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Chinese Cell Phone & Digital Forensics

Written by DFM Team


Chinese Cell Phones & Digital Forensics

In this article, we explain why investigators need to understand the macro trends in the cell phone industry driving the incorporation of more Chinese chipsets in phones and the challenges that they present to examiners. We also lift the lid on Tarantula, a new analysis system developed to analyze problematic Chinese “white box” cell phones and, increasingly, the legitimate branded phones based on Chinese chipsets.


Hercules had to defeat a hydra as one of his 12 labours. It was a monster with 9 heads, and if Hercules smashed one head, two more would take its place. For mobile forensic investigators, Hercules’ hydra takes the form of Chinese cell phones. More specifically, knock-off phones, known internationally as “white-box” or “clone-phones” and “Shanzhai” (pirated goods) in China, have taken world markets by storm. In 2011, over 800 million cellular mobile devices in close to 40,000 models were manufactured in China. Approximately half of those were exported to world markets, comprising of more than 30% of the global cell phone market.




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Scott C. Zimmerman

Scott C. Zimmerman is a CISSP qualified Information Security consultant and presenter

 

Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Coming up in Issue 39 on sale from February 2019:


Making Sense of Digital Forensic International Standards

To many the complexity of Standards, their numbering and obscure contents fail to make practical sense and confuse the entry points for effective use. A roadmap is provided in this paper for Standard information access and optimal use. Read More »

Evidentiary Challenges: Social media, the Dark Web, and Admissibility

This article takes a look at two categories of remote evidence: social media, and the dark web. We will also examine two interesting cases: The Target store credit card breach; and the civil case of Fero v Excellus Health Plan, Inc. Read More »

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Vehicle Data Forensics on Unsupported Systems

The article will help readers understand how to approach a vehicle from a digital forensics’ perspective, it will cover a range of infotainment units from popular manufacturers, data extraction methods and examples of data types found which may be considered intelligence and or used as digital evidence. Read More »

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