Interview with a Cell Phone Forensic Analyst
Chistopher Vance spends his time meticulously coaxing photos, e-mails, addresses, texts, locations, and more from smartphones with the goal of giving law enforcement a fighting chance against today’s digitally equipped criminals.
Phil Tucker from Sync blog, interviewed him about his job as a Digital Forensics Specialist with Marshall University’s Forensic Science Center where he is assigned to the West Virginia State Police’s Digital Forensics Unit as a digital forensic analyst; researches new technologies, validates new software for digital forensics, and instructs as guest lecturer.
What was your most challenging job?
I’ve had to deal with a few damaged devices in my time. The most difficult time was when I had to carve burnt plastic away from a device’s data port to gain access to it. Luckily, we were able to cut out the SIM card which had only sustained minor damage, and still get data from the device.
Roughly how much of the data you retrieve ends up being used in court?
That’s usually at the prosecution’s discretion. We have had one single SMS message used, or multiple gigabytes worth of data used as evidence. It really all dependent on the case.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Digital and Mobile Forensics is a vast and growing field. As new technologies and devices come out every day, analysts have to keep vigilant to understand how they are changing and developing. I only hope that device manufacturers and suppliers continue to, and increase efforts to work with law enforcement (under the scope of the law, of course). While protecting the data from malicious attacks is important, completely locking that data up tight may keep a criminal on the streets.
Read the full interview at: Sync