Computers & Mobile
iPhone wipe

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Nuclear Elephant:’s super iPhone wipe to protect your data when you trade up to the next iPhone :)

Since my posts regarding the iPhone restore mode being insufficient for wiping data (and Apple’s own refurbishing process also being insufficient), many have emailed me asking for instructions on how to properly wipe personal data off of the iPhone. I’ve been very quiet about how to properly lift data in a forensic manner, as my goal is to avoid seeing a bunch of evidence erasers pop up in the wild (I’ve already been approached by Symantec about this). What I will share, however, is the way in which I wipe my own devices before I resell them, which I believe the consumer has a right to do. Mind you, I make no guarantees about this and accept no responsibility for you hosing your iPhone. This is what works for me.

5 thoughts on “iPhone wipe

  1. ” I’ve been very quiet about how to properly lift data in a forensic manner, as my goal is to avoid seeing a bunch of evidence erasers pop up in the wild (I’ve already been approached by Symantec about this). What I will share, however, is the way in which I wipe my own devices before I resell them, which I believe the consumer has a right to do. ”

    I’m not sure I understand the tiptoeing around wiping a iPhone. What would be so bad about a commercial wiper? It’s just an iPhone for goodness sakes. So, somebody wipes it. Good for them. If the iPhone is stolen, presumably the SN stays? Is that what he’s worried about?

    Zdziarski acts like crime would run rampant if there were a commercial wipe. What gives? Are iPhones some sort of Crime Boss enabler or what? It seems odd that he thinks people should wipe iPhones if they buy or sell one but wants the procedure to remain too difficult for the average user–the kind of user who is probably most at risk for identity theft or some such.

  2. Perhaps he’s preparing something himself and doesn’t want to hand out the information?

    At any rate, part of the wiping process requires jailbreaking the phone, which can be problematic and take some research on the part of the wiper. The rest is pretty typical unix techniques to wipe out the data.

    If he can sell a $10 utility to automate that, more power to him. If he’s looking at parlaying his forensics skills into something more, then also, more power to him.

  3. “Perhaps he’s preparing something himself and doesn’t want to hand out the information?”

    No, I don’t think that is it. Looking at his website it is pretty obvious. He does forensics investigations, including cracking iPhones for the police, so he has mixed loyalties. He doesn’t really want people to be able to efficiently and effectively wipe iPhones.

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