NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – Mobile phone users are now able to retrieve any lost data from their devices thanks to new technology developed by East African Data Handlers that is capable of recovering information from all phones used in the region.
East African Data Handlers Managing Director George Njoroge said they spent Sh10 million over the past two years to develop the program designed to recover lost data due to system failures, formatting, power surges, accidentally deleted files, corrupted data and viruses.
For Android devices, they can recover data such as SMS, MMS, email, passwords, browser bookmarks, cookies, contacts, user dictionary, call logs, Google Talk, Facebook contacts, Bluetooth pairings, memos and location cache.
He noted that they are the first company in the world to be able to recover lost data from Blackberry devices.
“Any Blackberry wipe process has been unrecoverable and there has been no company that has claimed any success in RIM recovery and now we are introducing a unique decoding for devices running BlackBerry OS versions 5, 6 and 7,” he said.
“We are also bringing cutting-edge physical extraction capabilities to iPhone devices running iOS including real-time decryption, password recovery content extraction of call logs, contacts, text messages, email, locations (Wi-Fi and Cell Tower), bookmarks, Skype and Facebook contacts,” he explained.
Njoroge said that the minimum cost for the service will be Sh6,500 and clients will be able to recover any data they have lost up to the last five years they have been using their mobile device.
“We brought some of the most cutting edge technology in the world with the most advanced and sophisticated solutions that will recover anything on the device,” he said.
“One of the key things we have is the ability to retrieve information that was previously held on a cell phone forensically extracted and used as evidence in court,” he revealed.
Njoroge added that the technology is capable of recovering 100 percent of data from damaged mobile devices or phones that reset once a user forgets their password.
“As soon as your mobile data has been lost or damaged, you’ll just be required to bring it to our offices and within an hour all the data lost will be recovered back to the owner,” he said.
“We will be performing physical, logical, user password & file system extractions, data extraction of existing, hidden and deleted data, iOS physical extraction, decoding & real-time decryption, Android extraction and decoding, BlackBerry decoding, GPS devices extraction & decoding, and forensically sound environment solutions,” he explained.
He noted that mobile devices lose data in two different ways.
“There is logical failure, which means that the mobile device is in working order but some files or data cannot be accessed for reasons such as accidental deletion, overwriting, reformatting or lost partition,” he said.
“There is also physical damage, which means that the mobile device is not functioning caused by head crashes, motor failures, other destructive and accidental means of damage,” he added.
He explained that they recover the lost data from the chips inside the device and as long as it has the ability to receive power, they will be able to extract the chip from the device and read it.
“The introduction of this service has been necessitated by the rapid increase of high-end phones from 42 percent in 2008 to 72 percent this year and 87 percent of the world population are using mobile phones,” he stated.
“The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has said the number of mobile users is approximately 29 million, thereby most data has been moved to our mobile devices such as emails, text messages, contacts, photos, and music. The principle security threat for smartphones and tablets is that the device will be damaged or the data is wiped from the device and the user will lose valuable data,” he added.
Users who use SIM-less handsets will also be able to recover data because many handsets record the details of the last inserted SIM card.
“Using specialist equipment we are able to recover these details and then gain access to all the user data stored on the handset including the call logs,” Njoroge explained.
He added: “At East African Data Handlers, we are able to access the memory chip and extract the password without altering any data. This allows us to enter the password as the user would to view and download the data.”
Njoroge acknowledged that one of the biggest fears that clients have expressed is the issue of other people stealing their phones and recovering all their private data without their knowledge.
“We have a challenge in trying to ascertain the ownership of each device, but one of the things we’re looking to do is have the individuals sign a disclaimer waiver, meaning that East African Data Handlers is not partisan in providing whatever information is extracted,” he said.
“There’s no legal way of having someone come in with a receipt to prove their ownership of the device so we will want to protect ourselves from that type of situation by having our clients sign the waiver,” he added.
East African Data Handlers were founded in 2005 as a disaster recovery, computer forensic certified IT company and today they have become the most trusted data recovery providers in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.