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Is your phone hacked or running Spy Software?!

Over the past 6+ months I have been inundated with clients calling with concerns over Spyware on their mobile phones. I made it my mission to start a detailed R&D project that would analyze the forensic aspect of Spy software, how Spy software is purchased, how Spy software is installed, how is the infected phone monitored, and what can Spy software really do?! To be quite honest, I was a bit surprised on the ease, accessibility and power of the Spy programs I researched.
**As a warning, If you think your phone has spyware on it TURN IT OFF or PUT IT IN AIRPLANE MODE. Do not use this phone because the second you start calling Binary Intelligence for help or telling your mom you think your phone is tapped, the criminal can remotely take the software off of your phone.**
Let me start this blog post by listing things that MUST happen in order for your phone to be considered a candidate for a potential spyware breach. (These items are from my own research and I do not claim that these are the only things to be aware of. Other programs, that I am unaware of, may require less or more from the user and infected phone.)
1. The phone must be Rooted (if Android) or Jailbroken (if iPhone). Blackberry simply requires access to the “Blackberry App World”, but has a more complex configuration process.
2. The individual placing the Spy software on your phone must have physical access to your device for about 5-20 minutes.
Side Note: I was made aware of a program that did not require access to the phone, but it did not work when I tested it. It utilized a “infected photo” sent to the phone that allowed someone to monitor calls, text messages, and even intercept messages. Again I tested it and it did not work.
If you believe Spy software is on your mobile phone here are some things that you may want to look for:
– Spy software is very powerful and can allow the user to listen in on calls or turn your microphone on to listen in on what you are doing while the phone is not in use. With each of these features there are no physical signs that the act is happening. If you see 3 way calls on your bill, that you did not make, that maybe a sign. If you see a incoming calls that you did not get (and you know for sure you didn’t get) that maybe a sign as well. Some programs utilize data for monitoring instead of calls.
– Application control is another feature of Spyware programs. This feature allows the person monitoring the phone to deny or grant access to particular applications. Normally this feature is used to deny access to applications that cannot be monitored. If you are using “KIK” or any other application that allows you to text or call for free those will normally be blocked so you are forced to use options that can be monitored.
– When a person is listening in on your calls they can un-mute their phone and communicate. If for some reason you hear people or someone in the background they may have accidentally turned the mute off.
– Spy programs run all the time. They can be draining on a cell phones battery especially if they are transmitting your location via GPS signal. If you see your battery dying within hours it is possible the program maybe hiding in the background.
If you are concerned over the threat of your phone being hacking and monitored give us a call and ask for Daniel. I am more than happy to discuss your particular situation and give you some feedback. If you would like me to analyze your phone for Spy Software I can do that is quick and easy manner. My client utilize FedEx or UPS to get me the phone.
Please comment on this blog post if you are currently using a program that works outside of my post. I am always interested in new programs for R&D purposes.
-Daniel
866-246-2794 ext 713 or dparsons@binaryintel.com

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Advanced Mobile Forensics Blackberry Forensics Cell Phone Forensics Chip Off forensics iPhone Forensics Mobile Forensics

Chip Off Forensics for almost Any Device

Over the years Binary Intelligence has had the opportunity to service the mobile and cell phone forensic field with logical and physical acquisitions. We started to research and develop a proven chip off forensic process about 3 years ago. We work with devices like Blackberry, Apple iPhone / iPod, Android, Tracfone, Samsung, LG and other feature style phones.Chip Off forensics is simply a more advanced form of cell phone forensics (mobile forensics). It does not require the phone to be operational. The phone can be broken, locked, water damaged, and even run over with a car.

With out a doubt Blackberry has been the most difficult device to master. RIM has utilized a thick, nasty, hard epoxy to secure the BGA memory chip to the motherboard. This epoxy is plastered on the sides of the chip, underneath the chip and even on top of the BGA chip. This epoxy makes performing chip off forensics difficult. The only proven way to remove this epoxy is to heat it and slowly remove it. Not only are you removing the epoxy from the sides and top of the chip, but you also must remove the epoxy from the pad portion of the BGA chip. These pads are very sensitive and even the SLIGHTEST scratch can sever connections and render the chip unreadable. The risk is higher with Blackberry devices, but the end result can really be extremely beneficial to any case or individual.

Ready for Heating
"Heat me Up Scottie"

Binary Intelligence has successfully removed, repaired, and read dozens and dozens of chips from an endless list of phone models. The amount of data recovered from Blackberry’s vary, but they seem to provide great results. One particular phone yielded over 20,000+ emails that were active and deleted.

Heating BGA Chip for removal
Precision is Perfection

The knowledge and popularity of chip off forensics is really growing. We have been getting work not only from government agencies and law firms, but from private individuals as well. Some of these private individuals need our help finding closure after a close family member has passed away or they are in the middle of a sensitive divorce/ child custody battle and need the data for court. That’s how competitively priced Binary Intelligence is when it comes to chip off forensics.

Here is a list of phones we have done chip offs on:

Blackberry 8330, Blackberry 8350i, Blackberry 8520, Blackberry 9330, Blackberry 9630, Blackberry 9650 Bold, many more

Samsung SPH I917, Samsung SCH U740, Samsung SCH-U350, Samsung SCH R451C, many more

Motorola Droid, Motorola A855, Motorola V3A Razr, many more

Apple iPod Nano 4GB, Palm P101EWW, LG GPLG900GB (Tracfone), Sanyo SCP3820, Kyocera K612, Casio Commando, Olympus DP-10 Voice Recorder, and many more

 

As always this is a very destructive process and you must find a proven and experienced professional to assist you with any chip off forensic process. Feel free to call me and chat my direct extension at the office is x713.

After BGA Chip was Removed
After Chip Off