Everyone has a phone these days, even the bad guys. To try to get away with their crimes, lawbreakers sometimes attempt to destroy their phones and the evidence they contain. On TV, computer experts swoop in and almost magically retrieve all sorts of incriminating data from the devices, often in less than an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I like to watch shows such as CSI: Miami, CSI: NY and CSI: Cyber, but have you ever wondered how much of these shows is accurate? Is it really that “easy” to solve crimes, especially ones that involve digital evidence?
A few years after I started working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), I joined the Computer Forensics Tool Testing (CFTT) program. Imagine how excited I was to learn that I was going to be so close to the kind of work I saw on TV! Soon after I started getting familiar with various tools in the lab, I was using CFTT’s methodology to test general computer forensics tools and mobile forensics tools. That’s the current focus of my research.
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