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Context

An acquaintance has a strange problem with her Google Account. I'm a developer (not Android specialist) while she's just a plain user.

She forgot her Google account password, but her old tablet still has it and she can send and receive e-mail using both e-mail and gmail apps.

We tried recovery from old and new tablet.

Google offered to send an SMS to her phone (Google displayed only last 3 digits, which match), nothing received on her phone. Same for automated voice message.

When recovering from another computer, Google asked for the complete phone number, we typed it and got a reply that it was wrong, which suggests it was changed.

The e-mail address for recovery is wrong (Google displays first 3 letters which don't match).

At this point we suspect her account was hacked by someone who changed the contact options to prevent password recovery.

We also tried the option to answer questions but she does not know exactly the last login date and creation date of the account. We tried anyway but Google replied it didn't match. At this point I understand that it is difficult for Google to tell if our request is legitimate or not (after all our exact behavior might be the behavior of an attacker).

Questions

  • (1) I'm wondering if it is possible to recover the password by digging (even through adb if needed) in the e-mail app config (Gmail add and e-mail app have the password).
  • (2) What else can we do?
  • Try this, open Gmail app - Help and feedback - change password for detailed steps. – Lucky Oct 4 '15 at 15:33
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    Thanks @Lucky for this hint. On my personal device this leads to a URL opening in the browser, not an option in the app (which I would expect to request old password anyway). I'll check with the affected user since she has a different version. – Stéphane Gourichon Oct 4 '15 at 16:39
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I just found this, which does not work on my personal device (permission denied, not rooted). Will try again on the affected user's device.

This gives a path: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?s=36bdbe78a049f9e358a0421113d922c2&p=54912072&postcount=7

Browse to /data/user/0/com.android.email/databases and copy EmailProvider.db to your computer. Other phones might have their database in a different location. Download and install Sqlite Database Browser from sourceforge.net if you haven't, and then skip down to the sqlitebrowser instructions here:

This gives instructions and a different path (presumably because of different Android version): http://ubuntu42.blogspot.fr/2011/11/android-recover-mail-password.html

Summarized:

adb pull /data/data/com.android.email ~/email_of_phone
sudo apt-get install sqlitebrowser
sqlitebrowser
  • Why the downvote? Is the answer really not useful? – Stéphane Gourichon Oct 4 '15 at 20:12

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