Aiding mobile device investigations

There’s no doubt that mobile phones are ubiquitous. Out of the roughly seven billion people who share this planet, six billion of them have access to mobile phones, and for many, these devices are the sole entry point to the online world. 

“On the flip side, the growth in ownership and use of mobile phones, and the way citizens are accessing and sharing data are transforming and complicating the way law enforcement and businesses conduct forensic investigations. Not very many digital forensic solutions out there can handle the mobile explosion, which is a problem, since it is crucial to investigations to be able to gather data directly from mobile phones,” says Lauren Wain, General Manager at Credence Security.

This is where AccessData’s Mobile Phone Examiner Plus (MPE+) and nFIELD solutions come in, as they are the only solutions that can collect any device with an option for on-site collections

designed for non-technical users. “Essentially they can be described as a suite of products for forensically collecting and analysing mobile devices, irrespective of your level of experience, or whether you’re a non-technical user, or an expert in digital investigations,” she adds.

“Although mobile device forensics are complex and can come hand-in-hand with many difficulties, the potential outcome is definitely worth it if you have the appropriate tools.“MPE+ and nFIELD allow the user to collect phone call history, contact information, audio, photos or videos and SMS texts. In fact, it even has the ability to recover deleted SMS messages. Moreover, Internet usage and downloads can also be accessed, and because of technologies such as GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, cell towers can connect users real-time to determine their approximate location.”

AccessData has two solutions that work with FTK based on the user’s own technical ability. “Firstly, MPE+ is a standalone mobile device investigation tool designed for more advanced technical users,” Wain explains. “It boasts a different approach to digital mobile forensics, as the product enables mobile forensic examiners to gain control of their investigations by giving them robust features to collect, identify and obtain key evidence that many other solutions overlook.”

The other part of the suite, nFIELD, enables first responders, technical and HR practitioners to forensically collect in five easy steps. “Practically no training is needed, the tools offers easy on-site mobile data collection for non-technical users.”

According to her, this is particularly useful for law enforcement first responders who can rest assured that there is full integrity around the evidence they collect, without any concerns over breaking the chain of custody and suchlike. “To help lessen the increase in case backlog, the nFIELD solution has the option of collecting at the scene of the crime to help speed up the evidence collection.”

Speaking of how the suite differs from other brands on the market, Wain says unlike other products, these can collect from any device, and MPE+ is the only mobile forensic solution that can collect from all devices with Python scripts. “Together, the products support over 10 000 devices, allowing users to uncover more evidence faster than any other solutions available today. And they cost significantly less.”

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