What is Mobile Forensics? Definition, Processes, & Examples

Analyzing a criminal’s phone can provide a wealth of information. As a result mobile forensics and digital forensics in general are becoming essential assets for law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world.

Investigators can deduce the motivations for the attack and its consequences by studying the malicious processes. Let us investigate more.

What is Mobile Forensics?

The process of recovering digital evidence from mobile devices using established methodologies is known as mobile forensics. Mobile forensics, as opposed to traditional digital forensics techniques, is primarily concerned with extracting information from mobile devices such as smartphones, Androids, and tablets.

Mobile devices include a wealth of information, ranging from text messages and web search history to location data, making them incredibly useful for law enforcement investigations.

Why is mobile forensics importent?

  • Criminal investigations: Because mobile devices are increasingly being utilized in illegal activity, mobile forensics can help law enforcement organizations recover digital evidence from suspects devices.
  • Employee misconduct investigations: Employers may need to investigate employee misconduct such as breach of company policies harassment or theft of company data.
  • Civil litigation: In civil litigation matters such as divorce processes, intellectual property issues or personal injury claims mobile devices can be used as evidence.

What is an example of mobile forensics?

In a criminal investigation, mobile forensics could include analysing a suspect’s smartphone. A forensic investigator would retrieve data from the device’s memory, file system, and other storage regions using specialist software and techniques. Call logs, text messages, social media activity, internet history, and GPS location data might all be included.

What are the steps in the mobile forensics process?

  1. Evidence acquisition: The first step is to acquire the mobile device and create a forensic image of its storage media. This involves using specialized tools to make a bit-by-bit copy of the device’s storage, including the operating system, files, and user data.
  2. Evidence preservation: Once the data is acquired, it must be preserved to ensure that it remains unchanged and admissible in court. This involves storing the data in a secure, tamper-proof environment and creating a chain of custody record.
  3. Evidence analysis: The forensic investigator then analyzes the data to identify relevant information and artifacts that can provide insight into the case. This can involve keyword searching, data carving, and timeline analysis, among other techniques.
  4. Interpretation and reporting: The investigator interprets the data and presents their findings in a written report or testimony. The report should be clear, concise, and objective, and should provide a complete and accurate representation of the data.
  5. Presentation in court: Finally, the digital evidence is presented in court, and the investigator may be called to testify about their findings. The investigator should be prepared to explain their methods and the accuracy of their findings, and should be able to answer any questions that arise.

Top 10 tools for Mobile forensics

  1. Cellebrite UFED:
  2. Oxygen Forensic Detective:
  3. Magnet AXIOM
  4. Paraben E3:
  5. XRY
  6. MOBILedit Forensic Express:
  7. Elcomsoft Phone Breaker:
  8. FonePaw:
  9. Andriller
  10. BlackBag:

Most Popular tools for Mobile Forensics

Cellebrite UFED is widely considered the most popular mobile forensics tool. It is used by law enforcement agencies, government organizations, and corporate investigations worldwide. Cellebrite UFED can extract data from a wide range of mobile devices and operating systems, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, as well as GPS devices and other portable devices. It supports physical and logical extraction methods and can recover deleted data, as well as parse and decode various types of data, such as call logs, text messages, emails, and social media activity. Cellebrite UFED also provides comprehensive reporting capabilities, making it a popular choice for digital forensic investigators.

How to Install Cellebrite UFED?

Cellebrite UFED is a proprietary software product that can only be accessed by authorised individuals who have acquired a licence. The programme is often installed on a dedicated forensic workstation that fulfils Cellebrite’s minimum hardware and software requirements.

  1. Obtain a license: Contact Cellebrite or one of its authorized resellers to purchase a license for Cellebrite UFED software. You will need to provide proof of your qualifications and expertise in digital forensics.
  2. Access the Cellebrite Customer Support Portal: Once you have obtained a license, you will be provided with login credentials to access the Cellebrite Customer Support Portal.
  3. Select the appropriate software version: In the portal, select the appropriate version of Cellebrite UFED software for your workstation’s operating system.
  4. Download the software: Click on the download link and wait for the software to download to your computer.
  5. Install the software: Follow the instructions provided in the installation wizard to install the software on your forensic workstation.
  6. Activate the license: Launch the Cellebrite UFED software and enter your license key to activate the license.
  7. Configure the software: Configure the software settings, such as language, timezone, and network settings.
  8. Begin using the software: You can now begin using Cellebrite UFED software to extract and analyze data from mobile devices.


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