IT FORENSICS – COMBATING CRIME AND CORPORATE FRAUD
The ACATO GmbH is in Germany one of the leading companies in the area of deep smartphone flash forensics. Our key forensic experts have been asked to present new developments at different events. This included a presentation (2015) at the Internal summit on Smartphone Forensics (BKA Mobilfunktagung in Meckenheim) at the German Central Police (BKA) which was attended by 90 police forensics from 4 European countries. On request by the German IT Security authority BSI a special presentation was also held at short notice for the Cyber Security Days of the German chamber of commerce in Munich. In 2016 a special presentation at the University of Applied Science (Fachhochschule Aachen) was held as part of the annual IT forensics workshop. Participants included customs, police and tax investigators from 3 different countries (Germany, Netherlands & Belgium).
Our laboratory has a wide range of phones for research and therefore is able to provide special support for authorities when standard forensic equipment will not allow access to evidence stored in smartphones.
If required, we can extract analyze and find links between different types of evidence. Therefore we can investigate inside mailbox files, databases, hard drives, flash memory devices and smartphones. We then collect and compress the information so that is is readable for non-forensic-expert readers
The Link Analysis is an important part of group forensics when it is necessary to extract evidence from several smartphones and cellphones. These call activities must then be linked up to find gang leaders hidding. Depending on the intensity of research it might even be possible to locate the booty or even the hidding criminals. Furthermore, it is also possible to run a cloud analysis so that data from online services is available for investigation (e.g.. Amazon cloud, Whatsup, Dropbox, Facebook, …).
In some cases we have to unlock cellphones and smartphones to get access to the protected data. Our laboratory has equipment neccessary to unlock phones using android or iOS or other propriotary operating systems. We can deal with Pattern Locks and Pin Codes (Length 1 … n).
In case unlocking is impossible we can go further down and access data inside the chip of the phone. We have to then attach wires thinner than the human hair and try to simulate the controller workflow. Regularly we exchange knowledge with other forensic experts from authorities and research bodies.
Even if this may all sound very technical, at the center is always a lot of critical data. We therefore have our “Leading Agents” trained and certified to understand how to deal with the german data protection laws. Trainings and certifications were conducted at the Academy of the TÜV Süd. We ensure that our experts attend regular trainings and get further knowledge oin other fields that are adjacent to our key fields of operation.