Cyber crime: New tech to retrieve data from hard disks

Cops can now recover erased data in foolproof way.

Hyderabad: Last November the cyber crime wing of Cyberabad police raided a den of Nigerian fraudsters in Delhi with the help of Delhi police and arrested 12 men.

The cops recovered 19 mobile phones and two laptops along with some other gadgets. Though the gang had wiped the laptops clean of all data, the police managed to retrieve evidence from them and produced it in court. In 10 similar cases in the last three months, the cyber police managed to collect evidence and file chargesheets.

Earlier, the collection of evidence in cases related to cyber crimes used to get delayed as the cops had to depend on the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) for analysis, but that would take anywhere between two months to two years.

The cyber police has now acquired technology for collecting digital evidence and recovery of erased data from hard disks or any other storage device without disturbing the original evidence. This is important, because not touching the original file means that the “modified date” of the files remains unchanged and the cops can’t be accused of tampering with evidence.

The latest equipment and software, costing Rs 18 lakh, is helping the police to collect digital evidence. Police commissioner C.V. Anand told DC that the new technology would be inaugurated during the inaugural function of the ‘Command Control Center’ of Cyberabad.

Cyber crime inspector Mohammad Riyazuddin said, “We have procured high-end computers for using these equipment. The software consists of a flash-drive key, which enables the accused’s computer to boot up in check-protected mode. The check-protected mode enables us to open the computer in read-only mode. The software recovers deleted files from storage devices. All the data on the accused’s computer can be retrieved as a disk image,” he said.

He added that the transfer of data from one computer to another used to take two to three days. “The new software increases the speed of transfer to six GBPS,” he said.

Cyber crime consultant Sundeep Mudhalkar who helps the Telangana and AP police said that most cyber criminals use Linux operating system instead of Windows. “Linux needs only 3.7 GB disk space and works on the basis of commands. At the time of installation, there will be some options which enables quick format. The quick format option in Linux can format a 100 GB disk within 30 seconds to one minute. Similarly, during the installation of Windows, certain options enable quick format in less than 10 minutes,” he said.

Devices to analyse mobile phones, enhance images

The Cyberabad police has acquired mobile phone analysing devi-ces along with physical and logical data retrieving tools and video enhancing tools for mobile phones and SIM cards.

Inspector Riyazu-ddin told DC that the equipment can collect data from as many as 64,000 mobile handsets, branded and unbranded ones. “We can recover erased chat data, call data, call logs, past tower locations, videos and enhance blurred images apart from details of browsed websites,” he said.

He added that the cyber crime wing can now analyse damaged SIM cards with the assistance of SIM-tool-retriever software.

Around 130 cyber crime cases have been pending in Cyberabad since two years. Currently the cyber crime wing is receiving reports and analysis of cases that were registered in 2014.

Although the cyber crime police has adopted advanced technology to overcome delays, the cyber crime lab needs authentication and has to obtain certain permissions from the government. Meanwhile, the lab can assist the staff of FSL.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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