Understanding Smartphone Forensics

Smartphone forensics bring a new element to the modern data forensics industry, as obtaining information from cell phones with deleted evidence, strong passwords and other barriers can potentially complicate the ability to uncover essential evidence during an investigation. Here, the data forensics specialists at Atlantic Data Forensics provide an overview of modern smartphone forensics as well as how experts in the field are working to tackle its intricacies. 

Smartphones are Used By Millions of Individuals in the U.S.

Smartphone forensics is perhaps one of the most relevant branches of data forensics today, as a recorded 273 million smartphones were in active use in 2017—this number is five-and-a-half times greater than in 2009. With smartphone use rapidly increasing as innovative technology continues to develop, and the necessity for cell phones in our modern age continuing to grow, there is more opportunity for smartphones to be relevant in a legal setting. For instance, smartphones hold a vast network of information about their users; they are collections of millions of actions a user makes, from every email that is sent to picture that is taken. In this way, cell phones can be vital for use in the courtroom, as an abundance of digital artifacts can prove to be valuable during litigation—evidence can include, but is certainly not limited to, incoming and outcoming call history, pictures, videos, audio recordings, emails, text messages, Internet browsing history, notes, cell phone location data and even recoverable deleted data.

Smartphones Are Collected and Analyzed Through a Structured Forensic Process

The process of mobile phone collection for forensic analysis can be divided into three parts: seizure, acquisition and examination. Seizure includes the methodical process of obtaining a mobile device following proper legal protocol while preserving evidence. This step can also include making sure the device is on and charged to avoid being locked out of the user’s device. Acquisition describes the nature of obtaining possible evidence from the device, and there are a variety of data acquisition methods that specialists can use to obtain material such as physical acquisition and manual acquisition. Lastly, analysis of the evidence occurs when the proper data is collected and ready for extensive imaging using advanced and automated forensic software. Typically, two or more advanced software programs will be used at once to maximize results.

While Smartphones Hold Immeasurable Data, This Data Can Be Complex to Obtain

Smartphones are an integrated and personal part of our daily lives. Since we are constantly utilizing them to communicate, learn new things, store information and keep track of virtually every aspect of our lives, they are a gold mine for potential evidence during court cases. This evidence may include knowledge of a defendant’s whereabouts, statements or activities that can be accessed from their cell phone. However, when a user deletes potentially incriminating evidence off of their smartphone, destroys their smartphone or installs a complex passcode to forbid others from obtaining access to their information, the process of smartphone data collection has the potential to grow more complex. In addition, smartphone data collection programs and softwares do not always universally support all devices, as mobile phones are constantly evolving. That is why data forensics specialists, such as the specialists at Atlantic Data Forensics, are constantly working to stay ahead of the shifting technology and undergo extensive training to ensure optimal results within their investigations.

Consult a Data Forensics Specialist at Atlantic Data Forensics To Learn More

While data retrieval from smartphones is certainly complex, it is not impossible. The data forensics and retrieval specialists at Atlantic Data Forensics constantly pursue further knowledge and training and utilize advanced programs that will allow them to stay on top of smartphone trends and ensure no legal case involving a smartphone is unsolvable. Contact Atlantic Data Forensics today about your individual case.