What would be the quickest and not suspicious way to completely erase an HDD from it's contents?
Like, for example, if the police was knocking at my door.
I work at the largest data recovery company in the world.
The securest and quickest way is to degauss it, but since you dont own one your safest option is to drill a hole through the disk or smash it many times with a sledgehammer.
Water or fire does not work.
Neither does formatting
take it and shove it waaaaaaaay up your ass
You need to write random shit to the entire drive, so it depends on the Drive, speed that the drive can write it's entire surface. You could Ghost a plausible copy of some bullshit hard drive and then just copy the image to the drive you want to erase. I would write zeros first then check to see that the entire drive was in fact zeros then put random shit back on.
Honestly, I always wanted to do a proof of concept security system that does this.
Build a home made thermite device, hook it in to a home security system, run the audio alarm cable to an electrical ignition source, use a road flair inside the thermite. Battery backup incase they cut the power.
Someone kicks in a door, and thermite drops through your computer hard drives, memory, etc
Air not getting shit off those drives.
Overwrite with trash a couple of times and you're perfectly safe, unless you're some sort of international spy, nobody is going to go through any effort to recover your shameful porn.
Overwrite it before doing anything else. Just bombard it with random sector writes before doing anything else to it.
Step two could be bitlocker/truecrypt or some shit like that. Hope you've got that already. Giving up the key would be aiding your own conviction and cannot be forced or held against you under us law.
You could maybe diy an overvolting protocol in case of the need for quick erasing. Think of running a mains line trough a literal killswitch into the 12v and 5v molex input pins.
If you encrypt the drive and have a wife, you know 50% of the password and your wife knows 50% of the password, she can't be compelled to divulge the password.
5th amendment says they can't force you to reveal the password.
I don't know OP. Maybe call Hillary Clinton?
Magnets and damaging the thing isn't guaranteed to wipe all the data. I have changed the disks inside to recover data, if you were up for some major crime they could recover shit from fragments.
I would go for writing random shit to the entire surface of the drive, it might take 20 minutes so I would make a script that looked where the stuff I really didn't want found was, write random shit to the sectors where that is stored first then do the rest of the drive, have a preplanned importance of deletion, then when the police arrive you just have to bullshit them for 20 minutes while it is deleting everything.
thank you, never been named best answer before. But the one problem with encryption is: intercept now, decrypt later. There are some premium ssd's available that can blow themselves up on command btw. they kinda short out or something like that and crack open the chips. Completely wiped.
DBAN takes hours, but is still pretty much the best way to trash unencrypted data quickly, DoD 3-pass minimum
legit FDE with a very strong key is the only good method. Everyone should be using this on all systems, esp for laptops given theft rates
GNU/Linux w/ LUKS/dmcrypt FDE would be the highest recommendation for running a secured persistent desktop.
if you're still 10 years old and running windows, TrueCrypt is still the best option there
bitlocker is backdoored, so are all windows versions for that matter
you should just consider yourself already fucked if you run windows and save yourself the time.
> Make partition for your secret data
> install program that uses statistically random encryption
> have key nowhere else but in your head, and while in decrypted mode, in your RAM
> make absolutely sure there will be no persistent file buffers anywhere in the system
> make sure the in-memory key will never be swapped out, and is on a known address
Police knocking? overwrite key in memory with zeroes, reboot PC. no evidence other than a corrupted partition on your HDD. Make sure the encryption software is well hidden or small enough to quickly erase along with the emergency key erasing procedure.
Just throw it in a microwave for a like 10 seconds. Fries the shit out of it.
>Inb4 ppl sperg in out over metal in the microwave
It'll be fine for ten seconds. A lot of microwaves even have steel racks inside of them.
Encrypting is like burying the victim, there is always a chance they could be found. If I had the time I would write zeros to the entire surface then check the surface for non zeros, trust no one or no program.
Doesn't matter about suspicious if there's nothing on it.
Thermite is the fastest way, but you could smash the fuck out of the platters with a big hammer and make sure it's shattered completely and then dump the bits into the toilet and flush.
Have a secondary hard drive where you do your illegal shit on. When shit hits the fan, simply hide the fucking thing by lowering it in a container filled with highly acidic things (the ones that even corrode metals). This will give t at least a couple of hours before anyone finds it and is much less noticable then scorching thermite.
Bonus points if you throw in a lot of other "fake" harddrives and scrap parts.
ok to make things clear
even if you zero everything and you think you are clean
there is still some information of the last saved value in the zeros.
that is the reason why real whiping includes multiple overwriting including random data
>dat james bond disposal technique
The fuck is wrong with some of the people in this thread? Just put a hammer to the fucking thing. The discs within hard drives are brittle as fuck.
no, NAND are not particularly sensitive to EM fields.
SSDs have write wearing algorithms which prevent the same bit from being overwritten excessively, which would decrease lifespan. B ecause of this, erase/overwrite methods should be considered unreliable.
Best thing to do is encrypt the entire drive prior to use. If you weren't clever enough to do that in the first place, just smash the thing up with a hammer or put it in a blender or something
Fucking perfect way. Honestly if you smash the thing it will be hard as hell to recover the contents without huge amounts of money and time. and unless you are a very high profile criminal they wont do it.
if you live in a high building you can just toss em out of the window.
the disks will shatter inside the case and not a bit of the data will be recoverable. have your harddrives close to a window if you expect police raids.
tested with 60m fall onto solid concrete with severall drives, always worked so far.
There is no fast way except thermite. DBAN is the only quick way.
Also, police don't knock when they want to seize this kind of evidence. In fact, they often wait for you to open your computer then break and enter to assure you don't have the time to do anything.
if you are going to do it yourself then you would check the specs out for the drive and it's error correction technology and caching and make sure the drive really is zeroed, fuck using software, the reason they take hours is because they are trying to cover every drive out there.
that's a poor analogy.
they already know where to 'dig', the problem is that it would LITERALLY take them thousands to millions of years to do so (provided you use strong encryption)
truth is good encryption means the data is less recoverable than if you physically damaged the drive in nearly every common fashion
if you want to put the drive iin a bonfire afterward, that will help, but your plausible deniability is shot
That's literally just paranoia. No technology exists to recover data from a smashed hard drive. The government doesn't have half as much futuristic tech as people assume they do. A physically broken hard drive is gone to the world. Even if they could be put back together, the disk splinters when it breaks and practically explodes in shards. You hit a hard drive with a hammer even the best puzzle master on speed and modafinil couldn't put it back together.
throw the drives in a microwave and set it to high power 5 minutes.
the microwave will be destroyed along when the job is complete so you'll need to replace that, but it guarantees destruction.
>police don't knock when they want to seize this kind of evidence
Go read some accounts, they do knock. They come during the early hours of the morning to catch you off guard. If you don't answer, they'll use force, but they absolutely do knock first.
Legally, they can protect the neighbors perimeter, get another warrant, and get it. Or, if witnessed, being that part of the investigation of a crime, simply walk over and take it.
am I stupid, or would a bullet through the hard drive completely destroy it? Not talking about cops at the door scenario, but is it possible to get information from the physical fragments of a disk? Whenever I replace an old laptop I take it out and shoot it for fun, not that I have anything to hide, but I figured if somebody pulled it out of the trash they couldnt get any personal info on me, right?
>Recovering data from a zeroed hard drive is impossible. Legitimate data recovery firms know this. They will not take the challenge. Neither will a national government agency. Lastly, it is noble and just to dispel myths, falsehoods and untruths.
never heard of a "no knock" warrant? Educate yourself, fool. If there's a reasonable expectation of the destruction of evidence, police will be granted a warrant that does not require knocking. They simply smash their way in.
power off system though, no guarantee that the keys aren't still in ram. Remeber that USB has DMA channels. hbgary and snowden docs show they can dump system ram to a usb device
the reason why it takes hours is because writing a lets say 1TB hdd with lets say 100MB/s ONE time takes fucking 2h
now think about doing this 7 times and we are talking
no chance you can zero a drive faster with it's own writing heads
Once a hard drive is physically broken, even just snapped into two halves (wouldn't work due to them being so brittle, but hypothetically) the data on it is unrecoverable.
Since avoiding suspicion (presumably for destruction of evidence laws) is the priority I can't recommend putting a hole through it.
Moving it around above a large magnet is probably your best bet for not causing viable damage but there's no guarantee if they get a good data recovery team working on it.
I don't have anything to hide but I keep everything encrypted on a small memory stick running Tails. Worst case scenario and you do need to get rid of it, swallow it or flush it.
You are assuming the encryption works and is not compromised by you or the developer, if there is no data on the drive then there is no chance whatsoever of it being found. I could bury a body in Alaska some place and the probability of it being found could be tiny but as with encryption, there is always a chance. And with a human safe guarding the password then someone could drug you, hook you up to a brain scan and ask you questions about it, so the chance of encrypted data being found is not the advertised probability figures.
Simply encrypt it. There are very simple encryption methods which are easy to brake in but you could enctypt it so you need to type in a password at the bootup of yourpc to decrypt it. When police knocks on your door, give them your pc and when they ask you for the password simply say you forgot it.
Another alternative would be to use 2 hdd, one that is unencrypted and has a os + sone bullshit like steam and games on it. Keep all semsible data on the encrypted hdd.
"Ive forgot the password for my second hdd a while ago, but since the os is on the first one i didnt care to format it."
doesn't have to be non-suspicious...
if they have no evidence then they can't do anything about it.
magnets probably won't do it. you'll need to open up the hard drive and scratch the surface of the disk fully.
Its not compromised. The algorythms used in truecrypt are only crackable by quantum computing.
The software company maybe stopped developing software and their underlying protocols might be vulnerable - the raw data is safe.
Partial data reconstruction can still be accomplished from damaged HDD platters using special machines. Where I work we had to send a dead drive in and they got all the data off. Cost $700.
Put everything on a flash drive (assuming your totally-not-illegal-stuff will fit) and just blend the fucking thing if the cops come knocking.
Hell, throw it in an air vent. Cops are lazy and unless you are a murder suspect they aren't going to tear your house apart.
I'm not assuming anything of the sort. I stated that Bitlocker is backdoored and modern Windows systems have backdoors which can (at least theoretically) read keys out of memory.
I suggested dmcrypt because its open source. learn c and review the code and compile it yourself if you want to be sure
Use a virtual machine for whatever you are trying to be sneaky with. Delete it (and the virtual drive) when they show up. You could even have a script prepared that all you have to do is double click. Just a thought.
All the good encryption algorithms are open source and with a little bit of practice you can implement them yourself.
Also you don't understand probability regarding this apparently.
And if you yourself don't know the password then no one can extract it from you. Just google for passwordless or keyless encryption.
Keep your hd somewhere else. Use proxy where the hd is located, remotely connect to hd to use. Knock on door? Initiate write sequence on remote drive. They'll find it, but you can write 32 pass zeros by the time they do. Just watch your ram and temp shit. Theory anyhow. I'm sure someone else could explain this better.
Fact-checked myself because I'm an Enlightened Gentleman. I must concede you are correct; the data is safe. The problem found with TrueCrypt is a privilege-elevation exploit tied to the encryption drivers.
So... your data will likely remain unrecoverable, but any random shitlord with guest account access can potentially administratively compromise your PC.
There is only a slight chance that volume headers can be decrypted by bruteforcing them when only mildly complex passwords are used. The method for encrypting the volume header is only run around 1000-2000 times. You habe to be very unlucky - but its possible to crack that. Its still just a volume header though.
You could have a small partition set up with that virtual HDD and then immediately create a new one on top of it. It would be awfully tricky for them to recover that. Also, by using a virtual machine, you are eliminating all temp and cache files that they could use to trip you up. The best approach is to take multiple approaches. DBAN is the best option, but is too slow in this hypothetical solution. This gives you a quick way to (hopefully) cover your tracks.
Encrypted drive, Small hidden safe that's plastic lined and filled with salt water, under desk, keep it cracked.
If SHTF, Yank the drive, toss it in, slam it shut.
They can't force you to give up the combination, a high enough quality safe has fail-safes that bolt the thing shut if you try to force it.
Anything they use to crack the safe (If they even fucking find it) will destroy the drive, that's if it isn't wiped by sitting in salt-water for hours.
There you go, about a $600 setup. Cheaper than legal fees.
If you smash the drive then they know you've got something to hide and if any fragments survive you can be sure as hell they'll do their best to recover the data on them.
I assume OP is asking for illegal porn related reasons and if that's the case they'd only need to get a fraction of a photo to show what he was guilty of and depending on the kind of porn a single photo could get him the best part of a decade in prison.
Encrypt beforehand, smash if necessary.
If they're at your door, it's too late. But otherwise, use a bootable CD to go in and multiple format the drive end to end.
If you have literally no time, microwave it. You'll be accused of evidence tampering but at least the evidence itself will be destroyed.
nope, pay attention to your fucking history faggot
the NSA issued a NSL to the truecrypt devs demanding they insert a backdoor. the devs could not refuse, so like LavaBit they shut down the project to avoid having to comply.
They released a final version which CANNOT ENCRYPT and wrote a dog-whistle warning on the website to scare people away from the new version and to comply with the demands.
"Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues"
TrueCrypt is Not Secure As...
If you do use it, check your version and checksum -- better yet, switch to fucking linux already and use luks
If the data has been removed there is no chance of finding it. The more human operation and lines of code to run the more chance of a mistake in encrypting it.
If you never want to be found out for murder you destroy the body, not hide it and so it is with data.
It astounds me how stupid some of the people in this thread are...
"Formatting doesn't delete the data."
"You need to run multiple passes of X program to zero out data."
First of all, *QUICK* formatting doesn't delete data but a full format will.
You also only need to do one zero pass.. anyone who thinks otherwise simply doesn't know how anything works, period.
If writing a zero to a sector didn't stick the first time, don't you think we would have major problems during normal usage?
>if any fragments survive you can be sure as hell they'll do their best to recover the data on them
As mentioned above, we don't live in Minority Report. The technology doesn't exist. Even removing the disk from its shell and getting dust or a fingerprint on it will fuck the data on it. With that in mind, imagine taking a wine glass, throwing it against a wall so hard that parts of it are reduced to not shards, but powder, then trying to piece it back together again so that no cracks are visible. Once a hard drive has been destroyed, it is completely and utterly useless.
I should also mention that if you're using a modern SSD and not an HDD then due to the way SSDs handle data (TRIM) once you delete something it's gone forever.
You don't even need to wipe it with zeros.
There is a reason facilities that have classified data make a zero run on hdds at least 20 times.
Even one pass of zeroing a hdd can take longer then you think. With cops in your home you need to do something that takes seconds at max.
what's suspicious about it? Its your property, maybe you heard the police banging on your door maybe you didn't. Maybe you had headphones on while drilling a hole through your HDD that may or may not have CP on it. You have the right to remain silent during an investigation...I'd talk to a lawyer for more advice on these matters though
I accidentally saved a straight shota pic from /b/ and freaked out . got so paranoid ill go to jail so I formatted my HD 8 times then throw out the PC and got a new one. A $2500 mistake.
To be sure you would get the spec sheets for the drive and see how it implements error correction and what type of cache it uses then write a custom zero script to allow for this, fucking writing zeros enough times to cover all eventualities is stupid.
Its true that ssds are not wiped with zeroes, but the trim logic is calculatable to a degree. So not 100% safe.
Most ssds nowadays have a encryption build in. You simply wipe sectors that store the key and the data is gone for good. Easily doable by a script in ms
To add to this, I got in some trouble a few years back because the officer in charge of the case was a twat. Cops came to take computers, list of things they took:
>second family computer
>4-5 old floppy drives sitting in a cabinet
>3 DVD drives sitting in a cabinet
>3 EMPTY computer cases
>bunch of old ass (like 10-15 year old) HDDs
Things they didn't take:
>~10 flash drives scattered around the house in plain sight
>3TB portable external drive PLUGGED INTO a TV
>4TB backup external HDD
The warrant was for "any and all computer related equipment that is capable of storing data or accessing the internet".
So yeah, cops are usually lazy/retarded.
Google has their own quantum computer.
Imho in 10 years max we have the first quantum computers built for brute forcing. They dont even need more then a few minutes to crack any encryption method used today.
You obviously have no idea how TRIM works.
Data in an SSD must be erased before a cell can be written to so when you delete something on an SSD it's not 'instantly' erased but gets TRIM 'flagged' to increase performance, which works in the background.
Depending on whether or not you're using discard affects how long it will take for TRIM to kick in.
Either way, TRIM most certainly WILL zero out the cells.
buy a degausser. They are only like 250
3 cranks and your done.
If you kept your HDD outside your case.
It would literally take less than 45 seconds
YANK, toss in the degauser cause you keep the lid open, CRANK fast 3 times. that's it.
Come on in officers, how can I help you?
oh i was just recently formatting my computer, oh ya. I use a degausser, cause i have banking info on my computer
trucrypt is not safe anymore. and i guess cops will try and get the encryption password out of him in a way or another.
best way would be use external drives and a bucket of acid you can drop the drives into if needed