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Minor Detail: Refurbished iPhones Contain Past User’s Data

Sections: Apple Business, Apple News, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, Mac Software

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Major Whoops

Beware of the refurbished iPhone! An Oregon State Police officer tipped off an iPhone Atlas writer to an interesting little tidbit. The iPhone he had purchased from Apple’s refurbished department contained a large amount of sensitive information, including images, past emails, and upon further digging, found multiple documents including personal financial records and website profile information. Johnathan Zdziarski, author of “iPhone Open Application Development” and books on how to use an iPhone for forensics notes the following.

“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…but if you’ve ever had to return a defective iPhone, you might recognize this inbox.”

The Picture above shows an actual screenshot of the data found, as screenshots are taken regularly taken and stored to utilize the iPhone’s zoom effect. All you need to know is where to look. And, to add to that, it turns out that the “Restore” function on the iPhone merely restores factory settings, but does not wipe the memory. And it seems like Apple neglected this fact as well, as the phone went through them. Although there are a few ways in which you can complete erase the data, not many of them are highly recommended. There is currently no other way to fully erase the data from your phone without sending your iPhone away to Apple, and even still, they haven’t even got it totally right. This is definitely a serious issue that Apple needs to address immediately.

Read [iPhone Atlas]

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