Android Wipes Out… or Doesn’t

And yet another E-Bay bidding war breaks out on a used Android phone.
And yet another E-Bay bidding war breaks out on a used Android phone.

Imagine this, you’re an Android user that somehow stumbled across UTB blogs. You spent some time reading and decided that yes, you had in fact chosen the wrong platform. So off you run and pick up yourself and amazing BB10 phone. And instead of doing what you should do, and simply throw that old Android device in with the rubbish, you decide to sell it off so you’ll have a little extra cash for that coffee you like so much. But you’re not stupid! Obviously not! You switched to BB10. And you know to wipe your phone before you pass it off to that stranger that likes to buy second hand phones from Craigslist. So you do your wipe, restore to factory settings, and meet this sweaty gent at a public place to make your exchange. He seems so happy to get your phone, and you’re happy to have the green in your pocket. And soon, he’ll be shifting through those selfies you took of yourself that night after the pub when you were just drunk enough to think you looked so good that it had to be documented!

Wait. You wiped your phone? How could the sweaty purchaser be looking at your photos? Because like many other things, Android just isn’t very good at wiping. Security Software company Avast purchased 20 Android phones off of eBay and using off the shelf, publicly available software, were able to pull from these phones:

  • 40,000 photos, including 250 nude male selfies. (Glad you were able to sell that phone Undbiter)
  • 750 e-mails and text messages
  • 250 Contacts
  • Identities of 4 previous owners
  • A completed loan application

“Users thought they were doing a clean wipe and factory reinstall,” Avast mobile division president Jude McColgan told CNET, the factory wipe cleans the phones “only at the application layer.”

It seems that this wouldn’t bother most Android users anyway, as anyone concerned about their privacy wouldn’t possibly use an Android device, but if they are concerned, I’m sure they can find an app that will help them, or at least claim to wipe their phone for them.

Source: CNET




Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs. Former BlackBerry Elite. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.