Digital Forensic – Technology In Crime Investigation
Technological development is both a boon and a bane. With the growing use of digital technology, the opportunities for criminals to harm through digital devices are growing. Digital Communication devices have become a part of our daily lives and a necessary means of communication in today’s fast paced digital world. Criminals & Terrorists have used electronic communication devices to harm and terrorize people.
Digital Forensic Science is a process of extracting data, analyzing and presenting it in the court of law for criminal proceedings. In case of any criminal act, evidence plays an important role. Apart of physical, biological and clinical evidences from the crime scene, digital evidences like those recovered from mobile phones and computers are used. Data retrieved from these devices are presented in the court of law as very important evidence.
To recover such evidential data, such a device is sent to a Forensic Laboratory which is equipped with Digital Forensic Systems. The device has to be cut off from any mobile/internet network by either switching off the device or has to be carefully placed in a faraday bag and sealed with necessary information on the seal so as to not harm the devices during transport. Such evidences are not allowed to be opened by anyone other than the authorized Forensic Laboratory Personnel; any chance of tampering with this evidence is negated as an activity log can be recovered from these devices by a Digital Forensic System.
The evidence device is connected to a Digital Forensic Solution to create a dump image of the device and extract data to analyze a crime. This extracted and analyzed data is presented in the court of law.
A Forensic Laboratory is equipped with high configuration workstation and software applications that are capable of extracting various data from any digital device like mobile phones, laptops, personal computers, external hard drives, etc. The extraction process involves connecting the device to the workstation via a data cable and running the data extraction application.
There are three types of extraction stages that have different levels of data access:
1. Logical – SMS, Contacts, Call Logs, Media and App Data.
2. File system – Files and Hidden Files.
3. Physical – Deleted Files and Data
A Digital Forensic Solution also allows a Forensic Laboratory to capture types of device data like temperature logs, GPS location Logs and other internal logs.
Forensic Laboratories have helped in the investigation of many complicated, critical, terrorism and national security related crimes. With growing use of digital devices a primary means of communication, it has become easier for the law enforcement agencies to investigate cases by analyzing data extracted from these devices. Also with the recent development in the Digital Forensics, extracting data from such devices have become easier. Law enforcement agencies rely on such solutions for cases where physical evidences fail to help the court of law to judge a case.