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Securely erase files and partition from magnetic media - Wipe

Recovery of supposedly erased data from magnetic media is easier than what many people wouldlike to believe. A technique called Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)  allows  any  moderately funded  opponent  to recover  the  last  two  or three layers of data written to disk; wipe repeatedly overwrites special patterns to the files to be destroyed, using the fsync()  call and/or the O_SYNC bit to force disk access. In normal mode, 34 patterns are used (of which 8 are  random).  These  patterns  were  recommended  in  an   article   from   Peter   Gutmann (  entitled "Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory". A quick mode allows you to use only 4 passes with  random  patterns,  which  is  of course much less secure.

Encrypting  a  whole partition with cryptoloop, for example, does not help very much either, since there is a single key for all the partitions.

Therefore wipe is best used to sanitize a harddisk before giving  it  to  untrusted  parties (i.e.  sending  your laptop for repair, or selling your disk).

wipe Installation:
Open the terminal and type following command to install wipe:
sudo apt-get install wipe
Using Wipe:
$ wipe -rcf /home/nikesh/delete
Operation finished.                                                        
2 files wiped and 0 special files ignored in 1 directory, 0 symlinks removed but not followed, 0 errors occured
Wipe  every  file  and every directory (option -r) listed under /home/nikesh/delete, including /home/nikesh/delete.


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