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Cellebrite: Decoding mobile data, CSI Style

Zafar Anjum | Nov. 21, 2013
Zafar Anjum spends some time with Dave Golding, GM of Cellebrite APAC to learn about the unique offerings of his company in the cellphone retail and diagnostics areas

Dave Golding

Dave Golding, GM, Cellebrite APAC

When the name of Dave Golding, GM of Cellebrite APAC, came up for an interview opportunity a few months back, I became immediately interested. Not many, including myself, had heard the name of this company that had been founded in Israel in 1999 and now was a global company known for its technological breakthroughs in the cellular industry.

I was curious to know more about this unique company.

Research revealed that Cellebrite established its mobile forensics division in 2007, with the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED). Cellebrite's range of mobile forensic products, UFED Series, enable the bit-for-bit extraction and in-depth decoding and analysis of data from thousands of mobile devices, including feature phones, smartphones, portable GPS devices, tablets and phones manufactured with Chinese chipsets. This means that using Cellebrite's technology, one could extract data from a phone (even data that had been deleted) in seconds. Even from a dead phone, I mean. This sounded quite cool and no wonder, Cellebrite's UFED Series is the prime choice of forensic specialists in law enforcement, military, intelligence, corporate security and eDiscovery agencies in more than 60 countries.

Interestingly, Sun Corporation of Japan bought Cellebrite in 2007 and now its global headquarters are in Japan.

Dave Golding was in Singapore to talk about his company when I met him in his office.

Here are edited excerpts from the interview:

Zafar: David, first tell me a little bit about your company.

Dave:  The company was actually founded in '98, and interestingly enough, in 2007, we were purchased by a Japanese company. The company today belongs to Sun Corporation, in Japan. Basically, we have offices in Japan, which is the corporate HQ. We have an R&D center in Israel. We have offices in the States. We have offices in Germany. We have an office in Sao Paulo, and we have the office here in Singapore. Basically, the company has two divisions. It sounds a bit presumptuous, because we are not such a big company. We are something like 300 people, but there are two sections.

One is the forensics section, and the other is the cellular section.

On the forensics side, basically what we are doing is we are taking a cellular phone and we are extracting the physical and logical data that you have on your phone. The physical data - or rather, the logical data, is everything which is there. The physical data is everything which has been deleted. We are only one of two or maybe three companies in the world that can actually extract deleted data from a phone. This is very similar to PC forensics. It is just mobile forensics. What those two divisions have in common is that we have one R&D. Our R&D is a huge part of the company.


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