SQLite 3.42 Released With "Secure Delete" Command

Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 16 May 2023 at 11:30 AM EDT. 8 Comments
SQLite 3.42 is now available as the newest update to this widely-used, embed-friendly SQL database option that is used by countless applications and other software for lightweight and speedy data storage purposes.

Most notable with SQLite 3.42 is the introduction of the FTS5 secure-delete command. When this option is used, all forensic traces are then removed from the FTS5 inverted index when content is deleted rather than potentially leaving latent information around post-deletion. The new documentation on the secure-delete configuration option explains:
"Normally, when an entry in an fts5 table is updated or deleted, instead of removing entries from the full-text index, delete-keys are added to the new b-tree created by the transaction. This is efficient, but it means that the old full-text index entries remain in the database file until they are eventually removed by merge operations on the full-text index. Anyone with access to the database can use these entries to trivially reconstruct the contents of deleted FTS5 table rows. However, if the 'secure-delete' option is set to 1, then full-text entries are actually removed from the database when existing FTS5 table rows are updated or deleted. This is slower, but it prevents old full-text entries from being used to reconstruct deleted table rows."

SQLite 3.42 also improves its JSON SQL functions to support JSON5 extensions, new database configuration options added, query planner improvements, more keyword support for application-defined SQL functions, and various other fixes and performance optimizations.

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Downloads and more details on the SQLite 3.42 release via SQLite.org.
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