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HDFS >> mail # dev >> Secure deletion of blocks

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Re: Secure deletion of blocks
> If I've got the right idea about this at all?

>From the man page for wipe(1);

"Journaling filesystems (such as Ext3 or ReiserFS) are now being used by
default by most Linux distributions. No secure deletion program that does
filesystem-level calls can sanitize files on such filesystems, because
sensitive data and metadata can be written to the journal, which cannot be
readily accessed. Per-file secure deletion is better implemented in the
operating system."

You might be able to work around this by turning off the journal on these
filesystems.  But even then, you've got issues like the drive remapping bad
sectors (and leaving around the old ones), flash firmware that is unable to
erase less than an erase block, etc.

The simplest solution is probably just to use full-disk encryption.  Then
you don't need any code changes at all.

Doing something like invoking shred on the block files could improve
security somewhat, but it's not going to work all the time.

On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 5:31 AM, Matt Fellows <

> Hi,
> I'm looking into writing a patch for HDFS which will provide a new method
> within HDFS which can securely delete the contents of a block on all the
> nodes upon which it exists. By securely delete I mean, overwrite with
> 1's/0's/random data cyclically such that the data could not be recovered
> forensically.
> I'm not currently aware of any existing code / methods which provide this,
> so was going to implement this myself.
> I figured the DataNode.java was probably the place to start looking into
> how this could be done, so I've read the source for this, but it's not
> really enlightened me a massive amount.
> I'm assuming I need to tell the NameServer that all DataNodes with a
> particular block id would be required to be deleted, then as each DataNode
> calls home, the DataNode would be instructed to securely delete the
> relevant block, and it would oblige.
> Unfortunately I have no idea where to begin and was looking for some
> pointers?
> I guess specifically I'd like to know:
> 1. Where the hdfs CLI commands are implemented
> 2. How a DataNode identifies a block / how a NameServer could inform a
> DataNode to delete a block
> 3. Where the existing "delete" is implemented so I can make sure my secure
> delete makes use of it after successfully blanking the block contents
> 4. If I've got the right idea about this at all?
> Kind regards,
> Matt Fellows
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