Android Lollipop features “Factory Reset Protection” to stop thieves from wiping stolen phones


Security and device encryption are hot topics lately, and Google is staying ahead of the game by building a ton of useful new features into the latest version of Android. We already know that Lollipop will feature device encryption by default, but it looks like Google is taking an extra step towards making sure that a stolen phone can’t be wiped and re-used.

This new feature is called “Factory Reset Protection,” and it essentially prevents a thief from performing a factory reset on a stolen device. By default, Android will ask for a password before wiping itself, which will probably be the phone’s main Google account password. Couple this feature with Android remote lock feature and you can almost guarantee that a stolen phone won’t do anyone any good.

The only drawback here is waiting for devices to see an update to Lollipop, which, as we all know, can take some time depending on the phone, manufacturer, and carrier. But it’s still good to see Google implementing new security features that will eventually make their way to user devices.

source: The Verge

  • Steven Matthews

    I think this is a good idea. If there were a way to make it to where you cannot turn the phone off unless you pass the lockscreen that would be really awesome. Though it would cause some problems with people have to hard reset their phones, also this wouldn’t stop battery pulling. But its another good step in the right direction.

    • Jared Peters

      I’m not sure what you mean.
      A battery pull isn’t going to factory reset a phone, it’s just going to reboot it. The point of this is so a thief can’t take your phone and factory reset it then stick a prepaid SIM card and use it as their own, or sell it.

      • Steven Matthews

        1. Steal phone from person.
        2. Turn phone off so they cant track it.
        3. Get to safe location, Boot into recovery factory reset, or boot into OS and factory reset.
        4. Enjoy your new phone.

        If they cant turn the phone off then the phone can be tracked.

        • Adeel Haroon

          My god you are thick. How the hell did you manage to use a computer??

          • David Underwood

            The reason people get away with that method (and they do) is because the developers at android refuse to cut the “ambellical cord” they use to help retards that mess up their own phones and tablets by being forgetful and doing stupid things. Thieves use that to steal phones and tablets. It’s as simple as taking personal responsibility and not messing yourself up. If you want to be a child, you will have the same rights and privileges as a child. Children have parents that do everything for them. Thieves are going to try to act like the parents and take control of someone that is acting like a child. They have no control of their own devices.

        • Ram NIL

          If you use “adbd secure” then you cant use a computer to boot into recovery unless it is unlocked.

  • JayD

    Is this still going to prevent the thieves from Odin flashing a factory rom in download mode? If not then this is useless.

  • someone has stolen my niece phone, please prevent the thief to access the Google server and services

    Dear Google law enforcement,

    2 days ago someone has stolen my niece samsung galaxy i9200 imei 357392055427595,serial RF1D74XYP3B, how to track & lock it? I bought the phone for her last year, I can prove that I am the phone owner, please lock and block the phone Imei number from google server and add notification to the phone user “this is stolen phone please return or contact the owner number is… ” , I have reported to Samsung customer service they said they cannot make a report about stolen phone anymore it’s too many time happened in my country, I think the cases will increase in the future if Samsung and Google cannot help about this customer protection, thank you

  • David Underwood

    “Factory reset protection” does that work in safe mode and from using the power/volume buttons to reset?

  • Cale

    Does this protection include hard reset or those people who uses the volume and power buttons to wipe the phone’s data? Because if it doesn’t, then it defeats the purpose cause many have locks on their phone and after many tries, you can reset a phone through thosw buttons.

    • TrinityStorm

      I just had that happen to me I’m pissed now. I’m mad because there’s no way to restore the phone pre-factory reset. I’m just gonna have it on lock screen