- Working Paper
We address the problem of secure data deletion on log-structured file systems. We focus on the YAFFS file system, widely used on Android smartphones. We show that these systems provide no temporal guarantees on data deletion and that deleted data still persists for nearly 44 hours with average phone use and indefinitely if the phone is not used after the deletion. Furthermore, we show that file overwriting and encryption, methods commonly used for secure deletion on block-structured file systems, do not ensure data deletion in log-structured file systems. We propose three mechanisms for secure deletion on log-structured file systems. Purging is a user-level mechanism that guarantees secure deletion at the cost of negligible device wear. Ballooning is a user-level mechanism that runs continuously and gives probabilistic improvements to secure deletion. Zero overwriting is a kernel-level mechanism that guarantees immediate secure deletion without device wear. We implement these mechanisms on Nexus One smartphones and show that they succeed in secure deletion and neither prohibitively reduce the longevity of the flash memory nor noticeably reduce the device's battery lifetime. These techniques provide mobile phone users more confidence that data they delete from their phones are indeed deleted Show more
Organisational unit03634 - Basin, David
03755 - Capkun, Srdan
NotesSubmitted 5 June 2011.
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