Hackers bought 20 “wiped” phones from eBay. You won’t believe what they found on them

Thought you’d wiped your phone before selling it? This chilling discovery proves you were wrong.

White hat hackers working for security firm Avast bought 20 “wiped” smartphones, where users had done a factory reset or “delete all”, and found an extraordinary amount of data still left on them.

The data included:

  • 40,000 photos (including 1,500 family pictures, 700 naked or semi-naked pictures of women and 250 penis pictures)
  • More than 1,000 Google searches
  • 750 emails and texts
  • 250 names and addresses
  • 4 previous owners’ identities
  • 1 completed loan application

“The amount of personal data we retrieved from the phones was astounding. We found everything from a filled-out loan form to more than 250 selfies of what appear to be the previous owner’s manhood,” said Jude McColgan, president of mobile at AVAST.

“Along with their phones, consumers may not realize they are selling their memories and their identities. Images, emails, and other documents deleted from phones can be exploited for identity theft, blackmail, or for even stalking purposes.”

The security firm warned data needs to be completely overwritten to ensure it can’t be recovered.

Tweet me your thoughts @robynvinter

Now read:

London’s air pollution problem: Investigating the smog that takes six months off your life

LLB button - newsletter

Readers' comments (1)

Social Bookmarks