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Factory Reset option is not working properly on Android Devices

The experts from the University of Cambridge have analyzed Factory Reset option from Android mobile phones, which was presented as the safest way of deleting all new personalized settings and sensitive data and permitting the mobile devices to reset to their default factory settings. The results of the analysis were not encouraging at all and the conclusions are alarming.

This Android option is very important because it guarantees to users that the mobile phones or smartphones they sell, recycle or replace with new ones will delete all the personal information and all the sensitive or possible compromising data. Practically, the phones will be like new, when you bought them from the factory. Or at least you thought so. But the reality is slightly different.

According to the researchers team, approximately 500 millions of mobile phones with Android do not delete from the internal memory all the data from users., when the application is run. So, it is possible for hackers to recover text messages, e-mails, information’s from agenda of contacts and even login data. Approximately 630 millions mobile phones with Android can not completely delete the memory card’s content. This means all the personal pictures and movies can be recovered! For this analyze there were used Android versions starting from 2.3.x until Android 4.3. But no one can guarantee the mobile phones with newer Android versions are any safer.

What it was really shocking was that the file that permits Google user to successfully synchronizes contacts agenda, e-mails etc it was recovered by researchers, after running the Factory Reset option. And the same principle applies to Facebook users, to the token files this app is using. But for these cases, the guilty companies are not Google or Facebook but the mobile devices producers, at least, in most of the cases. The producers should include the software drivers which are necessary for the entire delete of Flash memory. Anyway, Google, for instance, has not shown any official point of view regarding these issues, so we still wait for things to be cleared and solved.

W3Schools

About Jacob Chambers

As long-time IT enthusiasts, gamers and gadget fanatics, Mark and I have been working in the industry for a long time and we both have a vast experience in dealing with smartphones, tablets, PC and console hardware and everything tech-related. My list of industry insiders is long-enough to allow me to get insights into what's going on in the technology field and provide my readers with interesting and timely updates. I focus on brief, to-the-point reporting, keeping the "bla bla" to a minimum and making sure my readers get easy access to important information and updates. I mainly specialize in Android-based mobile devices, leaving iOS and Apple devices in Mark's capable hands.

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4 comments

  1. Conventional wisdom among computer enthusiasts tells us that considerable overwriting of the flash memory is required to completely eradicate old files. Usually one must purchase software written exclusively for the singular purpose of wiping all traces of the data that stubbornly remains.

  2. Yet another betrayal from our “first do evil” leader Google.

  3. Jörg Kaufmann

    One might think that a “factory reset” reverses the device to the factory state. But with Android this means the last system version installed with user data removed, hopefully erased. If the user data was encrypted this is no problem as long as the key is not recoverable. One thing that might help a bit is creating a new user after reset, fill up the data partition and factory reset again. Or boot into the recovery and check whether a wipe option is available, or when the device was rooted do it from the custom recovery.

  4. I found that something wrong with “factory reset when i upgrade mistakenly the Android OS” and i couldn’t go back to the old OS never again.Not with “Factory reset” then why they call it FACTORY RESET???

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