‘Flasher’ Technology Digs Deeper into Cell Phones for Digital Evidence
Rick Mislan, Purdue assistant professor of computer and information technology and former U.S. Army electronic warfare officer, said a technology currently in use in Europe could potentially be used to help solve thousands of cyber crimes in the United States.
The “flasher box” can be used to download and analyze every bit of information from a wide variety of cell phones, a huge advantage over current forensic techniques that require investigators to issue specific commands and receive only information relating to the command.
With the flasher box, investigators can download the entire contents of a cell phone for examination, including call history, text messages, contacts, and deleted images and videos.
“Using a flasher box is like taking a snapshot of the cell phone,” Mislan said. “This method shows a lot of promise.”
The content of the phone is downloaded and appears as a stream of letters and numbers that only requires a mathematical translation to turn the code into useable information.
Mislan said the key to success with flasher boxes is finding the correct software and cables to match the wide variety of phones available on the market.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from Purdue University News (04/12/07); Medaris, Kim.