Forensics on cell phones
Inside and outside government, professionals increasingly carry data on their cell phones, including e-mail messages, documents, videos and instant messages. And there are those — such as law enforcement officers, some employers and, yes, hackers — who want to get at that data without the owner’s permission.
Until recently, however, the tools to do that weren’t available. A handful of PC-based programs have been able to extract data from selected cell phone models, but special challenges face those who deliver powerful forensic tools.
The biggest one is that there are hundreds of models of cell phones, with manufacturers adding dozens of new ones each year. And all those models employ a wide array of BIOS versions, operating systems and software. The other nut to crack is portability. Cell phones are, of course, extremely portable. But if you need to plug one into a computer equipped with forensic software, extracting data in the field or without the owner’s knowledge can be problematic.
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