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Tarantula Uncovered

Written by DFMag

Tarantula Uncovered

In the May/June 2012 issue of Digital Forensics, we discussed the inherent challenges posed by Chinese mobile device chipsets to forensic professionals. We also introduced Tarantula, an advanced mobile forensics system, including hardware and software, which is specifically designed to analyse devices with these chips. In this article, we take a closer look at Tarantula and explain the analysis process. We will also present some features of Tarantula’s latest release.

Phones with Chinese chips inside of them have traditionally been known as “white-box” phones or clone phones, but the world of “Chinese phones” is changing rapidly, no longer being defined by white-box phones. Currently, 30% of cell phones worldwide are based on chipsets designed and manufactured in China. Western manufacturers such as Motorola are using Chinese chipsets in their phones as a way to cut costs and serve the lower end of the market. Manufacturers like Lenovo are now producing Android phones based on Chinese chipsets, which is a giant evolutionary leap in the industry. This trend is expected to increase to over 50% going forward into 2012 and beyond, as Chinese mobile device production topped 800 million units in China in 2011 with half of those devices being exported internationally.

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