How do you securely wipe an SSD?

Topics: Technical Issues
Jan 12, 2015 at 3:27 AM
This isn't encryption or VeraCrypt related, I apologize. I just wanted to ask this question to the very smart people on this forum as I have not been able to get a good answer elsewhere.

DBAN works perfectly for traditional magnetic hard drives. However, SSDs are a completely different technology, and you can't use DBAN to securely wipe an SSD due to the controller and firmware wear leveling algorithm.

Does anyone know a way to securely wipe an SSD? Preferably something free and open source?
Jan 12, 2015 at 10:40 AM
Unwipability is one of SSD's many security concerns! See "SSD security: the worst of all worlds" - http://www.zdnet.com/article/ssd-security-the-worst-of-all-worlds/ Fortunately, the commenters point out that Full Drive Encryption will compensate for SSD's problems :) If everything you ever put onto the SSD is encrypted, then no need to ever worry about wiping it clean.
Jan 14, 2015 at 4:16 PM
I have a question about this since you mentioned the SSD already being encrypted. For disks like the Samsung 840 pro that do come with automatic AES drive encryption, all one would need to do is a simple format wipe, correct?

And, this would be true for any drive that self-encrypts at the hardware level (i.e. self encrypting hard disks)? A simple format would do the job?
Jan 14, 2015 at 4:30 PM
No, it's easier than that - the Samsung 840 comes with a "Crypto Erase" method which simply replaces the existing AES-256 key with a new key. Since the old key is then lost, the drive is considered to be sanitized. See page 5 of http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/document/Samsung_SSD_Security_Encryption_Brochure.pdf
Jan 14, 2015 at 5:15 PM
i dont like SSD, certainly not for secure disks. stick with magnetic drives until you aren't able to buy any more.
Jan 15, 2015 at 2:37 PM
I personally have to say I dislike SSD drives for many reasons, security being one of them.

I prefer the warning, albeit slight and brief, you sometimes receive with magnetic drives when they are about to fail. I have experimented with SSD and they just fail with no warning and no chance of recovery.

Wear levelling, malicious firmware and hidden sectors are just some of my many concerns.

I agree, stick with magnetic as long as you can, SSD is not ready for critical real world or business applications as far as I am concerned.