This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

Self-destructing code developed by researchers that automatically deletes files

Share this article:

A code has been developed by researchers at the University of Washington that will automatically delete files after a pre-set time limit.

As reported by itnews.com.au, the software is named Vanish and will be presented next month at USENIX Security '09 exhibition in Canada. It allows the user of any web-based service to specify to encrypt messages.

The key does not need to be managed as it is put into a global P2P network for a specified time before disappearing, rending the message unencryptable.

The system currently uses the Vuze BitTorrent distributed hash table as its P2P network and sets default time limits on messages as eight hours, although longer periods should be possible. The team is also reported to be developing a Firefox application for Vanish.

Team member Hank Levy, told ITnews: “In today's world, private information is scattered all over the internet, and we can't control the lifetime of that data. As we transition to a future based on cloud computing, where enormous, anonymous data centres run the vast majority of our applications and store nearly all of our data, we will lose even more control.”

University of Washington computer scientist Tadayoshi Kohno claimed that Vanish is designed to give people the same privacy for email and the web, as they would expect for a phone conversation.

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud


Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric


As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.


View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

4% of Googlebots are fake and can launch attacks

4% of Googlebots are fake and can ...

Admins' fear of damaging their SEO gives malicious search engine bots a 'VIP pass' into sites.

Brit Lauri Love faces more US hacking charges

Brit Lauri Love faces more US hacking charges

Lauri Love, a 29-year-old British man from Stradishall in Suffolk, has been charged by a US court with hacking into multiple US government computers and stealing more than 100,000 employee ...

More questions than answers as BBC outage fuels DDoS talk

More questions than answers as BBC outage fuels ...

The British Broadcasting Corporation was hit by a prolonged outage on its website and iPlayer video-on-demand service (VOD) last weekend, raising questions about the cause and whether it was subjected ...