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Fast purge SSDs are the antithesis of
ideal consumer / enterprise drives because
they are designed to defeat forensic data recovery.

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military SSDs - from Foremay

fast erase / purge SSDs - in archived news

February 2015 - "Remotely triggered data destruction isn't a new idea in secure SSDs - but it hasn't really taken hold in the past due to the disruptive effect of false positives. For those reasons Waitan's StellaHunter is triggered by 2 or more preset conditions. Users can also choose whether the SSD should be reusable after the secure erase or whether the SSD should have a destructive erase."

May 2013 - "Microsemi says a full hardware-based erase takes less than 8 seconds for the whole 256GB."

February 2012 - "Greenliant's industrial grade SATA BGA SSDs have upto 8GB capacity, zoneable password security and fast erase."

March 2011 - "Foremay 's presentation discusses different approaches for the secure erase of data on SSD's. Although key destruction of a self-encrypting drive provides some protection and is very fast, the data remains on the drive leaving the possibility of decryption with breakthroughs in the future. Secure erase eliminates this possibility entirely, and can be done with a hardware-based, one-key self-destroy disk purge in a few seconds, or a secure erase using a one-key or software-based method in several seconds. These options provide a range of methods to keep the data secure."

November 2010 - "RunCore has launched the world's first CF card with fast (typically 30 seconds) on-board sanitization functions."

February 2009 - "WEDC's - ZoneLoc automatically sanitizes a flash SSD to military standards - when the device is moved outside a specified operating zone - to prevent data falling into enemy hands. ZoneLoc has configurable features and options, including audible warnings, programmable response times, wireless remote purging and sensitivity modes."

May 2002 - "Securing confidential data is essential: as the damage that can be caused when it falls into the "wrong hands" is devastating... Deleting files from a mechanical disk does not actually erase the data as only the File Allocation Table (FAT) is being updated but the data still resides within the disk. Some SSD designs enable users to erase the entire disk in typically 5 seconds."
99.8% of data in server DRAM can still be clearly read an hour after the power has been turned off.
is data remanence in persistent memory a new risk factor?

Fast purge and autonomous data destruct flash SSDs
for when you need more than encrypted and rugged

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor -
The need for fast data erase - in which vital parts of a flash SSD are destroyed in seconds - has always been a requirement in military projects.

That's because if a disk falls into enemy hands the data protection offered by encryption is not safe enough.

Encryption can be defeated in a short period of time by brute force methods and also by master keys being stolen.

These are unacceptable risks in war time - which is why various methods of fast purge have been developed in the past decade - including blowing critical datapaths using elevated currents (fuse sputtering technology) and destroying parts of a chip using elevated voltage. This is done by special destructive programming circuits which are designed into the SSD silicon.

The standard "write erase" which is intrinsic to flash write operations is not (as a single pass shot) an adequate mechanism for this purpose because flash memory cells have remanence - which means their previous contents can be read under certain test conditions.

Another novel method (unveiled in 2011 and invented by Pangaea Media) appears to use a triggerable ultrasonic transducer integrated in the SSD casing - which destroys memory chip substrates using energy from an embedded battery.

Vendors don't like to talk much about the implementation details for obvious reasons. But the fast purge options offered typically fall into 2 categories:- fastest operation, or lowest power.

Another fast erase / purge option available to designers is the option to render the SSD unusable (destroying key operating parts of the SSD) versus the option to reuse the SSD in another application.

Although many SSD vendors are offering their products with extended rugged operating environment capabilities - it's the availability of fast purge which differentiates "true military" SSDs which can be deployed in defense applications.

Many readers have asked for a separate directory of such products to simplify their search process.

Fast purge SSDs are the antithesis of ideal consumer / enterprise SSDs - because they are designed to defeat data recovery. The problem for military SSD designers is that as recovery techniques get better and raw computing power increases - the demands on the purge systems are increased.
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Data Integrity in flash SSD Design
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
more bookmarks for "fast SSD erase"
Protecting Military Data in a Flash (pdf)
the changing face of the industrial SSD market
Principles of bad block management in flash SSDs
Why SSD sanitization software fails to protect (pdf)
Reliably Erasing Data From Flash-Based SSDs (pdf)
Security Features for SSDs in Defense Applications (pdf)
adding "E" to MLC - good vs naughty flash in enterprise SSDs
Designing Robust Security Options for Embedded Systems (pdf)
Security Erase - When Data Destruction Becomes Top Priority (pdf)
Challenges in Reliably Sanitizing SSDs - Scramble and Finally Erase (pdf)
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Surviving SSD sudden power loss
Why should you care what happens in an SSD when the power goes down? This article will help you understand why some SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) are more likely to fail in others... the article
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Austin Semiconductor

BiTMICRO Networks

Cactus Technologies



Extreme Engineering Solutions


Greenliant Systems






Pangaea Media

Phoenix International


Renice Technology


Sage Micro


Super Talent Technology


Targa Systems

Vanguard Rugged Storage


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