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Support Does this procedure delete hidden spy apps?

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by cataskingforattention, May 8, 2016.

  1. cataskingforattention

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    Hi there,

    Recently I got an used Samsung Galaxy S5. Since I'm paranoid, here's what I did:

    - a factory reset
    - repartitioned the internal memory (via odin + pit file) and flashed a rom of Android 5.0 instead of the 5.0.1 that was already on the phone);
    - another factory reset.

    I've read somewhere that spy apps can be flagged as system apps in order to make them non-uninstallable/undetectable by "normal users".

    Did my procedure delete them, if any? I think so, but I'm not 100% sure.

    Thank you.
     

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    #1 cataskingforattention, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  2. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    Retired and loving it.
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    whatever used to be on that phone is gone...
     
  3. KOLIO

    KOLIO Guest
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    I'm guessing yes as well,what a coincidence that I had to go the other route & restore back to stock from a rooted de-odexed ROM on the Note5:

    Usually,I factory reset when doing such,whether using ODIN or KIES3/SmartSwitch,so,I never gave it much thought,clean slate,right?

    Well,my assumptions were wrong regarding ODIN & restoring,as when I was finished & the phone re-booted,everything was still there,as I had not performed a factory reset beforehand.

    As for using KIES or SmartSwitch,I'm pretty sure it deletes/overwrites everything,regardless whether a reset was performed beforehand,not 100% on that,been a while since I used either.

    So,just wanted to throw that out there,in case you want to walk it back to stock w/ODIN & use Kies/SmartSwitch to re-flash everything & do it all again.
    All this is probably unnecessary,the re-partitioning may have done the job as for wiping/deleting,IDK.
    Hopefully,someone will chime-in with the ins & outs on this subject,IMHO,some good need-to-know stuff.............
     
    cataskingforattention likes this.
  4. cataskingforattention

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  5. cataskingforattention

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    Hello Guys,

    sadly I have to "up" this thread, please forgive me if it's not OK to up old threads here.

    I want to tell you that in the last days I'm having kind of a paranoid "delusion" (?). I'd like to tell you that I was abused with spy apps at least twice in my life (at least once on a pc, at least another time on another smartphone).

    Please, I just need somebody to reassure me, 'cause I'm even thinking about throwing this phone away.

    Before I did that procedure, I had actually done something more:

    • I rooted it
    • SuperSU didn't show any weird app with root permissions
    • With X-Plore, I went through the /system/app, /system/priv-app, /data, etc.
    • I left a packet sniffer in execution to spot weird connections
    And found nothing.

    Then I repartitioned the int. mem. (at least I hope I'd done it right), flashed the firmware, and here's something that should reassure me: the SuperSU icon and the su binary file were gone.

    Do you guys think everything is gone?

    Do you think there's a possibility that a spy app can be stored into the recovery partition and therefore resist even after a fw flashing?

    Does the flashing of a firmware always "destroy" the content of /system? Or can it sometimes just overwriting existing files, therefore just leaving some apps there?

    Please reassure me. Please.

    Thanks
     
  6. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Flashing of firmware alone should have removed and spy app. You've already gone overboard.
     
  7. electricpete

    electricpete Android Expert
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    I agree (except for the overboard part).

    Factory reset should get it if it's a user app.

    Flashing a new ROM/system should get it if it's a system app.

    But considering there's a lot at stake, and knowing the amazing things advanced hackers can do, I think the extra steps were reasonable to reach a very high level of confidence. There is no such thing as 100% certain in computer security.
     
    #7 electricpete, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    cataskingforattention likes this.

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