So, this month I fell into several cases of stolen devices, of friends and co-workers of mine. As most of you know, nowadays there are available services, in the two most popular ecosystems (Android and iOS), that helps us track, lock and erase our device remotely, if we become victims of theft. These services are iCloud and Android Device Manager. But the problem with these services, comes when the smartphone is restored in factory settings. Of course, when the victim of theft, remotely locks a device, the thief has no way into the devices settings. Or has?
Lets think of it a little bit. For a device to be useful, there must be some safety valves. For example, if your device becomes soft bricked (or useless anyway) we have to find a way to get access and restore our device with the factory settings. This can be achieved, with the Recovery mode on Android and DFU mode on iOS devices, and in most of the cases with a button pattern that allows us to get into this modes, erase everything in the ROM memory of the device, and re “install” the OS. With the freshly installed device, there is no way for the victim to track the device again, without the intervention of police forces.
Now thinking like someone that just found a lost device in the pavement, or stole it, the first thing that we are going to do is check if there is any kind of protection in it. If the device has no protection the odds of the thief-founder to use the device, without any intervention in the OS are really high. Otherwise, if the device has any kind of protection, the thief-founder will proceed into ways of erasing the phone and using it, with no chance for us(that we lost our device) to track it.
Finalizing, my opinion is that we rather use passwords in specific applications, that we have sensitive personnel data (like gallery applications, messaging and social networking), and leave the device without screen protection. In this way, we increase the possibility of tracking our stolen-lost device, because erasing the device will not be the main purpose of the founder-thief.
You wouldn’t have to hide it, if it wasn’t something wrong!
I would like to hear your opinion on this topic, and discuss it, by comments, email or any other communication way you want! Thank you for supporting me 🙂