Introduction

The field of data recovery involves the process of extracting data from various storage devices such as mechanical hard drives, solid state drives, USB flash drives, CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/UHD and other discs, RAID servers, and magnetic tapes. The data can be on computers, tablets, or smartphones, and it can be password-protected, encrypted, corrupted, erased, hidden, overwritten or damaged.

Data recovery experts are usually brought in when computer files can no longer be accessed and a backup is not available. Common causes are a lost password, a user error such as accidental deletion, a software or hardware failure such as bad sectors or collapsed RAID partition, a malware, ransomware, or virus attack, or intentional locking or hiding of files by suspects in criminal cases.

The use of specialised industry disk-imaging procedures can harvest every last byte of data off the drive. Once the data is recovered, it might still be encrypted, and law-enforcement authorities have access to tools that can crack passwords, such as “brute-forcing” using trillions of rapid password attempts.

At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget.

Expertise in Action

The often conflicting and controversial issues of enforced data recovery and the right to privacy have been in the news recently where critical data pertinent to a criminal case is contained on a password-protected or encrypted computer or locked smartphone. Tech corporations such as Apple and Facebook are asked by law enforcement authorities for assistance to access and turn over data on a suspect’s device. This data may contact lists, call history, and messages linking the suspect to other suspects, browsing history revealing the planning of a criminal act, and location data that can dispute alibis and place suspects at the scene of a crime. In perhaps the most high-profile case to date, the United States Department of Justice requested that Apple assist the FBI in accessing the data on the Apple 5C phone owned by San Bernardino mass-shooter Rizwan Farook. Apple refused but the phone was eventually hacked by the FBI in 2016 with the assistance of data recovery experts.

A recovery data expert can give information of how data has been hidden, locked or encrypted and reveal ways it can be accessed by law-enforcement authorities undertaking investigations. Experts can assist in court during legal cases by explaining the forensic methods used to reveal critical evidence.

Sample Reports

For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.

Cost

The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
  • Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Relevant Articles ‘GrayKey’ promises Apple iPhone X unlocking tools

US intelligence agency contractors, security engineers and counter-espionage government manufacturers have developed tools that exploit vulnerabilities in smartphone encryption, allowing law enforcement agencies to hack into locked devices.

Australia drafts laws forcing Facebook and Google to reveal encrypted data

The Australian government has drafted legislation to be introduced in 2018 that will compel companies such as Google and Facebook to cooperate with security agencies seeking access to encrypted data contained in secure messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Signal and Silent Text.

Computer Forensics Investigator

An article on what makes a computer forensics investigator.

Relevant Cases Prescience Communications Limited v Commissioner of Taxation Office [2006] FCA 1561

A company that had its computer seized by the ATO sought to prevent the Commissioner from making copies of the hard drives via disk-imaging.

Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society Ltd v Woff [2016] FCA 248 (15 March 2016)

A case in which important emails were deleted, requiring them to be recovered.

CFJ v Children's Guardian [2016] NSWCATAD 62 (8 April 2016)

A child protection matter in which examination of a computer by a forensics expert was used.

Related Blog Articles
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A sample of our experts in Science - Digital media / data recovery

Below are short profiles of a sample of some of the experts with expertise in this field. Not all of the experts we work with appear on our website and finding new experts for unusual or hard to find fields is our specialty.

Please contact our office to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain an expert submission that suits your needs and budget. Expert Experts are experts in finding the right expert for your needs.

  • #ID14183

Forensic Investigator/Computing Science

ID14183 is a forensic investigator with expertise in a broad range of forensic specialties gained over 15 years. They are currently the director of their own forensic consultancy. They have experience in audit, investigations, and forensics in both accounting and computing sciences at a federal level.


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