Similar to how a rootkit affects PCs, and how mobile phones have special OEM software on them....

  • Is it possible to reset a suspect phone to it's OEM/patched state, and have high confidence that malware doesn't exist on the phone?
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    High confidence, yes. Absolute reliability, probably not. It depends mostly how far the malware was able to penetrate into the phone and which method you've used to perform the factory reset. If resetting the firmware to factory settings using a known safe firmware backup from an external device, then as long as the firmware loading portion of the firmware hasn't been compromised, then it should be good. That would have to be some crazy rootkit though. – Jonathan Gray Dec 11 '15 at 14:23
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    Hey Lamonte. How about giving a little more context? What's your threat model? Malicious apps? Malicious firmware? Malicious hardware that the NSA soldered to your board when the TSA "inspected" it? – Mike Ounsworth Dec 11 '15 at 14:23
  • "high confidence" is opinion based. A better question could be "What are the risks of using a compromised phone after a factory reset?" – paj28 Dec 11 '15 at 15:36
  • While it seems a dup of that question, the question isn't really answered. Both of the answers are link-only responses. Perhaps we can do better? – Neil Smithline Dec 20 '15 at 21:25
  • I suspect it'd be best to merge both questions if the topic is the same, and bump the other one to attract more answers rather than add duplication? – Steve Dodier-Lazaro Dec 21 '15 at 11:14

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