I recently bought a Pixel 2 XL "open box" off eBay. The device appears slightly used, and a couple of days after registering with my Google account, I received security notifications of attempted logins in a far-away country. For this reason I suspect that the phone may have some kind of spyware or other unwanted software in it, that I want to promptly get rid of.
My options as far as a I can tell are:
- Hard factory reset: my understanding is that this just deletes user data, apps and configuration, so if the malware is deeply embedded in the system files, this method may not solve the issue.
- Custom image flash: this would be the most reliable method but is a little cumbersome and may brick the phone if done improperly. I've never attempted it myself and I'm a little nervous about it.
- Over-the-air (OTA) image flash: which is a relatively new method, is supposed to be more reliable that the previous method with the same result. My fear is that since this is a more high level procedure, the process could be hijacked by whatever malware I have and corrupt the new image.
Is my previous assessment correct? Am I missing something? what is the most reliable way to reset the software in my Pixel device in order to remove malware?