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Phones.

Phones

Recovery of data from mobile phones is a rapidly changing technology area.  When we speak about phones, we deal with the internal memory of a phone, rather than portable memory that can be installed in the handset (such as a micro SD card).

Mobile phone failures fall broadly into one of two categories:

Basic electronic failure

  • Power/button issue which makes it impossible to power the phone on
  • Display/screen issue which makes it impossible to inputs data (e.g. PIN entry, App selection)
  • Connector/battery issue which makes charging impossible

These are the easier failures to work with.  In these cases, getting data from the phone is achieved by effecting a temporary repair which makes the phone addressable so that the data can be exported.

Internal electronic/functional failure

This is a failure where the phone cannot be repaired temporarily, e.g. a failed CPU

For such failures, it is necessary to connect directly to the phone’s internal memory microchip(s), and there are usually two possibilities.

JTAG:  Tapping into the phone’s circuit board at prescribed locations in order to gain direct memory access

Chip-Off:  De-soldering the memory components from the phone and interfacing directly to the contacts on these microchips using specialist adapters.

Once access to the memory chip(s) is established, a logical image of the memory can be made, from which the data can be extracted.

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