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Odds and Ends: Updating srm; Knowledge Base updates

Odds and Ends: Updating srm; Knowledge Base updates

Newer, non-Apple versions of srm missing functionality MacFixIt reader David Oshel raised an interesting issue with respect to upgrading the Unix tools included with Mac OS X. Like most versions of Unix, OS X includes the srm (secure remove) tool to securely delete files; however, because the standard Unix srm program doesn't recognize Macintosh resource forks, Apple has provided their own, modified, version of srm with Mac OS X in order to ensure that resource forks are also securely deleted.

The issue raised by David is that some "casual Unix geeks" may be tempted to upgrade srm to the latest version, available from the SourceForge website. Although this will provide them with a newer version of the srm utility, the newer version will not include Apple's resource-fork-aware additions. The end result is that any use of the newer version of srm -- manually or unintentionally via scripts or applications -- will only securely delete the data fork of files; their resource forks will remain on your hard drive. In rare cases, these resource forks can contain sensitive data, thus rendering srm ineffective.

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