Android Factory Reset Leaves Personal Data on Phone
Bad news for people who have sold or given away their Android old phones: Google’s own factory reset likely didn’t remove all of their personal data and account-login information. A whopping 500 million Android devices may be at risk, according to a study by University of Cambridge researchers Laurent Simon and Ross Anderson.
According to their academic paper, once an Android device’s data is recovered by exploiting this flaw, it will “successfully re-synchronize contacts, emails, and so on,” leaving the digital lives of the original owners completely exposed. Access to accounts through dedicated apps, such as Facebook, on a poorly wiped device can also be procured through recovered authentication tokens.