Product Features Continued
This section of the application gives you the ability to wipe all your tracks from the computer and is not only limited to wiping your Internet tracks like history, cookies, and cache. GhostSurf can also wipe items from other applications on your computer, such as "recently used" lists, playlists, the Start menu run list, the recent documents menu, the recycle bin, and more.
TracksCleaner can completely eliminate any trace of files and folders you select it to delete. It can also make previously deleted files unrecoverable and undiscoverable. There are a variety of methods you can choose from to delete your data, from quick and simple to aggressively strong methods. Below are the five methods you can use; keep in mind the stronger the method, the longer it will take.
• Quick Wipe (normal pass)
• Stop Undeleted Tools
• NAVSO P-5239-26 (MFM)
• Schneier's algorithm
• Gutmann's algorithm
TracksCleaner has a reporting feature. You can set it to send an email after it's completed a wipe. You are also able to set TracksCleaner to run when you start your computer, when all browsers are closed, or on a selected date and time, with the option to repeat at set intervals--from 15 minutes to one year.
Although GhostSurf’s TracksCleaner provide you with five levels of wiping methods, upon further research, it seems to be a redundant set of options. Peter Gutmann--after whom TracksCleaner's strongest wiping method is named--says in his own article’s epilogue:-
In the time since this paper was published, some people have treated the 35-pass overwrite technique described in it more as a kind of voodoo incantation to banish evil spirits than the result of a technical analysis of drive encoding techniques. As a result, they advocate applying the voodoo to PRML and EPRML drives even though it will have no more effect than a simple scrubbing with random data. In fact performing the full 35-pass overwrite is pointless for any drive since it targets a blend of scenarios involving all types of (normally used) encoding technology, which covers everything back to 30+-year-old MFM methods (if you don't understand that statement, re-read the paper). If you're using a drive that uses encoding technology X, you only need to perform the passes specific to X, and you never need to perform all 35 passes. For any modern PRML/EPRML drive, a few passes of random scrubbing is the best you can do. As the paper says, "A good scrubbing with random data will do about as well as can be expected." This was true in 1996, and is still true now.
Looking at this from the other point of view, with the ever-increasing data density on disk platters and a corresponding reduction in feature size and use of exotic techniques to record data on the medium, it's unlikely that anything can be recovered from any recent drive except perhaps a single level via basic error-cancelling techniques. In particular the drives in use at the time that this paper was originally written have mostly fallen out of use, so the methods that applied specifically to the older, lower-density technology don't apply any more. Conversely, with modern high-density drives, even if you've got 10 KB of sensitive data on a drive and can't erase it with 100 percent certainty, the chances of an adversary being able to find the erased traces of that 10 KB in 80 GB of other erased traces are close to zero.