Monthly Archives: August 2012

Listening Devices Might Not be the Only Threat to Confidential Business Matters

In one of my recent posts, I talked about how we did a Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) sweep for spy listening devices in the offices of a business. We didn’t find any eavesdropping devices in their offices, but we did determine that one of the other businesses in the building was being bugged. When we conducted the sweep and found nothing, that was a good thing. The business owner knew someone had learned something that was being held confidentially and was concerned. So he took the first logical step in his mind to find out if there were listening devices installed in the areas of the office where sensitive discussions were taking place. Eliminating eavesdropping devices from the options, he could move forward. Automatically people [...]

Data is Data to Cell Phone and Computer Forensic Experts

“But I didn’t open anything bad!” That’s what one of our clients said when our computer forensic specialist was trying to explain that she did, indeed, have spyware on her cell phone. The thing is that a link is a link is a link. By that, I mean that the hardware – the cell phone or the computer doesn’t distinguish between good data and bad data or a good link from a bad link. It’s all just information and commands to the machine. And every time anything is accessed online or opened on your phone or computer, such as a website, an e-mail or text message, it is actually a link that someone sends you.  When you accept it, you are actually downloading it. That [...]

Who’s Listening? Cell Phone Spying is Here

It might sound like a funny prank to pull on a buddy, but installing cell phone spyware is not a joke – nor is it legal - anywhere in the United States. In fact, the Federal Wiretap Act as part of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (Title All in Investigations)  makes it a federal offense punishable by 5 years in a federal prison and the perpetrator could be subject to civil lawsuits as well. If you do an Internet search on cell phone tap, spy, bug, monitor or eavesdrop, you may find hundreds of sites that sell cell phone spyware – and many of them say the equipment is legal. It may be legal in some countries of the world, [...]

Combining Hidden Asset Research and Computer Forensics Makes for Informed Divorce Decisions

I don’t usually keep track of celebrity lives, but I read the news about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes getting divorced. Apparently he had no idea – or at least that what the news reported. After dealing with many divorce situations as a private investigator, I can say that that is not all that uncommon, no matter what everyone thinks. Often one party has made the decision and plans for quite some time before actually informing their spouse of their intentions. And that is why we find so many times one side is hiding money in divorce and the other side has absolutely no idea. Even if there is a marriage separation, hidden assets is a topic that comes to the surface. We had one [...]

Medical Issues are One Reason we Find Missing Relatives

Not all investigative work is tied to bad guys. In fact, here at , we get many calls from people asking us to find a family member. We find missing siblings and parents. In fact, we find missing relatives of all sorts. Some have been estranged for years and old hurts are fading. Other cases are from people seeking family members because of medical issues. It could be that a genetic disease has been uncovered and the patient/client wants to let the missing relative know of health issues they should suspect may happen in their lives. Another side of medical-related investigations into missing persons that come up is when a patient is seeking an organ donor or a bone marrow donor. In one case, a [...]

It is What It Is in Cell Phone Forensics

Many times, especially in domestic cases, there are three sides to every story: his, hers and the truth. Cell phone forensics allows us to find that third side. Cell phones are just computers. And, as I have stated before, even data you think may have been deleted from a computer is still stored somewhere in the hard drive. Therefore, the same goes for cell phones. Text messages and e-mails are most likely retrievable. And in the case of a domestic case, you can use cell phone records as evidence. Not only the call logs, but the data extracted through cell phone forensics and cell phone analysis. In order to perform cell phone forensics on a cell phone, the phone must be accessible. We are able [...]

To Get Cell Phone Records as Evidence in a Court of Law Takes Expert Handling

When Joe calls us or comes into the International Investigator’s office saying that his girlfriend is cheating on him and gives us the cell phone he has on his account for her to use, we can help him find the truth. The truth for him usually doesn’t involve using cell phone records as evidence in a court of law. However, when a criminal attorney calls and says he thinks his client’s cell phone records and data could prove his guilt or innocence, using the cellphone records as evidence could be a critical element in the court case. Because of the isolation of the phone and specialized equipment to verify exact duplication, forensically extracted data is admissible as evidence in court. Forensic cellular evidence is extracted [...]

Cellphone Expert Analysis Comes Down to the Minute Details

We recently had a cell phone forensics case that illustrates exactly why cellphone forensic analysts are often considered cellphone experts. Cell phone forensics was being completed to determine whether or not malware or cellular spyware had been installed on a client’s phone. The user was suspicious because there were some people who knew things that he didn’t want them to know. After talking to others around him he determined the only witness was the machine – it was a cellphone witness. took the cell phone and began the process. The data was isolated and the file verified as an exact copy. Then the analyst began to extract all the data. The phone user was a gamer. He had many, many different games loaded onto his [...]

With Cellular Forensics, Timing Can Be Everything

Since we are one of only a handful of cell phone forensics labs in the nation, we are considered experts at cell phone forensics here at . Because of that, we get a lot of inquiries about the topic from attorneys, local and federal agencies and from regular citizens. People who suspect that their phone may be a cell phone spy often have an idea who would want to spy on them. So they wait and listen and watch. What they- and you- may not realize is that if a bad guy has put spyware on your phone and thinks you know, he can wipe the software from the phone before you can prove it was there! He can do it remotely and all of [...]

In Cellular Forensics There is a Difference Between Physical and Logical Data

If you suspect that you or one of your clients is the subject of illegal cell phone tracking, you call to complete a full cellular forensics analysis on the phone. Did you realize that we have to look at two different types of data on the phone? We look at the physical data and the logical data. Let me explain the difference. The physical data would things like apps and the actual software that is on the phone. It’s generally data and information that the user doesn’t have a direct connection to like the actual code, the operating system or files in the operating system. It’s all that “stuff” that a developer would create to make programs function. The user doesn’t normally have access to [...]

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