Non-volatile Systems Laboratory Says SSDs Can't Be Securely Erased

Written by John Ponio    Thursday, 17 February 2011 14:52

Non-volatile Systems Laboratory Logo

A new study by the Non-volatile Systems Laboratory shows that "naïvely applying techniques designed for sanitizing hard drives on SSDs, such as overwriting and using built-in secure erase commands is unreliable and sometimes results in all the data remaining intact. Furthermore, our results also show that sanitizing single files on an SSD is much more difficult than on a traditional hard drive." The lab is currently working on new flash transition layers (FTLs), which is what they bypassed to find the supposedly "erased" data on the raw NAND chips, that will allow the data to be securely erased. What this essentially means is that you should keep all of your sensitive data off of SSDs until new data removal techniques are available.