Friday , August 18 2017

Factory reset phones found to still contain personal data

Factory Reset
When you’re finished with a phone or tablet and are looking to on-sell the device, you factory reset it. But what if that doesn’t actually wipe those naked ‘selfies’ you’re trying to get rid of them? That’s what security software company Avast has found when looking at some old phones they purchased from eBay.

Avast purchased 20 Android smartphones from eBay and managed to restore more than 40,000 photos – including 250 nude male selfies! – as well as 750 emails, 250 contacts, four previous identities and a completed loan application. To recover the information they didn’t use anything particularly magical according to Avast mobile division president Jude McColgan who advised they used ‘fairly generic, publicly available’ software, including FTK Imager – a drive imaging application.

According to McColgan the factory reinstall is not actually completing a full wipe, he told C-Net that ‘Users thought they were doing a clean wipe and factory reinstall’, but the factory reinstall is cleaning phones ‘only at the application layer’.

Of course, this is definitely in the best interest of Avast to make everyone aware of this. McColgan points out that the Avast software they supply comes with a deletion tool, which does a better job of wiping personal data than the built-in Android factory reset. Now, to see if or when Google will respond.

 
Source: C-Net.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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5 Comments on "Factory reset phones found to still contain personal data"

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Nick
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Nick

Theres actually quite a few apps that will do it for u too if u have a rooted phone. Did it for mine when something went wring am thought i lost it all. Got 90% back

Ken Hoban
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Ken Hoban

Would this stay completely true if you were to wipe from recovery, and clear caches etc?

anonymous doll
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anonymous doll

Another reason to use full system encryption on your android devices!

Brad Hook
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Brad Hook

Who has the time and effort to try and restore data from a stranger that you don’t even know? That’s the last thing I’d try and do when buying a second hand device.

MrJayTee74
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MrJayTee74

I always trust security news from a company that wants to sell me a security product

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