Friday, July 16, 2010
Investigations using a cell phone
From the company (www.cellebrite.com) that offers you the ability to move your data over to a new phone when you change phones or carriers comes a higher grade solution that is used by government agencies, military and law enforcement to verify stories and investigate crimes. The product is called the UFED Physical Pro, and can work with over 800 devices including the iPad.
This solution allows agencies to retrieve data stores like SMS, photos, videos, audio files, calendar information, contact information and trace call records. It can also get the password of a phone and retrieve deleted data. For GPS devices like Tom Tom and cell phones with GPS capability it can retrieve GPS fixes, favorite locations, routes, and home location. Before a navigation device can give its owner directions it needs to do a GPS fix to get its current location.
Since cell phones have become a focal point of people’s lives especially busy people it can be used by law enforcement to provide a record of who a person knows, a record of who they called and when they called them, a record of their SMS messages, and a record of their whereabouts from GPS fixes. The ability to read SMS messages and call records allows the investigator to understand motives, ambitions, thought processes and planning steps. The ability to view a person’s history through these various means can be particularly clear because they are not expected to be under surveillance.
The implications are powerful for law enforcement to create a pattern of activity and a view into the inner workings of a criminal mind and network. It can also be used by innocent people to prove their alibi similar to how DNA is used.