Cell Phone Forensics – Pin Locked Phones and Chip-Off Forensics

The Trayvon Martin murder case will be getting additional media attention as George Zimmerman is scheduled to go on trial this summer. CFLLC was recently contacted to provide some insight, as to how potential evidentiary data contained on Trayvon Martin’s phone, might be recovered. The Orlando Sentinel interviewed Dave Kleiman to determine if any additional analysis could be performed on the phone, as the FDLE had suspended their examination, not being able to unlock the phone with a PIN. During the interview several methods were discussed, including the “chipoff” method as a possible means to recover the data from the phone. CFLLC has utilized this technique with notable results, although as was mentioned in the article, it renders the phone inoperable and useless for any additional analysis. The idea that evidence is destroyed in a criminal case may seem objectionable, but experience in other criminal cases demonstrates that it isn’t uncommon for DNA testing or latent fingerprint removal to basically “destroy” the evidence being analyzed. The key is, as in any scientific procedure, to document the methodology and purpose behind any action taken. Doing so, even if it results in modification, or destruction, might well be defensible, albeit not desirable. Does the end justify the means? To assist a jury in their responsibility to render an impartial decision, probably so…
Orlando Sentinel News Article

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