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Why Should You Be Cautious With Pre-owned Devices?

10 January 2013

Did you know

  • Tablet sales have increased by 668% since its mainstream introduction in 2010.
  • Combined desktop, laptop and tablet sales increased by 29% from 2011 to 2012.

The piecing of digital evidence in criminal and civil cases is of high importance, proving or disproving a link between the evidence and your client can make or break a case.  With demand for the latest tablet technology skyrocketing since 2010, it is becoming increasingly tempting for your client to purchase pre-owned devices. This could possibly link them to criminal activities. But how? And what is the risk to your potential clients?

These devices could still contain incriminating evidence!

Although a device may appear to be completely wiped, files are still present on your device. When files and documents are deleted, these may still be present on the device’s hard drive or memory. Hitting delete will just mark the file as free to be overwritten rather than being erased entirely. The IntaForensics team have aided an extensive variety of cases involving the recovery of deleted files, such as private financial records, company sales data, confidential medical data, indecent images of children and evidence of sexual assault or murders over many years. There may be more on the device than the purchaser bargained for.

This is where the IntaForensics team come in, through a number of specialised forensic tools to recover these files and identify its use. By using EnCase and FTK (Forensic Toolkit) software a forensic image is created – an exact copy of the devices hard drive. This is examined in order to preserve the original evidence involved in your case. A full forensic analysis is performed involving the search, recovery and analysis of all data stored on the device including deleted data. Forensic analysts can, on occasion, identify when certain files were accessed and recover data that was deleted many years before the analysis of the computer commences.

We can help to establish the provenance of data on such devices, dates and times when web-sites were accessed or whether images have been viewed or not for example.

Many of you may have caught our own Andrew Frowen on Rouge Traders, a segment of the popular BBC show Watchdog, helping the team to identify immoral companies who overcharge on PC repairs and sell used laptops with sensitive data to unsuspecting individuals. To read about our Managing Director Andrew Frowen helping to clamp down on dodgy computer reselling and repairs visit:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mg74/features/rogue-traders-click-computers

Talk to our consultation team today

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I can honestly say that your excellent customer service and communication has made our forensic instructions to you exceptionally easy. I am very conscious of the amount of time I must have taken up with various queries, requests, and then changed requests but you have always been very patient, polite and extremely helpful.

Case Review Manager - Criminal Cases Review Commission