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AutoScrubber/SuperScrubber 1.5

Jiiva
Rating: (four burnt toasts)

Mark Ericksen
PO Box 1960
Beaverton, OR 97075
US


Collateral damage:
USD 60 [single user licence]

'Jiiva' means 'breath of life' in Sanskrit. One wishes Jiiva would imbue a little 'jiiva' into their disk cleansing tools. As things stand, the tools are not so much 'jiiva' as they are 'jive' - no matter that certain institutions seem to have embraced them: all that reveals is that more people than hitherto known are clueless and easily fooled and should have never been given responsibility for security at their places of work.

The screen shots tell all - as do the 'stats' on the product pages:

http://www.jiiva.com/images/ss_window.jpg
http://www.jiiva.com/images/ss_edit_config.jpg
http://www.jiiva.com/images/ss_scrub.jpg

http://www.jiiva.com/autoscrubber/

Not only do these 'mis-apps' suffer from an unnecessary and poorly used textured window interface, but the screen shots are all remarkably similar and reveal nothing of the inner workings.

Or do they?

On all three pictures you can see proudly displayed at the top:

Select configuration    Military

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no 'military' cleansing method for hard drives. The only approved sanitation method for such media is incineration - yes, that means dropping your 80 GB drive into a pizza oven or worse, and watching it melt into oblivion. All else is sub-standard, according to the 'military'.

For it is certain that the 'military' - even the armed forces of Punjab - would not be so stupid as to 'approve' of a four-step process whereby the first step is

the character 'a'

And the next step is the COMPLEMENT of

the character 'a'

And the next step is

RANDOM BYTES

And the final step is

VERIFY

Verify what? That the data is gone? Does this only flush the stuff to disk once? It hardly matters, for if this is all you are going to do to hide your data from us, we will 0WN you. Give us your hard drive, and we will write your biography - and probably fill in with details you've forgot.

Click the lock to make changes? Involving the Authorization Services API? Why? Why when this is supposed to run off a read-only CD and you're about to obliterate your entire hard drive, with all its security settings?

This is the kind of hype one loves - or rather loves to hate. It's so unnecessary, but oh, if you don't know what you're doing, or what Jiiva are doing, it does look so SERIOUS and IMPRESSIVE, doesn't it?

So much time wasted developing a tasteless interface, but no effort made to actually protect hard drives! So someone at a news agency supposedly sent a disk scrubbed with this kiddie tool to a lab? What were they running in the lab - EnCase?

Take it to any halfway decent lab and they'll write your life story.

They'll also pick up the web page caches of your visit to Jiiva's 'secure' server along with your AutoScrubber/SuperScrubber purchase page and the data you sent, and with your complete credit card information - all overwritten a number of times of course, and not only by new files on disk, but also - natch - by the 'military grade' AutoScrubber/SuperScrubber from Jiiva.

But they'll get it nonetheless.


Character? Complement? Random Bytes? Verify? Military Grade? Hello!

Jiiva AutoScrubber and SuperScrubber: trust them and the bad guys will 0WN you.

Postscript

It's all there - and it's always been there - in your OS X Unix: the same thing, and for free.


RM(1)System General Commands ManualRM(1)

NAME

rm, unlink - remove directory entries

SYNOPSIS

rm [-dfiPRrvW] file ...
unlink file

DESCRIPTION

The rm utility attempts to remove the non-directory type files specified on the command line. If the permissions of the file do not permit writ- ing, and the standard input device is a terminal, the user is prompted (on the standard error output) for confirmation.

The options are as follows:


-POverwrite regular files before deleting them. Files are overwritten three times, first with the byte pattern 0xff, then 0x00, and then 0xff again, before they are deleted.

HISTORY

A rm command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.


The Unix rm does the same thing - almost exactly the same thing - as AutoScrubber and SuperScrubber. And it's free - it's already on your disk.

One thing you're going to have to rationalise if you go for this product anyway and shell out half of what the entire OS X costs for a single program:

  • You're either going to have to admit that 'Unix purge' with 'rm -P' is not 'secure delete' after all; or
  • You're going to have to admit you've just been had.
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