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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

I think in percentage term-wise, it is over 55 percent of the size of the company, so you can see from that number, we are sort of very R&D oriented. I suppose the reason for that is the nature of the work, and the nature of the work is expertise in handsets, in operating systems, in GSM and CDMA. We have a very large library - we have a laboratory over there, with a library of handsets. Basically speaking, in order to support the business case, whether on the cellular side or whether on the forensics side, we have to support every new phone that is launched into the market. Currently, Cellebrite - I think it is supporting in excess of 11,000 phones, that is GSM and CDMA.

Those phones are all physically in our labs. It is different, supporting GSM. It is different supporting CDMA, and it is also different supporting forensic capabilities and cellular capabilities. Again, on a simplistic level, cellular, you just have to be able to read the phone, to read it and then to write it. You read the information and then you read it. On the forensics side, basically what you are doing is just the ability to read, because we are just extracting. For that information to be admissible in a court of law, it has to be forensically-sound. In other words, you cannot write it somewhere else. In other words, you cannot meddle with that information.

That information is usually - not usually, it is always extracted in binary files. In other words, it is almost like a two-phased approach on the forensics side. We are extracting data, and then we decode it. We extract it, put it on a PC, and then decode that information so it is admissible as evidence in court, for example. Those are the two major functions.

As I said, the R&D is the center, the common part of the company, whether it is forensics or whether it is cellular. I think the company - let us say in the cellular side - is the market leader, if we are just discussing that we are fortunate in the way that both our cellular product and our forensics products are very niche.

We are market leaders in both of these. I think in the cellular side, we are not trying to sound too presumptuous, but we are market leaders by far on the cellular side. I think we have markets like the States, where we have a 95 percent market share. In other words, all the Tier I operators, cellular Tier I operators like ATT and Verizon and Sprint and T-Mobile are all customers of Cellebrite, but also the major retailers in the states, so RadioShack or WalMart or Best Buy. They are also customers of ours.


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