Wiping files retrospectively

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by ABaird3, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. ABaird3

    ABaird3 Registered Member

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    Apologies if this is the wrong section. Please move if so.

    I'm looking for your thoughts on a situation. Let's say I moved files to the recycle bin, and deleted them through that method. I'm aware that that method isn't the most secure though.

    Is there a way (program) that would find traces of these files, and retrospectively wipe clean said files?

    Theoretical question for you this morning.
     
  2. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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  3. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    As you probably know, normal file deletion/moving to the recycle bin in no way deletes the file. In the case of the recycle bin, all that's doing is ensuring it doesn't get overwritten subsequently which MIGHT be the fate of things not in a recycle bin. Usually, if not too much time has gone by, most of a file will be recoverable.

    Various products will really delete "deleted" files, including the unused spaces on disks.

    I see no reason at all - other than the fact that modern operating systems seem intent on being spyware - that deleted files could not be securely erased in the background as an option - all "deleted" files would simply be moved to a watched hidden dump directory, where a daemon would then do a secure wipe on the things. But no, we can't have that.
     
  4. RockLobster

    RockLobster Registered Member

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    Also be aware image files are copied to hidden "thumbnail" caches in Windows.
    (Which over the years have grown in size from actual thumbnails, to much larger images)
    So deleting the original doesn't delete the image from the hidden cache(s).
    It doesn't take much of an imagination to figure out the purpose behind that.
     
  5. ABaird3

    ABaird3 Registered Member

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    Hrm I see, thanks for your thoughts.
     
  6. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    PrivaZer doesn't delete them. :doubt:
     
  7. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    Well it does overwrite with zeros which achieves the same result as what the OP wants...:)
     
  8. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    This is the reason for them remained in the folder after I used PrivaZer so.
     
  9. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    In what folder? When I use Privazer's "Delete without a trace" or "Empty without a trace", they aren't in the original folder or in the Recycle Bin.
    If you're using a program to recover deleted files you may see that something was "there" but you don't know what it was or what it contained.
    So?
     
  10. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    I was referring to the hidden thumbnail caches that RockLobster mentioned here in the post n. 4
     
  11. brians08

    brians08 Registered Member

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    Unfortunately I have to agree with RockLobster. If you are using Windows, you can't be sure anything is deleted. The only way to delete files with certainty is to boot from Linux and use a disk wipe program such as DBAN. Wiping all disk sectors is the only way.
     
  12. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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  13. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

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    C:/Users/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Explorer and......Windows/Cache.
     
  14. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    OK, I see them and disc cleanup does get rid of them but they get re-created right away, just smaller.
    I'm not going to disable them, I don't do anything naughty that I need to hide...;)
     
  15. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Sadly, that defence isn't worth the electrons it's written on in some jurisdictions. Possession of images on the drive - regardless of any evidence that you even know they are there or have viewed them, is sufficient.

    Given the vulnerability of operating systems, it would be a brave person that would claim they had full control over what was on their disk, or that they had not been infected in some way.
     
  16. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    Received reply from Privazer, I didn't have the correct config, changed it and ran the cleanup. See the before and after screenshots.
     

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