoothing of the OS and speed boost in small operations like opening Start menu, etc.

    Didn't do this long time ago though, because made myself to erase every single file I feel I should, so no need of full HDD erasing.
     
  14. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,633
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
  15. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Posts:
    830
    I know what defragmenting the HD does but whats strategic file placement order?
     
  16. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,633
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
    It simply places files most active(ly) accessed or modified (in UltimateDefrag DiskTrix) to the best area of the disk to lessen the travel strain of it's internal Read/Write componants or arm as it's called.
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,054
    No argument that defragging might cut down imaging time. I always defrag first. What I challenge is that after defragging, that erasing the disk will make any difference.
     
  18. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,633
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
    Always does for me. Your mileage may vary. LoL
     
  19. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Posts:
    2,275
    Location:
    Here, There and Everywhere
    I noticed one thing with the following Google search:
    "wipe free space" performance

    The only claims to improving performance with a free space wipe are commercial vendors claiming such for their products. Notice no articles from computer magazines, tech tips, etc. I'm with Peter - wiping free space is not going to improve performance. The logical question to ask is HOW could you explain such a performance gain? Making things "smoother" is not a computer term and again, there's no technical answer to how this would be achieved. (Whatever "smoother" means.) Chalk it up to a placebo effect. :)
     
  20. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,633
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)

    Yeah, well tell all my hard drives that and while you're at it try to apply some Logic that doesn't always require or rely on propaganda published magazine articles that also sell you Viagra and a whole hosts of other paid advertisers.
     
  21. Chris12923

    Chris12923 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    1,097
    Overwriter I have sent a PM at the Eraser forum.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  22. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Posts:
    2,275
    Location:
    Here, There and Everywhere
    You mean ignore professional journalism? Unfortunately, that seems to be the attitude of a lot of people on the Internet. Anonymous claims on a message board have more credibility than professional tech journalists. Welcome to 2008! The fact that David Pogue at the NYT, WindowsSecrets, Fred Langa, PC World, PC Magazine, CNET, apparently no professional tech journalists seem to have ever offered this as a tip is not a clue to you that there's nothing to your claim? Only free-space wiping vendors who want in your wallet make these claims. Is this not another clue?

    I'm not trying to be contrary, but I fail to see the technical logic in your claim. Could you tell us skeptics how a free-space wipe improves system performance? Maybe you're on to something, but anecdotal claims with no technical explanantion won't make many believers.

    Prove me (and the others) wrong! I'm always open to learning something new!

    By the way, I LOVE ERASER. As a file and free-space wiper though, not as a performance enhancment tool. But, I'm all ears!
     
  23. Overwriter

    Overwriter Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    35
    Hi Chris :)

    Thank you very much for showing an interest in helping Eraser V6, you are just the sort of person we wanted. In fact it is almost like you are a Christmas present for the project !:D

    I have received your PM and replied.
     
  24. Overwriter

    Overwriter Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    35
    Hi :)

    Thank you LowWaterMark for letting me post adverts for help here.

    We have had a couple of replies from Wilders Security Forums which have tuned out to be very useful.

    One in particular was Chris12923, all I can say is if you are a software writer and you “think” your program is bug free and ready to leave Beta then you really should contact Chris12923 !! Be prepared for a shock though, he rips into Betas ferociously and kind of leaves you feeling like you should have never left Alpha !!! o_O

    kareldjag, although very modest about his abilities has kindly offered help also and I look forward to his forensic reports !

    Easter, we could still do with your help so I hope you haven’t forgotten !

    Thanks everyone.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.