Cellebrite comments on the importance of mobile forensics used in the Tia Sharp trial

Thursday, 09 May, 2013

The latest evidence presented in the Tia Sharp murder trial highlights the important role that mobile forensics now plays in both police investigations and convicting criminals. In many murder cases, mobile devices can provide the missing information needed to outline the victim's last actions or communications and/or possibly find a link to identify the killer. They can also provide a wealth of significant and important data that can be used to assist in on-going investigations or as evidence in a court of law, leading to a successful conviction.

Every investigation is about gathering information and building up a picture. Just as biological forensics analyse DNA to pull pieces of the puzzle together, mobile forensics give more than just a basic overview of what criminals are doing or have done. Not only can it provide an insight into the past behaviour and habits of the criminal, but it can help investigators to plan ahead and ensure that they can map the future movements of suspects. Connections between criminals can also be identified by tracking the communication from phone to another, allowing investigators to see the period over which communication between criminals took place and who they are talking to on a regular basis.

Of course it's not just the visible and easily accessible information that might be relevant; it's the data that is hidden and deleted that is often the most interesting and useful to investigators. Fortunately, sophisticated extraction devices are now available to extract a range of data, even if it was deleted by the user. This includes images, multimedia messages, SMS, email, instant messaging (IM), locations and contact details.

Yuval Ben-Moshe, senior forensics technical director at Cellebrite

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