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Researcher: Private data recoverable from Android after wipe

updated 09:40 pm EDT, Thu March 29, 2012

BlackBerry, iOS receive praise

Android devices may not completely remove personal data from a device after a user activates the built-in wipe option, according to McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano. To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 devices, including smartphones and notebook computers, from the popular classifieds site Craigslist.

Tests reportedly showed that users can be confident that their personal data is not easily recoverable from a BlackBerry smartphone or iOS device. RIM took top honors, with security provisions that Siciliano describes as "totally impenetrable," according to quotes posted in an LA Times report.

"They did a really good job of destroying data when you reset the factory settings," the researcher added.

Siciliano suggests that Android and Windows XP represented the worst performers, leaving users with no direct option to clear data. The researcher recommends that users do not sell Android smartphones or Windows XP computers, without removing the hard drive.

by MacNN Staff



  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How does one remove a Hard Drive from an Android phone?

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: So...

    With a hammer. It's not like they have any resale value in any case...

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I love how "open" Android is.

  1. patrix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    devoid of details

    Classified under fear-mongering until details are revealed of what data was recoverable and how, and how it should be wiped. I mean it even mentions that the SIM card is what contains the contact list, while on Android the main contact list is usually stored in the gmail account....

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A security researcher from a security company warning you about a security problem. I'm waiting for the next shoe to drop: "MacAfee recommends users use MacAfee Android Wipe to clear the data from their phone before disposing of it."

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