SRI Security Research Institute, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
Securely erasing data is of key importance to anyone that is concerned with the security of their sensitive information, whether an individual or an organization. Simply deleting the data in question or formatting the storage device is not enough to ensure that the data cannot be recovered. Furthermore, with the uptake of Universal Serial Bus drives (USBs) flash memory based storage devices have replaced previous portable secondary storage media. Therefore, it is of a major concern whether these tools and products developed for securely erasing data secondary storage Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) would be as efficient when targeting the USB flash memory storage devices. With a wide range of open source and commercial products available on the market, all claiming, among other things, to be able to securely delete your data, it is quite a difficult task for the consumer to pick the most efficient product. This paper therefore discusses the results of experiments conducted with both the open source and commercial tools which claim to securely delete data off USB flash memory storage devices.