Researchers: Android factory reset doesn't fully wipe data

Uh-oh. Google Android cybersecurity issue once again.

| May 25, 2015 at 4:46 am CDT

Google Android smartphone owners under the assumption they were able to wipe data from their devices could be leaving information behind, according to researchers from Cambridge University. The researchers took a look at used devices and found files that allowed them to access the previous owner's Gmail accounts and other login/password data.

Researchers: Android factory reset doesn't fully wipe data | TweakTown.com

The devices ran Android 2.3.x Gingerbread all the way to 4.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, with the UK devices including smartphones from Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola, Google, and HTC.

"We were able to retrieve the Google master cookie from the great majority of phones, which means that we could have logged on to the previous owner's Gmail account," according to the researchers. "The reasons for failure are complex; new phones are generally better than old ones, and Google's own brand phones are better than the OEM offerings."

Any time a user upgrades to a new smartphone, a factory reset is recommended - but that apparently is no longer good enough.

Last updated: Jun 16, 2020 at 04:29 pm CDT

NEWS SOURCES:yahoo.com, i.imgur.com

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An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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