Challenges in Mobile Forensics: How Manufacturer Security Is Getting Tighter

In 2020, the main challenge for cell phone forensics teams has continued to be encryption. This year, the encryption bundled with Android devices as standard has started to cause issues for computer forensics firms.

While encryption has been around since Android 6, all mid-range Android devices and Samsung smartphones prior to 2019 made use of Full Disk Encryption or FDE. This form of encryption uses a less secure encryption scheme that protects mobile data with “default password” as the encryption seed key – nothing new for your average purveyor of computer forensics in Dallas to crack.

As of 2020, most new cell phones come with File-Based Encryption (or FBE of short). This newer encryption scheme encrypts files with a key based on the screen lock passcode of the user. While experts in computer forensics in Texas can still prevail when it comes to decrypting data from new smartphones, acquisitions will undoubtedly become significantly more time-consuming and difficult as a result.

Why Android forensics is causing headaches

For those without mobile forensics expertise who need to access encrypted data, Android is causing some serious problems. The smartphone market is saturated with thousands of different low-budget Android models. These models are equipped with all sorts of different chipsets from a variety of manufacturers.

Powerful data acquisition methods, such as EDL extraction, can be used to access a special “safe mode” which exists on most devices for engineering/diagnostic purposes. However, these methods might not be suitable and will depend on individual device settings which could actually enforce enhanced encryption, should the device recognize that its data may be compromised.

Dedicated forensic tools

Ultimately, in 2020 a computer forensics team in Texas will need an arsenal of dedicated forensic tools to access encrypted data. In addition to this, they may employ techniques such as cloud extraction to acquire data.

If you’re in Dallas and have been locked out of a cell phone, or need to access encrypted data for legal purposes, chances are you’ll need access to computer forensics in Texas to achieve the desired result. In 2020, technology has become incredibly complex, and it pays to let the experts do the work for you.