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Wipe SSD Drive for PCI Compliance

Posted on 2014-03-12
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Last Modified: 2014-03-27
i know for normal SATA drive i have to do 7 passes when wiping the hard drive, i use DBAN for SATA/ATA Drives.

What can i use for SSD Drives?
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Question by:NxJNY
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Thomas Zucker-Scharff earned 167 total points
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You should take a gander at the paper I recently came upon in my collection.  It is a attached.
SAFE---scramble-and-finally-eras.pdf
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by:McKnife
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Hmm, in that document, the term "secure erase" is not even mentioned, although it should be the "buzz-word" here. That document is a little old. The same people, only a few months later published this: http://www.usenix.org/events/fast11/tech/full_papers/Wei.pdf which is also linked here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence#Data_on_solid-state_drives

Conclusion: two ways to go:
-encrypt new drives before data gets onto them (whole disk encryption methods), then you won't have to worry.
-if sensitive data is already on unencrypted media, the only way to get rid of it is to use secure erase commands based at the firmware level of the drive. Usually this takes only some seconds (!) and is done via manufacturer provided tools.

Simply erasing using the same tools as for HDDs is not applicable to SSD due to wear features.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 39924501
Good one - thanks for the link.  You can also see a few decent papers on SSDs by techtarget here:

http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/solid-state-drive  

Check the bottom for links to various discussions of SSDs.
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by:Rich Rumble
ID: 39925379
SSD's, depending on the model and age, have undergone quite a few changes, and that can affect what is and isn't able to be recovered or even wiped. Modern SSD's evenhave built-in tools for it.SSD's can have bad sectors that don't allow you to access them anymore, but that doesn't mean they aren't accessible at some (hardware)level and thus able to be recovered.
http://www.kingston.com/us/community/articledetail?ArticleId=10
http://arstechnica.com/security/2011/03/ask-ars-how-can-i-safely-erase-the-data-from-my-ssd-drive/
-rich
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btan earned 167 total points
ID: 39928435
Another for sharing
- Secure Erase (HDDErase.exe, but pretty out dated in development)
- Parted Magic suite of tools (may be better candidate)

http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20115106-285/how-to-securely-erase-an-ssd-drive/

I am skeptical if really erasure can be that clean (also ref what richrumble shared in the ars article) but probably just encrypt your hard drive and then zero it, also not "killing" te lifespan with too much wiping etc
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
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Lifespan of an SSD is measured in the number of writes.  It is my understanding that you will probably never reach the number in the life of a given SSD, but it would be wise not to defragment.
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