Refurbished iPhones Still Contain Previous User Data

iPhone Atlas is reporting that iPhones sold as refurbished units may contain personal data from their previous owners that, with a little leg-work, is readily accessible by new owners. These data include email, images, contacts and more.

As previously noted, performing a “Restore” operation on the iPhone does not delete personal data from the device. Such information remain 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.

As noted by Jonathan Zdziarski, author of the “iPhone Open Application Development” and an iPhone Forensics Manual for Law Enforcement:

“A verified detective from the Oregon State Police notified me this afternoon that an out-of-the-box refurbished iPhone he purchased contained recoverable personal data including email, personal photos, and even financial information which he was able to recover using my forensic toolkit. The photos he sent me included the individual’s name, which I’ve blurred out myself, but if you’ve ever had to return a defective iPhone, you might recognize this inbox. The more sensitive information hasn’t been posted here for obvious reasons.”


Via iPhone atlas by way of T4Show

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