Avast: Android’s factory reset option does not completely wipe a device

Avast: Android’s factory reset option does not completely wipe a device

According to a new study carried out by security software maker Avast, the 'factory reset' option of Android does not apparently wipe a device completely.

The findings of the study show that when the users of Android devices wipe their devices - either before selling them or in case of having lost them - to remove all information, the personal data stored on the devices remains unchanged even after the 'factory reset' option has been exercised.

For the study, Avast bought 20 used Android-based handsets. The company's specialists them used off-the-shelf data forensic software program to figure out the mechanism for uncovering information thought to have been wiped off from the devices.

As a result of the efforts of the specialists, Avast was able to uncover more than 40,000 photographs -which included thousands of naked selfies - as well as 750 emails and messages, points of interest of 250 contacts, andinformation of the previous owners of the devices.

Highlighting the fact that the past owners of the Android devices bought by Avast had apparently believed that they had done "a clean wipe and factory install," the Avast report said: "Although at first glance the phones appeared thoroughly erased, we were able to recover a lot of private data. In most cases, we got to the low level analysis, which helped us recover SMS and chat messages."


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