Join us at HTCIA Asia Chapter Conference

3-5 December 2014, Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel

Join MSAB at the HTCIA Asia Pacific Training Conference this year.

It is an event for those in law enforcement and private industry who investigate high technology crime. One of the most important conferences in the industry for Asia, this event offers a mix of pertinent content and opportunities for extensive networking amongst peers alike.

At HTCIA you will be able to see the latest versions of our products and participate in a workshop led by our trainer Martin Westman. The topic of the workshop is decrypting data in smartphones.

Learn more about the conference here

Welcome to XRY Viewer

Our latest app to make it easier than ever to review XRY files

MSAB has just launched XRY Viewer.

This new application has been purpose built and designed to help those customers who want something portable, easy to use and that doesn't require any installation permissions or dependencies to work.

The Viewer is less than 2MB and works without needing to be installed onto a Windows OS computer and for the first time it allows users the ability to sort all of the data in chronological order to help generate a timeline.

As modern mobile device extractions just keep getting bigger and bigger these days (32GB is common) - it becomes unrealistic and impractical to print such reports or even navigate PDF export files. Especially with video and multimedia files it makes sense to be able to review and play the files as they were originally intended, in their native format. Viewer makes this possible for a much wider audience than ever before.

Viewer is free to distribute by customers to authorized third parties like prosecutors or intelligence analysts who may need to review XRY files, without having any previous familiarity of using the product.

You can select different both logical and physical extractions together and view combined­ file categories to help sort all the data by a variety of different data types to help understanding quicker than ever.

For more information please visit the Viewer Page on our website here >>

Devices remotely wiped in police custody

The details about how mobiles were wiped are not clear

All the data on some of the tablets and phones seized as evidence is being wiped out, remotely, while they are in police custody.

Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Durham police all told BBC News handsets had been remotely "wiped". And Dorset police said this had happened to six of the seized devices it had in custody, within one year.

The technology used was designed to allow owners to remove sensitive data from their phones if they are stolen.

Asked whether the police felt that the issue had damaged their investigation, the spokeswoman said: "We don't know because we don't know what was on the phone."

For more on this story please visit the original article here >>

Digital Forensics Global Trends

The role of personal devices & digital forensics continues to grow

The current number of global mobile device connections in use around the world exceeded 7 billion in April 2014 — this number is expected to continue to increase exponentially as the Internet of things continues to grow.  As use of these devices, and accompanying applications, continue to expand rapidly around the globe so too will the use of digital forensics as an invaluable tool for a variety of law enforcement agencies and stakeholders. The global digital forensics market had revenues of around $1.4bn in 2013 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.5% between now and 2018.

There are two critical global trends that are shaping the evolution of these marketplaces and the uses of digital forensics- and they are interconnected.  The first is that law enforcement agencies and a growing array of stakeholders are using digital forensics for a rapidly expanding set of uses to keep up with the pace of innovation and commercialization.  The second is that of privacy concerns whereby policy makers are taking a more active role in attempting to shape the use of digital forensics and that law enforcement will have to make adjustments to these new realities.

Recently there have been a number of high profile cases where cutting-edge digital forensics tools have played a key role.  In the Oscar Pistorius trial, Reeva Steenkamp admitted to being scared of the South African track star in a text message three weeks before he shot her dead, according to police experts during his murder trial.  In a Whatsapp conversation in January of 2103, Ms. Steenkamp wrote: “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me.”  Thanks to digital forensics tools for mobile devices used by the South African Police that can recover messages, including deleted messages and data from encrypted versions, over 35,000 pages worth messages between the couple were recovered and will likely prove pivotal in the disposition of the case. 

For more on this story please read the full article in GRC-Daily here >>

Increased sales of paint tins anticipated in US

A view of the US Supreme Courts recent ruling:

On Wednesday this week The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that law enforcement agencies may not search the cell phones of criminal suspects upon arrest without a warrant.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the judgement:

Cellphones are unlike anything else police may find on someone they arrest. They are not just another technological convenience, but ubiquitous, increasingly powerful computers that contain vast quantities of personal, sensitive information. The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.

A cell phone search would typically expose to the government far more than the most exhaustive search of a house. A phone not only contains in digital form many sensitive records previously found in the home; it also contains a broad array of private information never found in a home in any form—unless the phone is.

Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.

The right to privacy comes at a price and that is now what law enforcement officers throughout the US will need to consider as part of their procedures for mobile device examinations.

Ellen Canale, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the agency would work with law enforcement to ensure "full compliance" with the decision.

"We will make use of whatever technology is available to preserve evidence on cell phones while seeking a warrant, and we will assist our agents in determining when exigent circumstances or another applicable exception to the warrant requirement will permit them to search the phone immediately without a warrant," Canale said.

For our customers within the US we offer the simple (albeit tongue in cheek) suggestion they buy a few paint tins. In the absence of a budget for the investment in proper Faraday cages or bags to retain mobile devices, a number of practioners have found that the humble paint tin can act as quite a good signal blocker.

Albeit there are no guarantees - some of our customers have discovered that putting a mobile device inside a small paint tin, and that inside another larger tin and then perhaps placing them in the basement of a building where mobile signals struggle to reach, might just help prevent a signal wiping all the evidence off the device before a judge has authorized the search warrant.

On a more serious point, law enforcement agencies still need to recover evidence from suspect mobile devices. The courts, prosecutors and even the defence (if they think it will help their case) will expect officers to do all they can to secure best evidence for a criminal trial. So the demand for mobile forensic tools remains and the training and policies around their use become more important than ever. 

The ruling will change the procedures of US law enforcement, but the demand to capture and secure evidence for court will always remain.

US Supreme Court Ruling

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