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Mobile Device Investigator's Toolbox

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 35 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2008 Pages: 22,24,33
Christa Miller
Date Published
November 2008
This article discusses issues associated with the recovery of mobile device forensic evidence.
The author notes that virtually every major criminal activity leaves evidence such as images, text messages, call records, and more on mobile devices. Yet for the investigator who knows only the basics or less about how to recover this evidence, building a strong case can be difficult, especially after the evidence has been deleted. It is also noted that State or regional digital forensics labs are frequently overworked and understaffed, while many agencies lack the resources for the training and equipment to support an in-house expert. The author recommends training non-expert forensic analysts or investigators to recover essential evidence, but cautions that mobile forensics is as complicated as computer forensics, and has many of its own challenges. Many tools exist to aid data recovery efforts, but they demand plenty of training and educational support. Discussion is provided on the following topics: cost challenges; investigative challenges; the global divide in forensic software; market-driven limitations; legal concerns; learning the ropes; current and future technology; and data recovery tools.