Cell phone forensics is rapidly growing in popularity as crime has increased and cell phone usage has become more commonplace in society. What many people do not realize, however, is the fact that cell phones are considered to fall into a category of “electronic devices” just like computers and cellular telephones. This is so because cell phones actually pack more technology inside them than computers. Every single component of the cell phone has the same basic components that go into it, with the only difference being the microprocessor that interacts with the user’s phone, iPod, etc. Some of you might be wondering, are all the basic technology components the same between cell phones and they’re the same on computers as they are on phones?
The truth is that while they have the same basic hardware elements, the way in which these components interact and communicate are completely different. This is why it is incredibly important for people involved in cell phone forensics to really know what they’re looking at. It would be practically impossible for one to piece together all the different mobile devices that are put together to create a full network.
There are several ways in which cell phones can be broken down into pieces to extract information from them. There are physical damages that can be caused to the cell phones themselves. There are also logical damages that can be done such as the deletion of certain files and software that are installed on the cell phones. As well, there are numerous methods through which data can be extracted from the devices. These methods are extremely varied and it would be nearly impossible for someone without extensive training to understand all of them.
The methods through which data can be extracted are based on how they work. One of the most common forms of data extraction from mobile devices is wiping. Wiping is used when there is a strong possibility that the user has deleted the content of the cellular phones. The good thing about wiping is that the deleted data will still exist on the device.
Another form of data extraction that is used in cell phone forensics is malware. Malware is considered to be any type of program or piece of software that is created specifically to collect data from a computer or mobile device. For instance, there are programs that are designed to gather email information from a mobile device. There are also programs that can hijack the security settings of the mobile devices and automatically send out spam to millions of people’s email boxes.
The third type of method through which cellphone forensics experts extract evidence from a cellular device is through deciphering. By deciphering, it is hoped that text messages can be found. Text messages are often sent via short message service (SMS) or through multimedia messages such as videos. However, it is sometimes possible to decipher text messages sent through multimedia messages. Cellphone forensic professionals use techniques such as keystroke recording and data recovery in order to decipher text messages.
When text messages are recovered from a cellular device, it is important that they are saved in a safe place. It is sometimes possible to recover data by simply opening the message text messages and looking for what they say. However, in some cases text messages may have been altered or deleted. This makes it extremely important for cell phone forensics experts have other forms of evidence in their toolbox such as photographs. If the message was erased it would make it extremely difficult to prove that the message was erased in the first place. Cellphone forensic experts need all of the tools of the trade in order to successfully complete a successful investigation.
Cell phone forensics experts must be able to access many different databases in order to conduct investigations. This means that many of the tools that cell phone forensics professionals use must be networked together in order to work as efficiently as possible. The ability to communicate with multiple sources in order to gather evidence is essential. If a professional does not have the right tools needed it could take months before they have any solid results from their investigations. Cell phone forensics professionals rely on their skills and knowledge in order to effectively investigate and document cases that involve using mobile devices.