Research Shows Android "Factory Resets" Are Not Enough to Permanently Delete Data


Newport, Wales -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/09/2014 -- Smartphone and tablet owners have been warned that performing a factory reset is not enough to permanently remove data from Android devices. Investigations into Android’s software have found that it is possible to retrieve potentially sensitive information that was previously thought to have been wiped.

This hardware flaw has left users of Tesco’s Hudl tablet particularly vulnerable. There is a known bug the Rockchip processor which allows sensitive information including bank details, pin codes, Wi-Fi keys, and browser cookies to be extracted. Pen Test Partners Ken Munro performed the investigations on ten (10) tablets he bought second-hand on eBay. Munro was able to retrieve data that had been supposedly deleted during factory resets. He explained that a ‘factory reset’ often only deletes the index of files present in the device’s memory. Munro recovered the data using software that was available online for free.?This issue is not exclusive to Android users. Computer forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski has completed research that found deleted information on Apple products is also vulnerable to data recovery. Zdziarski’s work has since been independently verified by the security firm Stroz Friedberg.

A spokesman for Tesco stated: ‘Customers should always ensure all personal information is removed prior to giving away or selling any mobile device. To guarantee this, customers should use a data wipe program.’

Tabernus Data Erasure Software can ensure all personal data is securely removed, as well as supplying a detailed report as proof of successful data erasure. Tabernus Enterprise Erase Mobile enables the erasure of mixed mobile devices, so that iOS and Android data can be safely deleted, without any reduction in erasure time.?For more information on Certified, Flexible and Secure Data Erasure visit to view our wide range of products.

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Tabernus is a leading provider of certified data erasure software and hardware solutions used by companies of all sizes to completely remove all data from hard drive storage devices. With headquarters in Austin, Texas, its European offices are in London and South Wales.?Established in 2002, the company now offers easy to install and operate data erasure tools as both software and hardware solutions. Tabernus has been formally Certified for government use to securely erase protectively marked data after independent testing carried out by QinetiQ & Si-Venture under contract to the Government’s Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG). Tabernus is also approved by DIPCOG, NSM, NATO and leading global Certification & approval schemes.

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