Digital Evidence Investigation – Data Recovery and E-Discovery

As more of our lives are stored digitally, so more of this digital information is often seen as evidence. Maybe a phone contains images from a crime scene, or perhaps a hard drive contains an important email that warrants a forensic investigation of the data. One term for this is forensic data recovery.

Most data recovery companies are able to examine data forensically. Digital evidence examination basically looks at the data on a digital storage device in an attempt to discover if there is any pertinent information detailing illegal activity.

Enquiries for e-discovery (or ‘data discovery’) as it is widely known vary. Here are a few examples from clients wanting a forensic examination of their hard drives and mobile phones.

Linux ext4 formatted 2TB WD HDD that is fairly new. Will not initialise or mount. Has 1TB of films I need back as the online backup has, incredibly, failed at the same time. I have a spare drive to move the data to. I’m interested in having this data examined forensically – I think the phrase is e-discovery or examination of digital evidence.

My Seagate External Hard drive has stopped working, and the light will not light up. However it does ask for me to initialize the disk, and makes a clicking, beeping noise.

Over christmas I took a lot of video footage on my phone to make into a short movie – i put my SD card into my laptop and transferred the videos onto my desktop or iCloud, i also made folders for them on my SD card, now when i came to open the folder it has turned into an exec file which now it won’t open my videos and i fear i may have lost them! i tried to download a free software to try recover the data but it only recovered the audio and even then it was broken, i believe that the footage is still there i just need a way to bring it back, now my Mac is not recognising my SD and i don’t want to keep trying unless i cause further damage. It is only now that I realise that some of the footage may contain digital evidence of wrong doing and it may be necessary to reproduce this in a legal case. What facilities exist to examine the hard drive, SD card and phone forensically? Can you examine each of them and produce a forensic report as the what activity has taken place on each?

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