In case you are planning to junk your Android in the second hand market for the sake of a new one, beware your data can be retrieved from your old smartphone.
According to a new Cambridge study, the data is retrievable from the second hand smartphones that have been wiped through factory reset. According to researchers, the user data can be recovered even when protected by full disk encryption.
Most Android devices offer no easy way of deleting data including messages, access tokens, images and other content. Experts have been raising their concerns that the smartphones are hard to clear the user data.
A study examined some second hand devices running 5 different Android versions that had been wiped out through the factory reset feature. According to researchers in Cambridge, the issue also exists with the third party applications such as those offered by antivirus vendors.
The issue can also be caused by the difficulty of fully deleting data from flash memory used in Android devices due to the physical nature of memory chips.
Other problems include vendors’ failure to launch necessary drivers introduced by their modifications of Android handsets.
As proof of their concept, the researchers in Cambridge recovered a master token in a handset & found that after the rebooting, it re-synchronized email, contacts and other data. The master token was found to be retrievable in 80% of the handsets that had a factory reset mechanism.