Wiping Hard Drive

Hi,

I just downloaded a free program called Eraser that claims to overwrite the
empty space on your harddrive with random characters, making it impossible
to recover deleted material.

Question: Would this Eraser program make software like Window Washer
unnecessary?

I mean, you can delete your cache, history, and url bar right from your
browser, which I think should label those spots on your hard drive as
unused. If you then wipe the hard drive, this information should be
unrecoverable.

Is this correct?

Thanks.
0
Molly
7/12/2001 2:35:00 AM
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Go ahead and try it. Plz  let us know how it works.

Regard's
Greg J

"Molly Maguire" <gazabo29@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:9ij299$2ljm$1@news.grc.com...
> Hi,
>
> I just downloaded a free program called Eraser that claims to overwrite
the
> empty space on your harddrive with random characters, making it impossible
> to recover deleted material.
>
> Question: Would this Eraser program make software like Window Washer
> unnecessary?
>
> I mean, you can delete your cache, history, and url bar right from your
> browser, which I think should label those spots on your hard drive as
> unused. If you then wipe the hard drive, this information should be
> unrecoverable.
>
> Is this correct?
>
> Thanks.
>
>
>
>
0
Greg
7/12/2001 2:56:00 AM
In Steve Gibson's grc.privacy� Molly Maguire wrote�

> you can delete your cache, history, and url bar right from your
> browser, which I think should label those spots on your hard
> drive as unused. If you then wipe the hard drive, this
> information should be unrecoverable.
> 
> Is this correct?

I won't say that you will be "clean" but� 
Yes if you overwrite Free Disk Space, Cluster Tips, and Directory 
Entries, the data* deleted from the hard drive will be unrecoverable 
Unless extremely expensive and time comsuming procedures are used.
One would need to be a "major" TLA target before those type of 
measures would be utilized.
*URL bar(Typed URLs) entries are kept in the Registry.

This does not eliminate data stored in the Index.dat files.
I see that Window Washer does more than you suggest deleting(cache, 
history, and url bar ), so more "cleaning" would be necessary.

May I suggest <http://www.scramdisk.clara.net/cleanwindows.exe>
and reviewing <http://lockdown.batcave.net/SE%20FAQ%2015.html>
 
Regards,
Guy
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0
Guy
7/12/2001 3:07:00 AM
In Steve Gibson's grc.privacy� Guy wrote� an addendum:

I should add that cleanwindows.exe will most likely NOT be developed 
further and was developed for the creator's personal usage.

The suggestions I made will give you a good start, but is not to be 
construed as complete system cleaning.
Read the Security and Encryption FAQ. 
Regards,
Guy
-- 

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0
Guy
7/12/2001 3:15:00 AM
Molly Maguire <gazabo29@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:9ij299$2ljm$1@news.grc.com...
| Hi,
|
| I just downloaded a free program called Eraser that claims to overwrite the
| empty space on your harddrive with random characters, making it impossible
| to recover deleted material.
|
| Question: Would this Eraser program make software like Window Washer
| unnecessary?
|
| I mean, you can delete your cache, history, and url bar right from your
| browser, which I think should label those spots on your hard drive as
| unused. If you then wipe the hard drive, this information should be
| unrecoverable.
|
| Is this correct?
|
| Thanks.

Hi Molly,

PGP has a wipe-function that will overwrite unused disk-space up to (I
believe) eight times, which (again, IIRC) is an NSA-standard.  It will also
wipe the swap-file, as I recall.  I'm running PGP, but have not yet had time
to test its erasing-functions.

Concerning the History cache, TIFs and the eight (count 'em, 8)
"index.dat"-files, I have found the freeware program " Spider " very
effective.  Like LavaSoft's Ad-Aware, it sometimes must be run an extra pass
to "get" everything, but it works well on my system.

As Guy has intimated, depending upon how much money and time is
available, the "unrecoverability" of data that has been wiped is not really
known.  There are those who maintain that *any* data-wiped drive can be
reconstituted, no matter how many times it has been wiped.  Three-to-five
passes with PGP would allow me to sleep well at night as regards sensitive
data ; I think most of us would be safe with that.  I have no experience with
eraser, but have heard positive reports about it.


HTH,

Robert

--
Email:      RobertTaylor@SpamCop.net
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    The Utica Drop Forge & Tool Co.

              NOTARY SOJAC
          (Dizzy Gillespie, Prop.)
0
Robert
7/12/2001 3:52:00 AM
In Steve Gibson's grc.privacy� Robert Taylor wrote�

> I have no experience witheraser, 
> but have heard positive reports about it.

Works very well.
I've confirmed wiping efficiency with TLA forensic software.

Also see this thorough analysis:
"Disk and File Shredders: A Comparison" 
<www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/true/882/Comparison_Shredders.htm>

        "Recommendations 
         Probably the best package for day-to-day use, for ease of
         use and secure data destruction is "Eraser" by Sami
         Tolvanen. 
         [�] 
    	    	For those who are really paranoid, it is also suggested
         that you overwrite sensitive data, not only using the
         maximum security settings provided by a shredder, but to
         also use several different shredders." 

Regards,
Guy
-- 

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0
Guy
7/12/2001 4:52:00 AM
In article <Xns90DBF2CD24AF02E284CEEC009E394A9D7@The.Looney.Bin>, 
GuysAlias@operamail.com says...

> Also see this thorough analysis:
> "Disk and File Shredders: A Comparison" 
> <www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/true/882/Comparison_Shredders.htm>

a really useful link, even beyond the mere comparison, like the tip that 
if you are considering defragmenting your HDD, it would be better if you 
shred the free space on that drive both before and after defragmenting, 
which i'd not done, and the info on deleting registry entries.

but i would have liked a more thorough comparison of eraser and pgp wipe. 
i have pgp already so would like to avoid yet another program, but have 
had some difficulty with pgp wipe working (win 98). any resources that 
discuss pgp wipe more thoroughly? 

-- 
Graciella!
'Not tonight dear.... I have a modem.'
0
Graciella
7/12/2001 10:02:00 AM
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

In article <9ij6tc$2ql1$1@news.grc.com>, "Robert Taylor"
<RobertTaylor@SpamCop.net> wrote:

>Hi Molly,
>
>PGP has a wipe-function that will overwrite unused disk-space up to (I
>believe) eight times, which (again, IIRC) is an NSA-standard.  It will
>also wipe the swap-file, as I recall.  I'm running PGP, but have not yet
>had time to test its erasing-functions.
<snip>

I still don't feel comfortable relying on PGP's wipe function:
http://www.McCune.cc/PGPpage2.htm#Wiping

Many (I would guess most) of us can't even get PGP's free space wipe to
complete.  It does NOT wipe the swap file.

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: PGP Personal Security 7.0.3
Comment: My PGP Page & FAQ: http://www.McCune.cc

iQA/AwUBO02GA4F5MmKVFkG0EQJtPQCgzdZdQK6/XUUwajAfvRfSoCOw2TgAoNXs
0b1O9/tDISWXK1Et3skRMRow
=b8hY
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
0
Tom
7/12/2001 11:12:00 AM
Molly Maguire wrote in grc.privacy on Wed, 11 Jul 2001 22:35:28 -0400:

>I mean, you can delete your cache, history, and url bar right from your
>browser, which I think should label those spots on your hard drive as
>unused. If you then wipe the hard drive, this information should be
>unrecoverable.

I'm using some old fashioned DOS ideas from the late 1980's to
automatically remove the Microshit crap of History, Content.IE5, =
index.dat
and Recent (files).

In my config.sys file I created a RAM DISK, a temporary disk drive using =
8
MB of my RAM, which literally disappears as soon as you re-boot or
turn-off the power. My operating system is Windows 98 version 2, and yes
I'm using drive H: for my Windows installation.


C:\config.sys contents

      device=3Dh:\w98v2\himem.sys
      device=3Dh:\w98v2\emm386.exe noems
      devicehigh=3Dh:\w98v2\ramdrive.sys  8192 512 256 /e

Next, using Windows Explorer I physically move what most readers will =
have
as C:\Windows\Recent to my RAM DISK drive (drive K: on my system).

The next task is the hardest, run regedit and look for these entries

  My Com...\HKCU\Software...\Micro...\Windo...\Cur...\Explo...\

       ShellFolders
       User Shell Folders

and change the necessary entries to <RAM DISK drive-letter>:\MS
(on my system I use K:\TEMP-MS)

I never use Internet Explorer only an old version of Netscape 3.04.  =
About
4 or 5 years ago someone on alt.security.pgp gave a very useful tip to
avoid saving cookies and Netscape histories and I've been using it ever
since.  Delete your Netscape Cookies.txt and histories files
(Netscape.HST) which are usually in C:\Program Files\Netscape... and then
create 2 directories (folders in Gates-speak) using those same names.  =
The
logic is Netscape can not save data in a directory, only in a file, and
whenever Netscape checks to see if cookies.txt and netscape.hst exit it
finds both names exit even if they are not files but directories :-)

Next, using regedit, I change the location of my Netscape Cache to my RAM
DISK drive.

Any rubbish in my TEMP directory I delete regularly. You can also
establish a TEMP directory anywhere on your system by adding to your
c:\autoexec.bat file

    set tmp=3Dx:\directory\temp
    set temp=3Dx:\directory\temp or even D:\rubbish :-)

When I turn-off the power a lot of strange Microshit vanishes and there =
is
no disk drive for someone to examine.

I don't know if this works for NT and Windows 2000.

Regards

Busyman.
0
busyman
7/12/2001 12:00:00 PM
<Re-formatted>

I'm using some old fashioned DOS ideas from the late 1980's to
automatically remove the Microshit crap of History, Content.IE5,
index.dat and Recent (files).

In my config.sys file I created a RAM DISK, a temporary disk drive
using 8 MB of my RAM, which literally disappears as soon as you
re-boot or turn-off the power. My operating system is Windows 98
version 2, and yes I'm using drive H: for my Windows installation.

C:\config.sys contents

      device=3Dh:\w98v2\himem.sys
      device=3Dh:\w98v2\emm386.exe noems
      devicehigh=3Dh:\w98v2\ramdrive.sys  8192 512 256 /e

(if you see '3D' please ignore the '3D' which is caused by
my mailserver)

Next, using Windows Explorer I physically move what most readers
will have as C:\Windows\Recent to my RAM DISK drive (drive K: on
my system).

The next task is the hardest, run regedit and look for these entries

  My Com...\HKCU\Software...\Micro...\Windo...\Cur...\Explo...\

       ShellFolders
       User Shell Folders

and change the necessary entries to <RAM DISK drive-letter>:\MS
(on my system I use K:\TEMP-MS)

I never use Internet Explorer only an old version of Netscape 3.04.
About 4 or 5 years ago someone on alt.security.pgp gave a very
useful tip to avoid saving cookies and Netscape histories and I've
been using it ever since.  Delete your Netscape Cookies.txt and
histories files (Netscape.HST) which are usually in
C:\Program Files\Netscape... and then create 2 directories (folders
in Gates-speak) using those same names.

The logic is Netscape can not save data in a directory, only in a
file, and whenever Netscape checks to see if cookies.txt and
netscape.hst exit it finds both names exit even if they are not
files but directories :-)

Next, using regedit, I change the location of my Netscape Cache to
my RAM DISK drive.

Any rubbish in my TEMP directory I delete regularly. You can also
establish a TEMP directory anywhere on your system by adding to
your c:\autoexec.bat file

    set tmp=3Dx:\directory\temp
    set temp=3Dx:\directory\temp or even D:\rubbish :-)

(if you see '3D' please ignore the '3D' which is caused by
my mailserver)

When I turn-off the power a lot of strange Microshit vanishes and
there is no disk drive for someone to examine.

I don't know if this works for NT and Windows 2000.

Regards

Busy Man.
0
busyman
7/12/2001 12:53:00 PM
In article <9ik0mo$i2f$1@news.grc.com>, tom@DELETE_THISmccune.cc says...

> I still don't feel comfortable relying on PGP's wipe function:

far as i'm concerned, your word on this is enough! glad i'm not the only 
one who can't get it to complete. just was hoping i could get away 
without installing yet another program <G>. off to get eraser.

-- 
Graciella!
'Not tonight dear.... I have a modem.'
0
Graciella
7/12/2001 1:47:00 PM
In Steve Gibson's grc.privacy� Busy Man wrote�

> RAM DISK 

I use a RAMDRIVE also. A little different system - mine is 36Mb and I 
can assign a permanent drive letter. 
Many things go there including my IE TIFs and the NS 3.04 Gold stuff. 
This method works very good as well.

Regards,
Guy
-- 

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0
Guy
7/12/2001 3:18:00 PM
Reply:

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