You're viewing an article in iPO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site: Refurbished iPhones May Still Contain Previous User Data
Refurbished iPhones May Still Contain Previous User Data
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 at 1:05 PM - by
Apple iPhones sold as refurbished units may still contain lingering personal data from the previous customer, according to iPhone Atlas on Monday. Using a forensic toolkit, a detective was able to recover personal data that included e-mails, photos and even financial data. Techniques to perform low-level NAND permanent erase are scarce.
"As previously noted, performing a 'Restore' operation on the iPhone does not delete personal data from the device. Such information remains intact on the device after a restore, making the process unsuitable as a preparatory measure for iPhone resale or service. Apparently, Apple's refurbishing procedure also does not delete the personal data," the author said.
The situation was emphasized by Jonathan Zdziarski who has written a forensics manual for law enforcement officials. Currently, there is no widely available technique for erasing personal data on the iPhone. Mr. Zdziarski pointed out, "there are only a couple low-level methods to format the NAND and I'm not sharing at the moment."
While it's unlikely that the purchaser of your refurbished iPhone would seek out or have ready access to forensic tools to do this kind of data recovery, it's still good to know that personal data, despite your best efforts to erase it, could still be lingering in an iPhone that's returned to Apple in a warranty swap or sold to someone else.
- Editorial - It's Time for the Promised, Unlocked iPhone 3Gs
- Wal-Mart Employees Confirm iPhone Rumors
- The RIAA vs. 19 Year Old Cancer Patient
- Mac Gaming News - Gameloft Brings Hero of Sparta to the iPhone
- Free on iTunes - Return to the Moon, JPL, Stranger Things And More
- Apple Claims 300 Million App Store Downloads, 10,000 Apps Available