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For investigators, a better way to extract data from mobile devices

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Law enforcement and security are now equipped with a new tool -- software that specializes in dissecting information from mobile devices.

Law enforcement and security agencies are now equipped with a new tool -- software that specializes in dissecting information from secure mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and GPS systems.

The UFED Touch platform was designed by company Cellebrite, and the device is available in different versions adapted for field or lab work.

It is able to extract vast sums of information, and for law enforcement or security agencies, it is access to sensitive communicative information that can make or break a case. The device is able to source and analyze information including text messages, phone contacts, pictures, video, audio and unique phone identifier codes.

The UFED Touch is available in two versions; UFED Touch Logical -- for data and password extraction -- and the UFED Touch Ultimate, which is more suited for in-depth password and system data extraction and analysis.

This mobile data extraction device is reported as "the most advanced mobile data extraction and decoding capabilities on the market for law enforcement, military and intelligence, corporate security and e-discovery industries".

As an investigative tool, it is primarily aimed at allowing investigators to decode digital information from devices including smartphones, legacy phones, GPS navigation systems and tablets -- even if data has been deleted.

In total, the UFED Touch can use logical and physical extraction methods to investigate over 7,900 mobile devices currently in the market. According to the company, even traditionally secure models are not a barrier -- such as the Blackberry, often preferred as a mobile device by corporations due to its centralized security structure.

Other devices that can have information extracted include Apple iOS systems, Android and smartphone models manufactured by high-profile companies including Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia and Motorola. It can also decode devices such as the iPad and Galaxy Tab.

Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, research director at IDC said:

"Over the past few years we've seen public organizations adopt a 'mobile first' mentality, using advanced technologies to better address the explosion of mobile devices and their increasing power when it comes to public safety.

As law enforcement and governments look to stay ahead of the curve, it's clear that technologies like the Cellebrite UFED will only continue to contribute to the ongoing trend of creating smarter, safer cities."

The device is designed and will be available specifically to law enforcement agencies, the military, intelligence agencies, corporate security and e-discovery investigators.

Image credit: Cellebrite

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure