The use of cell phone forensic tools is becoming ever more common in investigations and legal proceedings as technology progresses. Cell phone forensics experts have the ability to access deleted text messages, text messages, call records, address book entries, photographs, video clips and voice samples from any type of cell phone. In short, a cell phone forensic expert is able to conduct authentic cell phone forensic examinations. How can this help in a criminal case?
One of the main uses of a cell phone forensic examination of a cell phone is the identification of the owner of the phone number. This is necessary because cell phone numbers are not publicly listed. A phone number cannot be found in any book, directory or phone book in the United States. In the UK, only some mobile phone providers publish their cell phone numbers in their own directories.
For example, if a person was calling from a cellular telephone in the United States and they called back from a foreign country and the call was placed from a cell phone, the forensic examination of the cell phone could provide information identifying the caller. The same holds true if a person was phoning from a cell phone abroad and the other party did not have a name or address associated with the phone. A forensic examination of the international cellular phone number could provide information on the caller.
Another reason that a forensic examination of a cell phone number is necessary is to find out who called an individual. This can prove difficult if the caller uses a false number. However, the same applies if the number is a known telephone number. In such cases, a business or home phone number can be used. This method tends to work better in identifying a caller than using a publicly listed number.
Another popular reason for a cell phone forensics examination is to determine whether or not a spouse is being cheated on. Many cheating spouses have a cell phone. It would be difficult to track cell phone usage without using a forensic tool. The investigator can access information from the cellular service provider, use a reverse lookup tool and trace the callers to their address.
Computers have become a tool of choice for many people. This means that email accounts, home pages and other online activities are available to the public. People can obtain this information with little or no effort. If someone is doing a little online shopping they could easily obtain the contact information for their spouse. The same can be done when an old friend has a new email account. Sometimes old friendships are forgotten but could be resurfaced if a person has an old email address.
How can cell phone forensics help in a personal or business situation? There are times when people are victim of identity theft. The thief uses information obtained through a stolen identity to obtain credit or do damage to the victim’s credit. This can happen through a simple check of the person’s name at the bank. A check of the person’s address may uncover a variety of financial activity taking place in the person’s name.
A person who is being abused may have their house or computer compromised by keyloggers or spyware. These programs can be installed remotely without the owner’s knowledge. The data that these software logs can include everything from chat sessions to bank account details. These types of spyware programs are so sophisticated that they can be used to monitor every aspect of a persons online activity. This type of information could be used for purposes such as identity theft.