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Forensic extraction

Cellebrite, the Israeli mobile data forensic product firm, provided its Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) units to the INTERPOL Digital Crime Centre (IDCC). That was to assist in retrieving evidence for the prosecution of suspects involved in a global online ‘sextortion’ scam.

In the first operation of its kind, named Strikeback, raids in the Philippines by the Philippines National Police (PNP) resulted in the arrest of 58 people and the seizure of 250 electronic devices, including many mobile phones. A second phase of the operation led to the arrest of a further eight suspects. Cellebrite says that its UFED was the main tool used to extract and analyse mobile data, to gather evidence for the prosecution of the ‘sextortion’ criminals.

Levy Lozada, Chief of the PNP’s Digital Forensic Laboratory, and part of the recently formed Anti-Cybercrime Group, said: “The UFED was the primary tool used by PNP to perform extractions and analysis of data from mobile devices. We are very satisfied with the equipment since it’s easy to use and effectively pulls out admissible evidence. Our digital forensic laboratories use it not only for cybercrime, but for other types of crimes where a mobile device may have been used to carry out illicit criminal activity.”

And Sanjay Virmani, Director of the IDCC, added: “The arrests were just one part of the investigation. Equally as important is ensuring that evidence is properly recovered and accessed, and the support and expertise provided by Cellebrite was an important factor in this part of the process.”

The UFED units provided to the IDCC were part of Cellebrite’s support for the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore to support the Organization’s 190 member countries in fight digital crime, identify criminals and support capacity building through innovative training.

A full case study on Operation Strikeback can be found on the Cellebrite website.


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