In the Spotlight: Digital Forensics and Cellebrite

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In the Spotlight: Digital Forensics and Cellebrite


One thing you will notice is that anything that gets attention in Hollywood will definitely get more attention across the country. People may have heard of a concept, but they do not become actually interested in it until a television show portrays its use. This is certainly the case with digital forensics. This relatively new area of expertise has taken off thanks to it being in the spotlight recently.

So, what is digital forensics? This is the concept of using various tools and technology to track down information on digital devices, like cell phones, computers, tablets, etc. This type of information can be used in legal cases, and it has already been implemented more than once to convict criminals. While it has already been around for a while, digital forensics is getting more attention from the general public thanks to two separate events.

The Fall

A fairly new television show, which airs on BBC and BBC America, has done its part to bring digital forensics into the spotlight. In the second series (season) of the show, a serial killer is caught because digital forensics are used to find a video on the killer’s phone.

Many people assume that what they see on TV could have a bit of science fiction to it. That is the case at times, but not this time. The technology used in the show to extract the video from the phone is very real and is already in use. A company called Cellebrite was founded back in 1999, and their whole goal is to create devices that allow information to be analyzed, extracted, and transferred from cell phones and other devices.

The device used on the television show is called a Universal Forensic Extraction Device, and it allows investigators to access files, physical file systems, passwords, and even hidden data from mobile phones, memory cards, and more.

Alex Rodriguez

Another good example of how digital forensics is used in real life involves Yankees baseball player, Alex Rodriguez. Of course, because A-Rod is such a high profile player, this has gotten plenty of attention as well.

Essentially, in this case, digital forensics were used to uncover phone calls, emails, and text messages between Rodriguez and Biogenesis, the lab that was providing the ball player with performance enhancing drugs. Without the digital forensics technology, it would have been very hard to prove that Rodriguez was using performance enhancing drugs.

In light of this and in light of the fact that there have been plenty of doping cases throughout the MLB, it is expected that digital forensics will continue to play a massive role in investigations when players are suspected of using illegal drugs. While this is a fairly new concept at this time, it is expected that governing bodies and judges will have access to information uncovered from player’s phones and mobile devices through digital forensics.

Whenever high profile cases come up, people take note, and that’s why so many people have learned about digital forensics recently. When fictional encounters are being portrayed on hit television series and real life encounters take place at nearly the same time, the concept will certainly get more attention.

It takes very specialized investigators to use digital forensics in order to extract such important information, and it requires skill and experience. As there is more of a need for digital forensics, there will also be more of a need for specialists who know how to use technology produced by companies like Cellebrite. Additionally, you can expect to see more of this type of technology showing up on your favorite crime drama as well.