Android Encryption

15/12/2020

Android Encryption

Allot of devices have the encryption feature not included in the standard software. The version of the software that you get on your device is region dependant.

Things like native call recording, phone encryption and SD card encryption even though included in the Android Software might not be available on your device as a standard feature.

For authorities, this can be a godsend as without encryption Android devices are notoriously easy to get into as opposed to their iPhone counterpart.

Apple changed the way their devices are reset before a full format was necessary. Now when a device is wiped the decryption key is deleted rendering the information useless and the software is reinstalled over the old system. If you connect the Apple device to a computer or forensics software. Getting into the device is extremely difficult, if not impossible without the right hardware that generally authorities do not have access to.

Android is a little different as the device even though may have a password to unlock the phone. That does not prevent an analyst attaching the phone directly to a computer and using shell tools to access the data storage areas of the phone which are generally left unencrypted.

Sometimes the phone will allow you to encrypt the SD card if it is removable. But the majority of the phone’s data with being saved on its internal memory.

Since Android 8 an Encryption option is enabled and the phone is only unlocked upon boot, by prompting the user for the decryption password.

If the phone is connected to forensics software/shell tools the system won’t be able to mount the drive and it will show as being empty. Very few people can override this form of encryption and are generally considered impenetrable.

However, it needs to be known that withholding your password during a criminal investigation is considered to be a crime in itself. A section 49 and 53 can be requested.

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