Duplicates also Matter! Towards Secure Deletion on Flash-based Storage Media by Removing Duplicates

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


Flash memory has been used extensively as external storage of smartphones, tablets, IoT devices, laptops, etc. Therefore, more and more sensitive or even mission critical data are stored in flash and, once the data turn obsolete, securely deleting them is necessary for both regulation compliance and privacy protection. Traditional secure deletion on flash memory mainly focuses on sanitizing data. However, unique nature of flash memory may cause various data ''remnants'' and, even though the data are removed, the remnants may be utilized by the adversary to recover the deleted data, compromising the secure deletion guarantee. Based on both theoretic analysis and experiments using real-world workloads, we have identified one common type of remnants in the flash memory, namely duplicates, which are caused by unique internal functions of flash storage media including garbage collection, wear leveling, bad block management. We propose RedFlash, a novel secure deletion scheme which can efficiently Remove both the data and the corresponding duplicates towards secure deletion on Flash memory. Security analysis and experimental evaluation show that RedFlash can ensure the secure deletion guarantee, at the cost of a small performance degradation, compared to a regular (non-secure) flash controller.

Publication Title

ASIA CCS 2022 - Proceedings of the 2022 ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security