Mobile Device Forensics

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Contributed by Vicki Holzknecht.

Mobile technology has come a long way since World War II, soldiers were shouldering a twenty five pound phone that had spotty reception and was limited to a range of five miles (Meyers, 2011). Fast-forwarding to present day, mobile phones are so compact, they can now fit into shirt pockets, purses, and coverage is nationwide and even international depending on the carrier. The advancement of mobile technology has allowed employees to perform what was once considered office environment task, can now be completed while on the go such as making calls, e-mailing, instant messaging / text messaging, setting up calendar events, storing contacts, and working on presentations, etc. Mobile devices are interwoven into the consumer’s daily life whether it is personal or work usage. What consumers do not realize is the mobile devices are really just a treasure trove of data; law enforcement can use in a court of law. Digital evidence is found in eighty percent of today’s civil, criminal, and domestic prosecutions, (Daniel, n.d.), this should not be a surprise when there is approximately 6.8 million mobile devices around the globe (Moshe, 2014). During a NIST Mobile Forensics Webcast Richard Ayers noted that 2.5 trillion text messages are sent per year (Ayers, 2014). Many users are under the assumption that once a text message is deleted or removed from a device it is non-retrievable. Paul Luehr part of a cyber-crime expert team recently retrieved a years worth of text messages, even after the device had been erased (Kaneshige, 2014).

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