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The Best Smartphone Triage: Field or Lab

Posted by Will Elder on March 4, 2021
Will Elder

Smartphone Triage is becoming more and more important with the exponential increase in the number of devices and explosion of digital data. Mobile device forensic examiners can use smartphone triage as a first step in early case assessment of incoming devices. 

Smartphone Triage for Lab Examiners

Smartphone Triage-1In a forensic lab setting, identifying which devices are the most valuable in an investigation is key, especially when time is critical. Using an early case assessment approach, examiners can determine if case specific information is present on the device - this can be done easily with ADF triage tools by selecting case type specific Search Profiles. 

In the case of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), for instance, mobile phone forensic software  such as Mobile Device Investigator (MDI) can automatically flag a device when digital evidence is collected and Project VIC hashes are matched. Built to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), MDI can also alert investigators for the presence of pictures of weapons, drugs, money, or other data which might warrant further investigation. 

Smartphone Triage for Field Investigators

Digital forensic triage of mobile devices gives field agents the speed and flexibility to search smartphone devices based on the nature of the investigation for evidence from suspects, witnesses, victims, or unknown devices. 

In the case of Mobile Device Investigator, field operators can not only collect and analyze evidence quickly, but they can preview and capture screenshots from phones and tablets during forensic acquisition to make decisions on the next steps in the case:

  • Seize devices
  • Charge suspects
  • Identify and protect victims

The field triage approach has been used by the military for years in sensitive site exploitation and in countries such as the United Kingdom which adopted digital forensic triage as a methodology early as a way to prevent forensic backlogs with front line Digital Media Investigators

Key Features for Smartphone Triage Products

No matter if you are part of a High Tech Crime Unit, Cyber Security Team, Human Resources Policy Manager, or a member of the legal or justice community, finding the right forensic tools to support early case assessment in the field or in the lab is important. Here are a few tips for what to look for in a Smartphone Triage tool: 

  1. Fast Evidence Collection - such as mobile preview and screenshot capabilities with Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  2.  Keyword Search Functions - ideally with last minute keyword capabilities so you can enter keywords during your interview or investigation on-scene
  3. Automated Classification - the best triage tools automatically classify and categorize relevant evidence such as images and videos, and they integrate with external hashsets such as Project VIC and CAID databases. 
  4. Case Management - the ability to manage your case from start to finish with the ability to tag relevant evidence as you build your case
  5. Sharable Reports - you'll want to share your reports with other investigators, with management, or with prosecutors and attorneys. Reports should reflect your full case and your colleagues should be able to further tag evidence without having to have a special software license

Mobile Device Investigator is the best Smartphone Triage tools for on-scene, field, and forensic lab investigations. MDI is affordable for individuals and teams with advanced logical acquisition, built in instant smartphone preview capabilities, screenshots with OCR, keyword search,  automated classification, case management and sharable reports. 

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Topics: Cyber Crime, Law Enforcement, Military Police, High Tech Crime, Triage, Mobile Device Forensics, Mobile Triage Kits, Military, Identity Operations, Mobile Forensics, Human Trafficking, Child Exploitation, Mobile Device Investigator, DEI PRO, Triage-G2 PRO, Triage-Investigator PRO, DEI PRO Field Tablet

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