TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Cell Phones Won't Keep Your Secrets

Cell Phones Won't Keep Your Secrets

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 11 Sep 2006 02:36:44 -0400

WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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

A company, Trust Digital of McLean, Virginia, 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.

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