Reliably Erasing Data from SSD Drives

Solid State Drives (SSD) are all the rage, and have many advantages over traditional moving-parts hard disks: They’re less fragile, they’re smaller and give a more compact footprint, and they’re faster, at least for certain types of operations. From a security perspective, though, an interesting question is: How easy (or difficult) is it to reliably erase the data on these new drives? The ability to remove data completely is a key security issue, especially for those whose businesses involve storage of particularly sensitive information. This paper discusses in great depth the problem of reliably erasing data from flash-based solid state drives and explains why the same techniques that work for traditional hard drives may not be as effective with SSDs.

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