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I've a question regarding security in a rooted device.

Being superuser means that you can access the /data/data directory, and that's a lot of personal data (I think it is almost all the data there can be in the phone).

So if a rooted phone is stolen, anyone can connect to the device via adb and perform a complete "audit" of the data, including mail, sms, search and browser history, contacts, etc. It is in fact easier than with a non-rooted phone. I see a big vulnerability here. Is there a way to prevent adb connecting to the phone like, for instance, a password?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The adb can connect to an android device only if "USB debugging" is enabled in Settings->Applications->Development. If this setting is disabled and a password lock is set for unlocking the device, there should be no worries.

Also there are many apps such 'Lookout' which provide the ability to remotely wipe data from a phone if it gets stolen.

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Which screen lock do you think is more secure: gestures, numeric pin or psw? –  Mister Smith Oct 31 '11 at 8:23
I prefer gestures, they are fun to use...But when you ask which is more secure....I believe passwords are. –  Karthik Oct 31 '11 at 13:44
This isn't quite true. adb is normally prevented from connecting to the device while Android is running if USB debugging is disabled. However, adb connects perfectly fine if the phone's in recovery mode, where it has no idea what the system's settings are. That said, I'm testing it right now and I can't seem to access the data partition. –  Matthew Read Oct 31 '11 at 15:39

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