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'Purge' program to start immediately wiping HDDs (like in the movies)?


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#1 alexghost969

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 10:08 PM

Sorry if this isn't the proper sub-forum, wasn't sure where to put this question.

 

I've been curious lately... You know how in movies, when a hacker is about to get raided, they often have some sort of insta-purge program, where they hit some hot-key setup and all their computers go into meltdown mode and start wiping everything.

 

Has anybody every created a setup like that, if only just for fun?  In theory, I would think you could take a program like DBAN or CCleaner and somehow force link the fastest wipe process to a hotkey right?  Or is there already some existing application with that specific goal in mind?

 

Thanks!



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#2 smax013

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 10:39 PM

I am sure there are ways to setup a quick access to wipe program...but the scenario is overall unrealistic. In my experience secure wipe functions that I have run when selling a computer take FOREVER to run unless you are dealing with a tiny drive (talking like MB not GB or even TB). To my knowledge, the only way to quickly destroy your data is to physically destroy the drive in such a way that that the pieces cannot still "scanned" or put back together.

#3 Didier Stevens

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 09:13 AM

You can quickly wipe your data from a hard disk (or other magnetic media) using a hard disk degausser.

 

Here's a Google search, you'll find several companies that make these, but you could also make your own: https://www.google.be/search?q=degausser+hard+disk

 

This shouldn't physically damage the hard disk, unless the magnetic forces are so strong that they permanently bend small metallic components. To be checked.

 

Just putting a strong magnet next to a hard disk may not wipe any data, as several tests have shown.


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#4 dantose

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:23 AM

I am sure there are ways to setup a quick access to wipe program...but the scenario is overall unrealistic. In my experience secure wipe functions that I have run when selling a computer take FOREVER to run unless you are dealing with a tiny drive (talking like MB not GB or even TB). To my knowledge, the only way to quickly destroy your data is to physically destroy the drive in such a way that that the pieces cannot still "scanned" or put back together.

The simple workaround there is to encrypt the drive and have your purge function simply secure delete the encryption key. 



#5 alexghost969

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:36 AM

[quote name="Didier Stevens" post="4253822" timestamp="1496585609"]
You can quickly wipe your data from a hard disk (or other magnetic media) using a hard disk degausser.[\quote]

Good point for a hardware way of doing things, I have a hard time believing storage would be usable after some hardcore demagnetizing though.
 

[quote name="smax013" timestamp="1496676187"]
The simple workaround there is to encrypt the drive and have your purge function simply secure delete the encryption key. [/quote]

That is a clever solution! Out of curiosity, in general do you fully encrypt your personal hard drives?

#6 smax013

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 06:21 PM

That is a clever solution! Out of curiosity, in general do you fully encrypt your personal hard drives?


FYI, your post was showing that encrypt the whole drive comment as my quote, but it was not me...rather dantose.

Personally, I rarely encrypt an entire drive. The drives and/or computers that I take out of my house rarely contain data that I am THAT worried about protecting. And if the computer is not leaving my house, then I generally don't worry about it. I have individual files or small groups of files that I might encrypt (such as a password file), but that is generally it.

#7 Crazy Cat

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 06:37 PM

If we are talking desktop, then put the C:\ hard drive in a Removable Hard Drive Mobile Rack. Pull it out and secure it, or sledge hammer.

Removable Hard Drive Mobile Rack for 5.25in Bay. https://www.startech.com/support/DRW150SCSIBK

drw150scsibk.Main.jpg

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/286218-REG/Alesis_HD24_CADDY_CADDY_Removable_Hard.html
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images2500x2500/Alesis_HD24_CADDY_CADDY_Removable_Hard_286218.jpg
 

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#8 dantose

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 08:56 PM

That is a clever solution! Out of curiosity, in general do you fully encrypt your personal hard drives?

Not for my personal devices, but if I were deploying sufficient numbers of systems in a business environment, that's how I'd approach anything that would need to be sanitized at end of life. Physical destruction of numerous HDs is a PITA, as is sufficiently deep formating. Last IT job I had were in the process of moving all our systems to full disk encryption. 

 

If I needed to do something that needed to be non persistent on a system, I'd toss in a live CD. 



#9 dantose

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:15 PM

If we are talking desktop, then put the C:\ hard drive in a Removable Hard Drive Mobile Rack. Pull it out and secure it, or sledge hammer.

Removable Hard Drive Mobile Rack for 5.25in Bay. https://www.startech.com/support/DRW150SCSIBK

drw150scsibk.Main.jpg

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/286218-REG/Alesis_HD24_CADDY_CADDY_Removable_Hard.html
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images2500x2500/Alesis_HD24_CADDY_CADDY_Removable_Hard_286218.jpg

Removable drives are great for fast removal to bug out, but aren't really a good solution for rapid destruction. Removable bays are generally designed to protect drives from shocks, and if they are made of ferrous materials, they would probably offer additional protection from degaussing as well. The linked product, for example, specifically mentions the inclusion of shock absorbers to cushion the drive from damage. 

 

A better solution if physical destruction is needed would be an eSATA dock which would allow easy removal with no additional protective layers to complicate destruction. 



#10 Crazy Cat

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:37 PM

A better solution if physical destruction is needed would be an eSATA dock which would allow easy removal with no additional protective layers to complicate destruction.


A1DS_131248118200882644PBmn6hTdUI.jpg

Sure a eSATA dock would be easier, but if you don't have USB 3 or eSATA on the desktop, then removable drives carriages are optimal for full data transfer rate.

Removable drives are great for fast removal to bug out, but aren't really a good solution for rapid destruction. Removable bays are generally designed to protect drives from shocks, and if they are made of ferrous materials, they would probably offer additional protection from degaussing as well. The linked product, for example, specifically mentions the inclusion of shock absorbers to cushion the drive from damage.


The removable carriage is mostly plastic, with only one metal connection socket. See, plastic removable carriage

In less than 10-15 seconds, I can remove the plastic removable carriage, open the slide lid and extract the hard drive.

Once the hard drive is extracted, you can either degaussing, sledge hammer, or use another technique I WON'T MENTION.

Edited by Crazy Cat, 13 June 2017 - 06:37 PM.

 

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#11 dantose

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 04:38 PM

 

A better solution if physical destruction is needed would be an eSATA dock which would allow easy removal with no additional protective layers to complicate destruction.


A1DS_131248118200882644PBmn6hTdUI.jpg

Sure a eSATA dock would be easier, but if you don't have USB 3 or eSATA on the desktop, then removable drives carriages are optimal for full data transfer rate.

Removable drives are great for fast removal to bug out, but aren't really a good solution for rapid destruction. Removable bays are generally designed to protect drives from shocks, and if they are made of ferrous materials, they would probably offer additional protection from degaussing as well. The linked product, for example, specifically mentions the inclusion of shock absorbers to cushion the drive from damage.


The removable carriage is mostly plastic, with only one metal connection socket. See, plastic removable carriage

In less than 10-15 seconds, I can remove the plastic removable carriage, open the slide lid and extract the hard drive.

Once the hard drive is extracted, you can either degaussing, sledge hammer, or use another technique I WON'T MENTION.

 

eSATA/USB 3 PCI cards are available for $10 or so. It's even completely functional to just run a standard SATA cables out of your case. I used to do that for data recovery/imaging.






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