We received a handful of Blackberry 9000’s to recycle and they looked like someone took pliers to the back in an attempt to “destroy” the data. I can’t imagine a scenario where this is the solution to making a device “secure”. And, it should be concerning the the IT or Wireless manager in charge because this did nothing to the device except pull off the protective covers to the printed circuit board (PCB). Just about anyone with some know-how and a few basic forensic tools could pull data off of this device.
So here are some tips to help you with your data security concerns.
1. I verified with both Sprint and RIM that when you
Master Reset a Blackberry, it defaults to factory settings and erases all data. Nothing will remain, with the exception of the Operating System (OS). Or, if you are a super geek, just use jl_cmder. (Curious? Google is your friend here.)
2. Always, always, always remove your SIM and SD
chips before you recycle your device. Even though your IT or Wireless manager can set your devices to not store any info or pictures on your SD card; you should still remove it.
3. Sometimes a Blackberry won’t power on because the
battery has died. The telltale sign is that the battery is swollen or puffy. Snag a new battery from friend or co-worker to test if this is your issue.
4. HULK SMASH!
You’ve just run over / stepped on / chucked your Blackberry and your screen is bleeding and/or dead. You are unable to read the screen to verify that you are taking the correct steps to wipe or clear it. Well, that is what your Blackberry Desktop Manager is for.
5. Okay, but what if the usb port is dead?
Try a Bluetooth solution for data and if power is the issue, try the Blackberry Power Station or an extra battery. (I am not going into detail; but you can at http://forums.crackberry.com/.)
6. Remote Kill
I’ll let you read this PCMag article that references all the different smart phone types and services that can remotely wipe or clear said device.
7. What about worst-case scenarios?
The screen is dead, the usb port is dead, and I can’t get any power? (Also, you just got back from Las Vegas and Amsterdam and you don’t remember much! Well, take a look at the location of the on-board memory in the 9000. Do you see the Mobile DDR blinking at the bottom of the picture? Aim your drill bit right there and permanently “erase” your Blackberry.
In most cases, Google is your friend. How-to guides for doing just about any modification, recovery, or data clearing is as easy as Google. And as long as you aren’t doing anything illegal, unethical, or just downright gross; then what “security concerns” should you have?