Smartphones Bring Many Forensic Challenges

Description : 

If you do not have a smartphone, you are one of the few left who don’t. Most of the rest of the country and the world has fallen to the smartphone assimilation. Resistance is futile, as they say. These phones do have quite a bit to offer, and really are little handheld computers. They can take photos, video, send messages, surf the web, and much more. They are handy and they are everywhere. 

Smartphones Bring Many Forensic Challenges

It is no wonder that forensics specialists are scrambling to make sure they have the knowledge and the tools needed to work with these types of devices. Still, the smartphones do provide quite a few challenges to forensics for quite a few reasons, as you will see.

Types of Data on Smartphones

First, let’s consider the different types of data that these smartphones have the capability of holding today, and you will see why they have the potential to be so valuable in different types of cases.

Forensic specialists who have to go through one of the phones will be looking in quite a few areas to try to locate evidence. They can examine the email and text messages, photos, video, and audio. They will also be able to look into the web browsing history, just as they would be able to do with a desktop or a laptop.

Call history is important as well. One will even be able to check to see what types of e-books a person might have been reading. Maps and GPS data can be valuable as well, and they have the potential to be very incriminating evidence in some cases.

The Trouble with Smartphones for Forensics

Of course, even though all of the above types of data could have great potential to help solve cases, it is not always easy for the forensic specialists to be able to get to that evidence. Unfortunately, the real world is not as cut and dry as CSI: Miami. Those who are in the field of computer forensics will find quite a few challenges.

Consider the different operating systems, including Apple’s iOS and Android, and then think about all of the different versions and iterations of those operating systems. With so many different systems, it can be difficult to keep up. Even simply keeping up with all of the various models of smartphone can be hard. Specialists often need to have certain cords for different types of devices as well as special proprietary drivers.

With some devices in evidence, the tech will need to keep the power on the entire time he or she is investigating. Turning the device off could potentially destroy or corrupt data in some cases.

These are a few of the biggest issues that investigators are facing today, and with more and more phones and devices on the market each year, it does seem to be getting trickier. Fortunately, the forensics classes available today are starting to teach more about these methods.

Better Tools Equals Better Evidence

In addition to better training, one will find that the tools are getting better as well. Kits for different devices and types of devices are available, and they can help to make sure that the tech is always up to date and can work on many types of devices. Since it does not seem as though there is ever going to be a standard when it comes to these devices - because a competitive market just does not allow for such things - specialists need to make sure that they keep up with the changes.

*by andreascy*