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Your cell phone hold a Gold mine of old data

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Blitzer, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/betrayed_by_a_cell_phone

    AP Enterprise: Cell phones spill secrets

    By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer Wed Aug 30, 10:34 AM ET

    WASHINGTON - The married man's girlfriend sent a text message to his cell phone: His wife was getting suspicious. Perhaps they should cool it for a few days.


    "So," she wrote, "I'll talk to u next week."

    "You want a break from me? Then fine," he wrote back.

    Later, the married man bought a new phone. He sold his old one on eBay, at Internet auction, for $290.

    The guys who bought it now know his secret.

    The married man had followed the directions in his phone's manual to erase all his information, including lurid exchanges with his lover. But it wasn't enough.

    Selling your old phone once you upgrade to a fancier model can be like handing over your diaries. All sorts of sensitive information pile up inside our cell phones, and deleting it may be more difficult than you think.

    A popular practice among sellers, resetting the phone, often means sensitive information appears to have been erased. But it can be resurrected using specialized yet inexpensive software found on the Internet.

    A company, Trust Digital of McLean, Va., bought 10 different phones on eBay this summer to test phone-security tools it sells for businesses. The phones all were fairly sophisticated models capable of working with corporate e-mail systems.

    Curious software experts at Trust Digital resurrected information on nearly all the used phones, including the racy exchanges between guarded lovers...:shocked: :sad:
     
  2. Glock Bob

    Glock Bob Snack Attack!!!

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    Is the new owner Mr. Cleo or something? How can you tell a guy is having an affair by his conversation with some random person (aside from the new owner knowing the old owner personally)? I don't think I've ever sold a cell phone. My dad did give away one of my old ones I had no need for. However, it was one of the original Motorola flip phones with the orange screen that only showed what phone number you were dialing. Other than that I just keep them. Maybe one day I'll reset 'em... with a .308 :) .
     

  3. lens

    lens

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    All cell phones that I've encountered have a "master reset" setting that will "lose" everything on the phone. Some can be set by the user and some require a store drone to do it.

    But do it before disposing of a cell phone!
     
  4. Patrick Graham

    Patrick Graham Footlong Jr.

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    I'm just guessing but I don't think reset causes a write to all the memory locations in flash, or whatever memory technology it is.

    I'm thinking that maybe the reset just clears the first byte in some kind of look-up table, kind of like format does on a disk.

    Of course that will prevent the average joe form finding anything out.. but I'm guessing that the information is still available to any organization who has the money to spend to get it out.

    I'm just guessing here also.. but I'll bet a lot of government agencies destroy their old phones when they upgrade.. maybe even shred them..
     
  5. darin2

    darin2

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    Try Device Seizure It's one of the tools I use.