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  • Oliver Laurence

Litigation Support: Law Firms Improve Their Chances for Success with Phone Forensic Investigations.

Updated: Jun 10

Mobile forensics is one of the most important areas of investigative #forensics, if not the most important, and the capability is getting better and better every day. This is particularly true for law firms and in other litigation support situations. The reason is that these mobile hand held devices including tablets carry so much valuable data that can be utilised in so many ways by #litigators and #investigators, not just for fraud investigations. Everyone goes everywhere with their mobile devices. They capture locations, images, messages in, messages out, #WhatsApp Videos #Facebook posts, the list goes on and on. All this information is stored and even when deleted can be recovered. The tools used by law enforcement are also available for corporate investigations.


That means that in any #investigation, regardless of the nature of the #investigation, you are likely to find relevant evidence on mobile devices which can aid you. I have personally seen the importance of mobile device #forensics in a wide range of #investigations. One of the biggest aids in the way phone forensic technology can be used, is in the assessment of a phones timeline. Looking at key dates and being able to zoom into that area in question saves litigators and investigators alike hundreds of hours in manual searching,


It has become important in both civil and criminal matters related to motor vehicle accidents and the use of a mobile phone prior to an impact occurring. Offenders who have been charged with inattention/dangerous driving because of an allegation of phone use prior to a crash have been shown to be totally innocent by comprehensive examinations of a time line on a mobile device. These examinations can demonstrate very quickly whether there was use or there was not use. A phone can still be active at the time of a crash and receiving data, however, this does not mean that the offender or your client was using the phone.


The use of Cellebrite technology at #IOnAsia, has allowed our global teams to assist #lawyers and #corporate clients gain greater insights far quicker than they ever imagined.

One should also consider the power of evidence on tablet technology as well. Tablets are in fact large mobile phones capable of carrying out the same in depth searches a phone can, capable of taking photos, sending messages, making calls, again the list goes on and on and on. All this information could be crucial in supporting your #litigation matter.


Consider these real-world case studies I found online which demonstrate how significant mobile phone evidence can be:


· Subject took a “selfie” photo of himself at the scene of a home invasion. This evidence led to a search of the suspect’s property, which turned up the stolen goods from the home that he had robbed. A further assessment of the Subjects phone timeline also linked his phone to Wifi hot spots in the street at the time with a map into the offence area, and a map out of the area.

· A mobile phone phone was accidentally dropped near the scene and was used to identify the alleged offender. In 2019, mobile phone pictures led to an arrest in a burglary of a London based jewelry store. The alleged thief discarded clothing and accidentally dropped his phone behind a nearby food store. The phone photos positively ID’d him.

It is going to be difficult to solve cases without a good working knowledge of mobile device #forensics. Fortunately, #IOnAsia has #Global phone #forensic #technology to assist in the collation and assessment of phone #forensics and a team that can support in providing the necessary advice and guidance on how to best to execute these #investigative strategies to get you and your team a better understanding of the evidence far quicker than you have ever done before. Technology which can aid in faster leads being generated and, quicker outcomes being reached.


Case Study


A defendant was arrested by #LawEnforcement. During the inquiries officers seized the defendant's mobile phone. The outcome of ‘in-house’ examinations revealed there were two media files deleted that could not be recovered using their forensic tools.


The time frame associated to the creation of these files was identified as significant to the investigation. The unnamed police force decided to outsource a further examination to an investigative forensic company who were also unable to recover the files or the exact date and time they were created.


The files were identified as one video and one picture file; however, it was claimed by the prosecution that the files were overwritten and not recoverable.


The solicitors representing the defendant instructed #IOnAsia to confirm the prosecution's findings. The defendant was adamant that the files would assist his defence case.

Using sophisticated advanced data recovery tools and their experience #IOnAsia were able to recover the exact date and time each of the deleted files were originally created.


#IOnAsia also successfully recovered the picture file that had been declared as overwritten.

Although the video file was not recoverable an image (frame) from the video was able to be extracted. This picture file held crucial information such as the time of day and location.


#IOnAsia provided an evidential report and following a trial the defendant was found not guilty in a foreign jurisdiction and able to return home.


https://www.ionasia.com.hk/digital-forensics

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