privacy software - secure deletion of contents of recycle bin

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by inpersonam, Sep 20, 2006.

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  1. inpersonam

    inpersonam Registered Member

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    My understanding is that when Tracks Eraser Pro cleans up for you it will, if you enable secure erasing, securely delete all of the files that you select for cleaning except for those in the recycle bin, the contents of which it cannot securely erase. It will delete the contents of the recycle bin, if you set it to do so; but, if my understanding is correct, in order to make that deletion secure, you must then clean the free space on the drive, which is a time consuming process.

    Is that all correct?

    If it is correct, does anyone know of privacy software that will securely erase the contents of the recycle bin directly?

    Perhaps I could separately run Secure Delete, from the Phantom website (http://www.mntolympus.org/ - recommended by n8chavez ) Would that be the best solution?

    Would Anti Tracks 5 securely erase the contents of the recycle bin directly?
     
  2. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    How about Eraser?
    It can wipe the Recycle Bin.
     
  3. Climenole

    Climenole Look 'n' Stop Expert

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  4. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    There are a lot of similarities between SecureDelete and Eraser as far as the recycle bin is concerned. Eraser allows the free space on your drive to be securely eraser whereas SecureDelete does not. However SecureDelete adds flexabiliy in terms of being able to edit the context menu and customize commands; "Shred" versus "Secure Erase." Both are great programs. Secure Delete is just a more flexable "light" version of Eraser.
     
  5. faterider

    faterider Registered Member

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    If you have CCleaner installed it can do the job too.
     
  6. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    That's true. That could work. However, the secure erasing fuction in CCleaner is a bit suspect. There are others out there that do a better job.
     
  7. faterider

    faterider Registered Member

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    I never heard about this?! If you could provide more info or link I'll be grateful because I rely on this program for important tasks.

    Otherwise it's very convinient because it can be executed with command line "/auto" which makes it start without GUI, do the work and quit automaticaly. I have shortcut for this in powerpro so I can live without Recycle Bin in my desktop.
     
  8. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    I like CCcleaner, but it is a freebie so that is always suspect! Why free?

    No free lunch, right?

    So, I got a discounted licenced copy of window washer (WW) from Webroot ( they make SpySweeper).

    You can download a free trial I think for 30 days.

    It cleans everything securely including shreading the recycle bin.
    It can also bleech your free space with different levels of random character overwrites.

    I use both.

    All you guys must have really interesting waste baskets!:oops:

    Escalader
     
  9. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    That's funny coming from someone who uses no less than 2 separate programs to wipe the Recycle Bin. You MUST be hiding something VERY interesting! :D

    The following is not directed at you Escalader, it is just a general statement, because this comes up often.
    There is a common myth that anyone who is interested in protecting the little privacy that we have left must be doing something wrong.
    If that person wasn't doing anything wrong, then there would be nothing to hide, right?
    This wrong assumption is often brought up when discussing any technology related to privacy like secure deletion, encryption, anonymous web surfing, etc.

    Why use these technologies to hide if you do nothing wrong?

    The answer is for the same reason that we all use envelopes to send mail.
    We don't want anybody to nose into our personal or business matters.
    It has nothing to do with right or wrong.
    It has everything to do with our right to privacy.
    We could send all personal and business correspondence on postcards or folded up and taped paper for all to see, right?
    A bank that uses a paper shredder to shred your sensitive financial documents could just as easily throw them in the trash unshredded because there is nothing to hide.

    Once you compare technologies used for privacy with their commonly understood real-world counterparts, the reason for using them becomes clear.
     
  10. Climenole

    Climenole Look 'n' Stop Expert

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    I Devinco :)

    Absolutly right !

    I guess most internet users did not realised the lack of privacy online. They accept on internet intrusion in private life they reject in the "real life"...

    The comparison with mailing a letter with an envelop is one of the best example. How many internet users knows that sending /receiving an email pop3/smtp is done in clear over internet?

    I received last month an email from my ISP (Bell Sympatico in Eastern Canada) in which they clearly say they makes traffic analysis !!!

    See this article for example:
    http://money.canoe.ca/News/Other/2006/08/31/1790056-cp.html

    «
    Canada's privacy commissioner is questioning the need for proposed legislation that would allow police to spy on Internet users without obtaining a warrant.

    "As privacy commissioner, I want to have a lot of questions answered about why this is necessary because, up to now, I haven't been convinced," Jennifer Stoddart said in an interview.

    The minority Conservative government is expected to reintroduce the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act this fall or next spring.

    The bill, originally drafted by the previous Liberal government, was shelved when the government fell on a non-confidence motion last November. The Tories have promised to revive it.

    Privacy advocates fear the bill would allow police to obtain personal information from Internet service providers simply by asking them for it.

    The so-called "lawful access" bill became the subject of controversy this summer when Bell Sympatico changed the wording of its customer service agreement.
    »


    This is unacceptable. Most of the times I'm browsing web sites such as wikipedia, google news, wildessecurity forums, sysinternals and the like ...

    This is NOT their business! But the worst thing is nobodies here makes any complain about this (except the Canada's privacy commissioner!!!) This is unbelievable !!!

    I'm running a Tor server since this time... ;)

    There's a lot of of internet users education to do...
    and some ISP to educate also!


    Best regards,

    :)
     
  11. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Climenole.

    Thank you.
    It's very good to see that there are some people that care enough about protecting our right to privacy to actually do something about it.
    We hardly hear anybody even standing up and speaking for our right to privacy.
    I don't currently use TOR, but I very much appreciate your contribution to the network. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2006
  12. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    ther is always safe erase from 0&0
     
  13. inpersonam

    inpersonam Registered Member

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    Hi Climenole,

    Would use of Tor eliminate a significant means by which spammers get hold of email addresses to send their spam to?
     
  14. Climenole

    Climenole Look 'n' Stop Expert

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    Hi inpersonam :)

    No.


    1- Check this thread please:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=147059

    2- To avoid spam:

    a) Don't give your email address to everybodies (including web sites...)
    Don't leave your email address in clear in forums or web site or user groups...
    In your web site you may used a picture of your email not in text.

    b) use a 3 layer of protection for your email address:
    (pop3 or Gmail)

    1- one for the poeple you know personnaly

    2- one for professionnal or social purpose

    3- a third one for the others: a "garbage email" such as

    http://spambox.us/
    http://www.jetable.org/en/index
    http://www.spamgourmet.com/
    etc.


    c) Use a mail client with a spam filter such as Mozilla Thunderbird
    which can be combined with a good anti-spam such as:
    K9
    http://keir.net/k9.html
    SpamPal
    http://www.spampal.org/
    Spamihilator
    http://www.spamihilator.com/

    d) Don't used Outlook Express: this program is often the target of spyware and alike.

    e) Don't send mail with CC (Carbon Copy) but BCC (Blank Carbon Copy)
    and ask your contact to do the same things or put them on your blacklist...

    f) Never answer or bounce spam.

    A good way to know if your email address is in the list of spammers:
    search this email address with Google. If you find it be sure the spammers have found it. In some case the best is to cancel your existant email account and start with new ones (and avoid to spread these addresses...)

    We can't eliminates the spam but it can be limited to few each week...

    :)
     
  15. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

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    There's been a lot of misinformation in this thread. Most of it is based on programs claims of securely "wiping" the contents of the Recycle Bin.

    Secure deletion of the original file does not happen by "securely" deleting the Recycle Bin. The programs that wipe the recycle bin only wipe the file that pointed to the original file for recovery. Think about it, when you delete a file to the RB it is simply deleted from the disk space and into another folder (named differently depending on which Windows you're running), for example within that folder in Windows XP. The original file is still on the disk when moved to the recycle bin. It is renamed and the space is allocated for new data, but the original file is still there, and retrievable by forensics tools, until the free space is wiped.
     
  16. Phant0m

    Phant0m Registered Member

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    When you delete files to Windows Recycle Bin all the data remains on your hard disk, what actually happens is the file system's pointer to the file (a reference / entry) gets moved and the actual data still remains in the very position of your HDD. And when emptying Recycle Bin through standard way, all which is deleted is the reference / entry and the actual data remains to be overwritten at some point…

     
  17. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    Let me describe my daily "exit sequence" - what I do before leaving the computer after any given session:

    (Note that Windows is set to clear the swapfile at re-start by Eraser and that Page Defrag from SysInternals - sysinternals.com/Utilities/PageDefrag.html - is set to run automatically at every re-start. SystemRestore is totally dis-abled, as are RemoteRegistry and RemoteDesktop.

    All browsers - IE, FireFox, Opera - are set to delete personal data/clear temp files/not remember history for longer than Zero days/remove d/l history upon exit, etc.)

    Run CleanCache v3.5 - buttuglysoftware.com with all options set re: finding/deleting what's found - 35 single wiping passes - with no back-ups/logs permitted. (Covers all three browsers and is actually pretty awesome in and of itself - notwithstanding the fact that it requires the .Net framework).

    Run CCleaner v.1.28.277 - ccleaner.com, set likewise except for a seven-wipe max (it's catches a couple of things that CC misses, mainly the jre caches and Windows Update un-install stuff). You have to remember to UN-check "Only delete files in Windows Temp folders older than 48 hours", BTW - that setting is in "Options/Advanced" )

    Run Index.dat Suite - support.it-mate.co.uk/?mode=Products&p=index.datsuite - to make absolutely sure all index.dats are found and deleted. (No "back-ups"/logs and all other cleaning functions selected in that, too, although it just "deletes", doesn't multiple-pass over-write). Make sure you put a checkmark in "Flush DNS after Index.dat file deletion (Windows 2000 and above ONLY). That's in the "Tools/Seetings/Misc." tab. Make sure "Clear Index.dat Suite Log File" and "Clear Batch File generation log when exiting" are check-marked on the same tab, and don't forget to "Save" those settings.

    Re-start computer.

    Run SpyBot Search&Destroy ( http://beam.to/spybotsd ), followed immediately by NTREGOPT ( http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/ ) and another re-start .

    I manually go to "Start/Administrative Tools/Event Viewer" and "Clear all events" - without backups - all three entries there (Application, Security/System).

    At that point - having deleted everything I can possibly think of - I start off a single "free-space" wipe with Eraser Version 5.7 - heidi.ie/eraser/ as I'm walking out the door.

    (Eraser also does another "free-space" wipe - scheduled - nightly - to cover as well as possible anything done on the computer while I'm gone).

    All this became neccessary when I still had hormone-driven teen-agers in the house. Since it became a habit, I just keep on doing it - especially given the current government shennanigans here in the States. Having a totally-clean computer every time you step away from it not only keeps it running well because it's un-cluttered - it provides "plausible deniability" in case anything that was "legal" yesterday turns out to be no longer "legal" today. Pete
     
  18. inpersonam

    inpersonam Registered Member

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    Hi Phantom. Thanks for joining the thread.

    Does Secure Delete wipe the file or folder as well as the pointer thereto that has been moved to the recycle bin?

    What do the options in Secure Delete referring to the secure deletion of unused disk space relate to? Do they relate to the deletion of the file on the drive the pointer to which has been moved to the recyle bin? Or do they relate to wiping all of the free space on the drive? If the latter, how may a wipe of all of the free space on the drive be actuated?

    Do eraser and antitracks 5 wipe the file on the drive as well as the pointer that has been moved to the recycle bin?
     
  19. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Genady,
    Thank you for bringing this up. You are correct.
    While the question in this thread: secure deletion of contents of recycle bin?
    It appears to be a simple answer, just use Eraser to securely delete the recycle bin. Eraser does in fact securely delete the contents of the recycle bin.
    As you mentioned however, the problem is more complex because once the file is in the recycle bin, a copy has already been made and you will need to wipe free space to prevent recovery.

    If you want to securely delete something the easy way, don't use delete, just right click it and select Erase (if you have Eraser). Then you don't have to wipe the free space (unless you are using Virtual Memory).

    inpersonam has even answered his own question in the first post:
    What other misinformation was presented in this thread?
     
  20. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks Pete.
    If things keep going the way they are, we may all start using your exit sequence before too long.
     
  21. Phant0m

    Phant0m Registered Member

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    Let me put this in another way; when a file is normally deleted it’s not moved anywhere but only assigned to Windows Recycle Bin, the physical location of the actual data does not change here and the original file system's pointer is renamed and hidden while the complete path and file name is stored in a hidden file called Info in the Recycled folder…

    Use some logic, delete a large file to Recycle Bin, now run the secure deleting procedure on the Recycle Bin. Do you find yourself waiting little longer? You should! If merely covering ONLY the pointer it would be FASST process, and if you try this you can see this isn’t the case here…

    Another thing is; you have a nice size video? Make a COPY and on the same disk, process isn’t exactly INVISIBLE or QUICK is it? However deleting this file is FASST! Try it, see if yourselves!

    I hope this can easily be understood now, enjoy…
     
  22. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks Phant0m.

    So you are saying when a file is assigned to Windows Recycle Bin no copy is made and the original physical location of the file on the hard drive is protected by the OS from being overwritten until the Recycle Bin is emptied?

    When a file is assigned to Windows Recycle Bin and you use Eraser to Erase Recycle Bin, is the original physical location of the file on the hard drive securely deleted?

    If the answer to these two questions is yes, then there was no misinformation.
     
  23. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

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    Aren't we saying the same thing?
     
  24. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

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    It seemed there were several posts claiming that a "secure deletion" of the recycle bin "securely deleted" whatever they put in the recycle bin. This is all I meant by "misinformation." I didn't mean it was intentional or anything. But many people think that the above scenario is correct, when in fact it is not. Pete has the right idea for a high level of security. Someone else pointed out never "deleting" anything, but always using the right click "erase" using Eraser, this also is good advice. I simply didn't want anyone reading this thread and thinking that a "secure delete" of the RB would securely remove whatever original file they placed there.
     
  25. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Genady,
    Forget misinformation, I just want to know the following...

    Is Phant0m correct in this statement?

    Are the answers to these two questions yes?

    If all the above answers are yes, then you CAN SECURELY DELETE a file just by sending it to the recycle bin and then Erasing the recycle bin with Eraser without needing to wipe free space on the hard drive.

    The only left over would be if you previously opened the file and the file was swapped out to the pagefile (Virtual Memory). Securely wiping the pagefile is a separate issue from securely deleting the file. The pagefile would need to be wiped whether the above questions are yes or no.

    Also, the Eraser help file states this:
    This statement implies that the OS does protect the original physical location of the file on the hard drive from being overwritten until the Recycle Bin is emptied or erased.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2006
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