Geode Forensics


Geode Forensics

Incorporated in 2007, Geode Forensics Ltd is the successor to Geode Data Systems, which was founded in 1996. The company has assisted in nearly 900 cases and worked with around 200 solicitor firms across Scotland and Northern and Southern Ireland.

In Scotland it is normal practice for police and forensic experts to produce a Joint Report summarising computer evidence and conclusions. This report, together with the Complaint or Indictment, is the normal starting point for defence investigations. Supporting paperwork, such as interview transcripts, are also used where appropriate. Geode will explain the technical issues and provide an opinion on the methodology and whether the conclusions are justified and support the Complaint.

Digital Forensics could be the make or break of some court cases. By being able to supply a record of SMS text dialogue, phone calls, photographs and videos (along with when and where they were taken), web browsing history, social network interactions, notes, GPS locations, CCTV, documents and, as a whole, a person’s online life, can prove massively beneficial to a case, be it as defence or prosecution. For someone in question to possess and iPhone, the information collated could amount to something as big as a 9,000 page report.

90% of the work that Geode undertakes is with criminal cases and digital evidence can help support, refute or mitigate allegations of many criminal charges including sexual abuse or harassment, drugs, fraud, intellectual property theft and in civil cases such as divorce.

Geode are sent the digital equipment for analysis (phones, SIMs, PCs, external drives, game stations, GPS units, USB data sticks, memory cards etc.) and extract as much data as they can per the instruction given. They also possess the ability to be able to perform analysis on-site.

By maintaining a comprehensive set of PC forensic tooks, including EnCase 6, the Geode forensic took kit is kept under constant review in order to maintain a selection of the same tools used by the police computer crime units. Phone forensic toolkits comprise of software or a dedicated PC-style unit plus software and cables. The software is updating constantly as new devices are released and is very expensive, reflecting the difficulty in reverse-engineering phone to bypass security and read the data (particularly deleted data). Other tools, such as EnCase, will read all data from a PC into a standard format called a forensic image that then allows the Geode expert to perform a complete review of what is on the PC, including keyword searches, concordances (where data can be tracked through a potentially huge volume of information and displayed) and ‘carves’ for deleted data. There are now new tools available, such as Magnet IEF, that will scan a disk or phone image for web traffic, chat, social network traffic and email etc. There are hundreds of pieces of software that are either dedicated forensic applications or are more general but are still useful.

Evidence recovery is not necessary in every case but it is becoming more and more common, meaning that Geode are going to be even more in demand in the future.

For more information on Geode Forensics…
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