Authors: Steve Watson (VTO Labs), David Rathbone (VTO Labs)



Steve Watson (VTO Labs)
David Rathbone (VTO Labs)

Sunday, July 14, 2019 13:00 – 15:00

When standard digital forensic techniques for data acquisitions fail, practitioners may use advanced techniques for accessing data from devices. In regard to mobile phones and other embedded devices, an acquisition method known to the digital forensics community as ‘chip-off’ provides direct access to the electrical contact points of computer chips to acquire data.

Across electronics manufacturing and digital forensic industries, multiple methods exist for removing chips from printed circuit boards (PCBs). This paper investigates a desoldering method utilized by the electronics manufacturing industry but heretofore not found to be in use within the digital forensics community.

“Vapor phase reflow” provides a stable, consistent technique which can be utilized for the removal of computer chips while minimizing the risks found in other techniques commonly used for chip-off by the digital forensics’ community.

This two-hour lab will include a live demonstration of removing chips with vapor phase desoldering by the presentation team. Session participants will get to see the equipment up close and in-person, even gathering around the tables as live techniques are demonstrated. Cameras will be utilized to show the close-ups of the techniques on big screens. It will not be hands-on for the participants but will be academic level depth with live, in-person view and interaction with the equipment.