SMart Phones and Security

Your SMartphone stores information about your life. Andrew McLeish of Stopline has shared this invaluable insight with WCD.

Stopline gets approached regularly about what is stored on iPhones or smart phones. People forget about what they use phones for and more importantly where the backups are stored.

During an investigation one question I always ask is, “Have you changed the settings on iTunes?” Often the answer is, “No”. Why do I ask this question? Simple answer is, that the iTunes settings defaults to auto sync meaning each time the phone is attached to the computer using a USB cable, the data from the phone is backed up. Data can be stored everywhere and people don’t realise this.

Today mobile phones are literally smart phones (as the name suggests) and can hold data which is sometimes overlooked. In yesteryear, the telephone was used as a telephone, now days a smart phone is used as device to store someone’s life. They are carried around everywhere and people are lost without them.

The smart phones are used at work and in play. People like to connect them to all sorts of other devices including laptops, computers, iPads, wireless hot spots and smart phone applications or APPs.

So, what information can be stored on a smart phone? The simple answer is most things in a person’s life, and we mean in their business and personal life. Not too many of us carry around two phones. Most likely you are given a smart phone for work to use as a work phone. But how many of us use them as a social device – in my experience, most people do.

So, what do you think would be found on a smart phone? How about where someone has been? Think of the wireless hot spots that quickly connect to your phone – that leaves a trace.

What about the pictures you have taken – they also leave a trace.

Who forgets or doesn’t know that a picture taken on a smart phone also has the capability to attach the geographical location to that photo? Did you know that it is accurate to within a few metres of where the picture was taken? Did you know that the name of the smart phone (which is often the person’s name) and other information is also attached to the picture?

So, when you think of the computers and what information they can store, you should also consider a smart phone and where the backups are located.

REF:  Andrew McLeish, 2017, Managing Director Stopline Pty Ltd. April

Need to know more about what data can be retrieved from a smart phone and where and what can be found in the backups? Contact Stopline: mailto:forensictech@stopline.com.au or call them on +613 98824550.