Cell Phone Forensics – An Overview
Cell phone forensics can be defined as the process of tracking cell phone activity. Cell phones have become a part of our everyday lives and many people own more than one cell phone. Because cell phones can be used for both personal and business purposes, it is necessary for law enforcement and other emergency services to be able to track cell phone activity. Cellphone forensics requires specialized knowledge of all the different make and models of cell phone, and their specific operating systems.
There are many different methods used in the execution of cell phone forensics. Among them are: Physical searches, namely physical access of the cellular device such as pulling it out of a pocket, pulling it from a backpack or briefcase, and tapping the exterior surface. Logical extraction is the use of technological tools to extract data from the cellular device. Some of these tools include digital cameras, digital sound recorders, GPS trackers, wireless modems, and USB keys. With the help of logical extraction, a user can easily recover deleted text messages, deleted pics, and MMS messages from a cellular device.
Another method of cell phone forensics is called electronic discovery. Electronic discovery uses devices such as digital imaging cameras, scanners, and microcontrollers that enable analysts to locate, identify, and edit any digital content that is stored on a mobile device. This method can be used to discover deleted files, passwords, call records, text messages, and any other data that are related to a user of the cellular device. Aside from this discovery method, there is another forensics technique that analysts use called legal research. This technique is executed by using court case information, private detective agencies, attorneys, and even media personalities who have a deep knowledge and expertise in legal issues.
Apart from the methods used in cell phone forensics, there is another type of forensic investigation that is also done to get the evidence needed for legal proceedings. In this method, analysts recover deleted SMS text messages, MMS messages, and call logs. Experts in this kind of investigation combine different methodologies to recover deleted data. Some of these techniques include recovery of calendar entries, contact numbers, email addresses, address book, and notes. Some recover data in real time, while others perform data recovery offline. This technique is called real-time data recovery.
In order to complete a different task required in different cell phone forensics investigations, examiners must have skill in different techniques. Expertise is acquired through years of practice in order to successfully find and extract the important data that will support their findings. However, some examiners are also capable of discerning data that does not belong to any particular entity. These data may belong to an individual instead of an entity or they may belong to multiple entities, in which case they will be classified as Multiple Clients.
There are some professionals in the field of mobile forensics that are allowed to work independently while in other cases, experts need to work for the government. The job of a cell phone forensic specialist is very complex. He needs to be very careful in handling the important evidence. In certain cases, expert cell phone forensics specialists may also need to work with other experts from the government in order to help them gather evidence. They are supposed to ensure that only their findings are included in the court case.
In order to work on digital evidence collected from mobile devices, the professionals use specific equipment. They must protect all sources of information by keeping the devices safe. This helps them in performing their duties appropriately. The devices that are used for carrying out cell phone forensics investigations are designed to collect physical evidence like text messages, SMS, MMS, and call records. Experts also use specialized software to extract digital evidence.
The advancement of technology has enabled experts in this field to work more accurately than ever. It has also made the job much easier than it was few years back. It is now possible to extract digital evidence from mobile phones that were once difficult to access. The importance of cell phone forensics in today’s society cannot be denied. Whether you are looking for an errant spouse or a cyber-offender, you need to be sure that you get everything you are after.