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Michel Berdah, Cellebrite: Cellebrite define industry standards for mobile forensics

August 2013 by Marc Jacob

Founded in 1999, Cellebrite has become the industry standard for forensic investigations of mobile phones, tablets and GPS devices. Today the company has more than 300 employees, and agreements with more than 200 telecom operators and mobile device manufacturers. Cellebrite offers the UFED (Universal Forensic Extraction Device) solution, a tool that is able to extract and analyze data from more than 10,000 mobile device profiles. For Michel Berdah, Commercial Director Europe and Africa, and Dror Haliva, Head of Marketing, today Cellebrite set the industry standard for mobile forensics.

GS Mag: Can you tell us about Cellebrite?

Michel Berdah: Cellebrite was established in 1999 in Israel. We are now working across five continents, with offices in the U.S.A, Europe and more recently, in Singapore and Brazil. Cellebrite was bought 5 years ago by the Japanese company Sun Corporation, listed on the Japanese stock market. However, the R&D center has remained in Israel as we have the technology and security expertise to provide solutions which lead the industry. We currently have more than 300 employees, including 200 dedicated to R&D. Our R&D strength is our pride and offer assurance of always being the industry leaders in technology; providing Cellebrite’s users the most comprehensive and up-to-date solutions.

We have two main markets:

 The first market is the "Retail" industry. Cellebrite specialize in transferring data and diagnosing phones in the store. We work with Orange, SFR, Vodafone, Verizon, T Mobile, and manufacturers such as Nokia, Apple, BlackBerry. We have partnered with more than 200 operators and manufacturers and have more than 120,000 Cellebrite UME units deployed worldwide. Statistics show that your phone has connected with Cellebrite’s hardware at least once! The close relationship we have with phone operators and manufacturers allows us to be at the forefront of our forensic portfolio.

 The second market relates to forensic investigations of mobile devices. The UFED solution enables extraction decoding, analysis and reporting of data from more than 10,000 profiles of mobile phones, tablets and GPS devices. With more than 20,000 UFED devices deployed worldwide and used by professional investigators in law enforcement, in more than 60 countries. UFED is considered the standard by industry experts.

GS Mag: What is your flagship product and what are its strengths?

Michel Berdah: We do not have a flagship product, but our UFED portfolio includes a suite of mobile forensic solutions. This includes the UFED device which enables simple physical and logical data extraction. We also offer the UFED Physical Analyzer; a software that enables decoding and analysis of extracted data. Everything comes in a standard or ruggedized case, with a set of cables and other accessories needed for extraction. Finally, we offer the UFED CHINEX kit; a tool dedicated to the extraction of data from Chinese manufactured phones, since they are becoming more common, especially in Africa and Latin America.
We are in a very fast-growing industry and as a result of this we are constantly updating our products and software versions according to the growth of mobile technology, meeting the needs of the investigator. This philosophy allows us to challenge the technology in the industry and offer new tools. For example, in late 2012, we released the UFED Touch with a touch screen and much faster extraction capabilities compared to its predecessor, the UFED classic. Today we offer a trade-in program for UFED Classic users to acquire UFED Touch and upgrade their work performance.
We recently launched UFED Link Analysis, an analysis software tool that visualizes the correlation between data stored on several phones. This solution is another tool for the investigator. UFED Link Analysis can highlight the direct and indirect links between the suspects, analyze their calls, text messages, discussions and activities on applications. This exposes usage behavior, including channels that users employ, and unusual communications. It indicates the number of connections between individuals, even if they share contacts, from multiple devices. It allows investigators to connect people within groups and filter data by time and date, number of occurrences, and categories. In addition, it enables users to search through the data by keywords such as name, address, zip code and other criteria’s.

Finally, we will be launching major improvements in the last quarter of the year, but for now, I can’t say more. You’ll just need to be a little more patient.

GS Mag: What is your marketing strategy?

Dror Haliva: Cellebrite has certainly become a global company operating in more than 60 countries, but wants to maintain its close relationship with users, operators and manufactures. The close relationship we have with our UFED users is at the heart of our strategy and in fact the magic of Cellebrite. We work very closely with our users, government and private sectors. We hold many local user forums, webinars for users, and release more than 10 software versions per year. We actively participate in exhibitions, conferences and work closely with the academic institutions. We remain humble; listen to the end user and their needs. Their opinions allow us to offer the most appropriate solutions. We are leading the forensic market.

GS Mag: What is your message to our readers?

Michel Berdah: Today Cellebrite sets the industry standard for mobile forensics. Cellebrite is committed to continuing its support of the international forensic community with products and services at the forefront of technology.

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