Magnet AXIOM, IEF, and ATLAS have proven their mettle time and again for our customers. From our earliest days carving browsing data that no other vendor could acquire, to the present day combining and analyzing acquisitions from multiple data sources, we’re committed to ensuring our customers’ success.
We wanted to take some time to highlight some of those successes in obtaining, analyzing, and tracking critical mobile device data for their cases:
Rebuilt Deleted Browser History Proves a Child Abuse Case
Because IEF provided the foundation for AXIOM, AXIOM does much of what IEF gained its reputation for, including rebuilding browser data. For Lt. Darin Meadows of the Houston County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, this turned out to be crucial to getting the evidence he needed in a child molestation case. A keyword search for “Ambien” using another forensic tool had returned no results, but Meadows decided to try it again using AXIOM, with a more favorable result:
“AXIOM actually managed to go out and rebuild deleted internet history from the image of the phone — containing information showing that he was searching for legal defenses for Ambien, how long does Ambien stay in your system, etc. Then it showed that he went in and deleted that history.” That was all the jury needed to convict the defendant. “That was a case where if I had just relied on one product it may have had a different outcome,” Meadows told us.
How Picture Carving and Search History Solved the Case and Sparked a New One
In one metro Ohio agency, Magnet IEF was the tool of choice to uncover evidence in both a homicide case and a child molestation case. In the latter, IEF carved one contraband photo that no other tool had pulled. “I don’t know why none of the other tools had pulled it, but we were able to locate it using IEF,” Howe told us. “[We also found] search history, which didn’t show up anywhere else on any other tools that I used, [so it sparked] a child abuse image investigation.”
Search history also turned out to be important timeline evidence in a homicide, when IEF pulled the data that another mobile forensics tool had not been able to obtain. “It showed the suspect right after the homicide, conducting Google-related searches regarding details of the homicide,” Howe told us. The prosecutors “really liked” the data, and the killer was found guilty.
Pivotal Evidence in a Collision Reconstruction Case
Traffic collision reconstruction is difficult. Collision reconstruction years after the fact, even more so. In this case study, even though the vehicle was long gone, Giovanni Masucci of National Digital Forensics Inc. described how AXIOM helped him identify a connection between smartphone and vehicle Bluetooth—the missing data he needed.
Between that connection and the deleted and undeleted text messages that established a pattern of communication, Masucci was able to rethink the official timeline, establish a new timeline, and prove a distracted driving civil case. Read more about it by downloading the case study here.
A Favorable Result in Independent Third-Party Testing
Craig Pedersen, a private-sector forensic examiner in South Africa, wanted to see which forensic tools came closest to acquiring 100% of the test photos, locations, text messages, and control logs they had created on a variety of unused smartphones and computer hard drives.
Not only could AXIOM acquire the widest range of data from both smartphones and computers; it was also the only tool unexpectedly to acquire additional, non-test data from a “new” Samsung Galaxy, which contained images from someone’s holiday in London. In a time trial, Pedersen found that AXIOM, running on an i5 processor with 16GB RAM, took 20% less time than other products to acquire and process data.
Revisiting Cold cases with Hot New Acquisition Methods
New addition Magnet ATLAS, our case management system, has offered both expected and unexpected benefits when it comes to mobile devices. Not only does it make it easy to track multiple device seizures in complex cases; it also enables one customer to revisit cold cases. As Grant Melton, a forensic examiner with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, told us:
“Cell phone technology goes through such rapid changes that we might get a locked phone that isn’t supported for lock bypass, but a few months from now, will be. I used to have to remember which devices and cases to go back to, but now, when I log an exam for a device, I can flag that it was locked with no bypass. I can then filter examinations by those flags, and reprocess if we’re able to get into the device.”
ATLAS has also helped the IMPD to manage complex cases with more than 100 seized devices. To learn more, read the case study here.
Voting is now open for the Forensic 4:cast Awards. If you love how Magnet AXIOM or IEF has helped you crack find evidence on mobile devices, please vote for us in the Phone Forensic Software of the Year category!
To read more case studies, customer stories, and testimonials, visit our Customers page. Are you currently using Magnet Forensics products and want to take part in a case study? We’d love to hear from you!