Mobile devices are everywhere. Within the last decade or so, smart phones have become not only a staple in our society, but arguably a necessity. There are two major players in the smartphone game, Android and Apple. Android devices make up the majority share of the smartphone market followed by Apple. There are others out there, like Windows OS phones and Blackberry, but they make up an incredibly small amount of the total smartphones.
Forensic Tools used for mobile device collections include Cellebrite, Encase, Axiom, and Oxygen. Preserving data from a mobile device can be much different than from a computer, and forensic software and hardware companies, like Cellebrite, specialize in creating tools for mobile device forensic collections and analysis.
There are a few different types of collections you can perform on mobile devices. Physical collections are bit-by-bit preservations of mobile devices, including the unused space. Logical collections preserve the user data only and not the free space of the phone. FileSystem collections preserve just the file system, which is very similar to the Logical collection, but could possibly pull some different data. The last resort in mobile device collections would be a manual collection. This is often used when a forensic tool can’t gain access to the device due to age or operating system restrictions. A manual collection consists of going through the phone manually and literally taking pictures of each screen. Not very efficient, but it’s a last resort option.
The type of data you can pull from a mobile device can be incredibly beneficial to a case. Some of the most sought-after data sets include messages, call logs, contacts, and photos, but there are many other pieces of information that can be discovered within a smartphone, including location data, calendar events, notes, website/application credentials, and many other useful bits of data. As such, mobile device forensic collections are becoming a staple in litigation discovery. To learn more about how Lexbe can assist with your next Mobile Device Forensic Collection, contact [email protected].