Most used smartphones and PDAs for sale online are loaded with sensitive data ranging from banking records to corporate emails that can easily be retrieved by hackers and data thieves, it was alleged today.
According to a sampling by mobile security software provider Trust Digital, much of this sensitive information is retained in the Flash memory of the devices because of a widespread failure to perform the advanced hard reset required to delete data.
Msg#: 3065664 posted 4:51 pm on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)
The model I have--iPAQ HX4700--doesn't even have the possiblity for a cleaning hard reset. The hard reset mentioned in the manual leaves the content of the flash device untouched. The only time I managed to clear the flash contents was when I installed a ROM-BIOS upgrade.
Msg#: 3065664 posted 10:40 pm on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)
No kidding, I have done a lot of work for a metal company where they had large electro magnets to lift tons of steel at once. These magnets had a very nice effect on CRTs--shift of colors, halo effects etc, often visible for years--but I never managed to wipe one single floppy disk, hard disk or flash disk with them.
The hx4700 was originally released with Windows Mobile 2003 which only has the soft and hard reset option. Recently HP released a Windows Mobile 5.0 upgrade where they finally built in the option for a clean reset. I guess most devices for sale on auction sites are with the original WM2003 though.
Msg#: 3065664 posted 10:45 pm on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)
Kudos lamert. Was speaking tongue in cheek as I've heard the same thing (it's difficult to erase a disk with a magnet) but haven't really experimented with it as I usually want to save my data ;) Seems it might be better to use those old pdas as papwerweights unless you can be sure it's zeroed out...