Category Archives: Chip-Off Forensics

SYTECH Assisted Case – “‘Truly Evil’ Couple Jailed For ‘Sick’ Murder”

SYTECH received instructions from Dorset Police whom requested the Mobile Phone Forensic examinations and analysis of multiple Mobile Phone Handsets not supported for analysis via conventional forensic means and were all attributed to the below referenced murder investigation.

A “truly evil” couple who stabbed a man to death and recorded the “protracted and brutal” attack on a mobile phone have been jailed for life.

Phillip Nicholson, 22, was lured to a flat in Bournemouth where he was set upon by his ex-girlfriend, Isabella Gossling, and her new partner Richard Moors.

Gossling, 20, was found guilty of murder following a trial at Winchester Crown Court. She has been sentenced on Monday to a minimum of 19 years in jail.

Her boyfriend Richard Moors, 25, pleaded guilty to murder in a previous hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court in October.

He was sentenced on Monday to at least 22 years in jail.

Mr Nicholson, who had learning difficulties, was found dead in Gossling’s flat in the Boscombe area of the town on 26 May. He died from a stab wound to the neck.

He was enticed to her home on the pretence of meeting another girl who the couple were friends with, Winchester Crown Court heard.

But the meet-up was a lie made up by Gossling and Moors.

Once Mr Nicholson was at the flat, they stabbed him and recorded the attack on her phone, Dorset Police said.

In the audio recording, Gossling can be heard demanding an apology from Mr Nicholson for sexually assaulting her and encouraging Moors to kill him.

Police said the sex allegation was never substantiated nor reported and they believe it was unfounded.

The phone recording also captured the couple discussing how to leave Mr Nicholson’s body in a way to make it look like he stabbed himself.

The knife used to kill Mr Nicholson was found in a sink at the flat.

The court heard the couple had previously bullied and threatened their vicitm.

Detective Chief Inspector Stewart Balmer, from Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Isabella Gossling and Richard Moors are truly evil.

“They targeted Phillip Nicholson because he was vulnerable and they could exert power over him.

“They subjected Phillip to a brutal and protracted attack.

“This is one of the most harrowing cases I have dealt with in 30 years’ service.”

He added: “The fact they chose to audio record this violent and sick act on her mobile phone is beyond belief.”

Mr Nicholson’s family said in a statement: “We are totally devastated by the way that Phillip was cruelly tormented, tortured and murdered.

“Our son was kind, caring and helpful to all and did not deserve this callous death.

“Phillip’s death will always leave a huge dent in our hearts and those of family and friends that knew him.”

 

Source:  Sky News

Detailed View of a Memory Chip

SYTECH Case – Moto Android Chip-Off Examination – Murder Investigation

SYTECH Case – Moto Android Chip-Off Examination – Murder Investigation

Andrew Munro was charged with the murder of his wife and attempted murder of another close relative for which he denied both charges.

Claire Munro, mother of three, was found dead in her home with serious injuries.

SYTECH received instructions from Cheshire Police whom requested forensic examination and analysis of Motorola Moto Android based Mobile Phone Handsets not supported for analysis via conventional forensic means and were attributed to an on-going murder investigation.

At SYTECH the aim of the examination was the extraction, validation and presentation of all user based data and in particular whether there were any malicious applications installed or software capable of remotely tracking and controlling the handset.

The only way to gain access to the data held within the handsets was by that of “chip-off” examinations.

This involves the removing of the Flash Memory chip from the handsets printed circuit board (PCB).

This is where any potential data will be stored within the handset.

Data relating to the Investigation was recovered from the memory, this showed the potential to track and control a mobile phone handset remotely.

 

At trial Mr Munro changed his plea to guilty in relation to the murder and he also pleaded guilty to S18 wounding as an alternative to the attempted murder of another.

 

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/andrew-munro-denies-murdering-wife-8750194

 

Encrypted BlackBerry Lock Screen

Private Sector – Digital Forensics Industry First – Encrypted BlackBerry Examinations

Due to ongoing expert Research and Development, SYTECH are proud to announce the “UK Private Sector – Digital Forensics Industry First” regarding the Digital Forensic examination of Encrypted BlackBerry Devices (including PGP encryption).

 

With the rise of Digital Security aware Organised Crime Groups and IT literate persons, this type of complex examination can lead to the convictions otherwise missed due to previously inaccessible data held within these information gold mines.

 

If you have a device with a padlock in the top left of the screen (open or closed) or suspect PGP based encryption then:

Contact us directly to discuss this invaluable service on  01782 286300 or email enquiries@sytech-consultants.com and ask for Simon Lang.

 

We are so confident that we will gladly offer a “no win, no fee” service.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Encrypted BlackBerry Lock Screen
Encrypted BlackBerry Lock Screen

SYTECH Case Study – Digital Forensic Investigations in Cases Against Child Predators and Co-Conspirators

How Cellebrite’s UFED Link Analysis Strengthens Cases Against Child Predators and Co-Conspirators – Mobile Phone Forensic Examinations

 

Who:

Simon Lang, Senior Digital Forensic Consultant / Digital Forensics Manager, SYTECH – Digital FOrensics, Stoke-on-Trent, England

 

What:

Use of Cellebrite UFED Link Analysis to attribute suspect handsets and assess and identify victims

 

Why:

Investigating rings of criminals who produce child exploitation materials

 

Results:

UFED Link Analysis saves time and effort associated with connecting suspects and victims on child exploitation, illegal money lending and drug conspiracy cases

 

Child exploitation can be one of the hardest crimes to prosecute. Victims are often too scared or ashamed to admit any connection to a suspect, and paedophiles go to great lengths to protect one another. To make their cases, police need ways to tie suspects and victims to one another via the frequency, type, and mode of their communications. Often this evidence is found on their mobile phones and GPS devices.

 

Simon Lang, Digital Forensics Manager at SYTECH – Systems Technology Consultants Ltd., England, has put UFED Link Analysis to work on several such cases in recent months. In the United Kingdom, law enforcement agencies frequently outsource digital forensics to ­rms like SYTECH. That’s because when a case goes to trial, the courts require an independent review of the work police did. High pro­le or complex cases with multiple devices often end up in court, so teams like Lang’s need tools that enable them to explain digital evidence simply and concisely at trial.

 

Lang himself has been a mobile device forensics examiner since about 2008, and he and his team have used Cellebrite systems since 2011. However, when faced with multiple mobile devices on a single case, they faced the time-consuming process of running data through spreadsheet software.

 

“Creating custom ­filters in Microsoft® Excel® and looking for common contacts, usernames and IDs, and incriminating content [such as text messages] can take a few hours when comparing the results from iPhones etc.,” says Lang.

 

That’s because of the sheer amount of data that iPhones and other smartphones can store. UFED Link Analysis provides an almost instantaneous graphical representation of the common contacts with the click of a button. “It is easier using these diagrams than looking at rows of text,” says Lang.

 

Why is this important? Lang and his team work on large cases involving multiple defendants across the United Kingdom, including child exploitation and drug conspiracy cases. “This tool comes in extremely handy in child exploitation and grooming cases, which are becoming more common in the UK,” Lang explains. “There are large ‘rings’ of individuals who have been targeting vulnerable people across the country.”

 

One of the most common ways his team uses UFED Link Analysis is for attribution of handsets, when the suspect denies ownership. Investigators can corroborate text messages or instant messaging, call logs, contacts and found on the suspect’s handset with like data found on victims’ or other suspects’ handsets.

 

Lang’s investigators also use UFED Link Analysis to compare “clean” and “dirty” phones. In these scenarios, suspects use one device for everyday noncriminal activities, and a second or more devices for their criminal activities. Common contacts and locations between the two can show which devices are used by the same suspect(s) and thus, can tie otherwise “innocent” suspects to the crimes they commissioned or committed.

 

The software is also handy for assessing multiple victims on these cases. The “Links-Mutual” view shows whether victims all had one or more suspects in common on their devices; patterns in keywords or timelines—days of the week or times of day—can help corroborate the evidence.

 

Once the evidence is collected and analysed, Lang uses the snapshot option to show common contacts within cases, placing these within his report. Put together, the links and patterns strengthen the Crown’s case and lead to what Lang believes will be a higher likelihood of conviction.

 

About Cellebrite Founded in 1999, Cellebrite is known for its technological breakthroughs in mobile forensics. Its Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) is used internationally by law enforcement, military, intelligence, corporate security, and eDiscovery agencies to extract data from legacy and feature phones, smartphones, portable GPS, tablets and phones manufactured with Chinese chipsets.

 

SYTECH – UFED Link Analysis – Child Exploitation Case Study

Detailed View of a Memory Chip

SYTECH Assisted Case – Password Protected BlackBerry Chip-Off – “31-member drug gang that controlled illegal supplies across the north east are jailed following three-year investigation”

OCG (Organised Crime Group) Investigation

James Kelly and Paul Gill were 2 of the a 31 member drug gang. Police Operation Cobweb saw that all 31 members of the OCG “drug gang” were jailed in total to 231 years.

The Court case for Operation Cobweb started in 2012 and finished in 2015. Kelly is now currently serving a 10 year sentence and Gill serving a four year sentence.

SYTECH were asked to carry out an advanced digital forensic examination of a PIN / Password Locked BlackBerry Mobile Phone Handset which is attributed to this on-going investigation.

 

“31-member drug gang that controlled illegal supplies across the north east are jailed following three-year investigation”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2919511/Final-two-defendants-31-member-drug-gang-controlled-illegal-supplies-north-east-jailed-following-three-year-investigation.html

The final two defendants of a 31-member drug gang that supplied class A drugs across the north east have been jailed following one of the biggest drug operations ever.

Craig Ferguson, 38, and Dawn Gorman, 43, were jailed at Teesside Crown Court for their part in the cross-country drug dealing network.

They were the final two members of the 31-strong gang to be sentenced, after a three-year police investigation – dubbed ‘Operation Cobweb’ – brought the drugs ring to an end.

The investigation, the biggest drugs operation ever to be run by Cleveland Police, has now seen a total of 31 people put behind bars for a total of 231 years.

The final defendants were linked to a conspiracy to deal Class A drugs on an industrial scale, which allowed its kingpins to lead the high life.

Ferguson was jailed for five years and three months at the court hearing on Monday after the judges heard how he collected drugs for a local dealer on four occasions from January 2012 to August 2012.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, said Ferguson transported large quantities of drugs from the north west to Teesside.

He said: ‘It was, as you know, a professional and skilled conspiracy.

‘You are towards the very bottom of this conspiracy.’

Also in the dock yesterday was Gorman, the wife of one of the conspiracy’s top bosses, who was jailed for 18 months.

The former air hostess’s husband Jeffrey Hanks, 52, is currently serving a 22-year jail term – the longest sentence given to any of the conspirators.

The couple, from Bury, splashed out on motorbikes, holidays, private education, a lavishly-furnished home, Jimmy Choo shoes and a Porsche Cayenne, the court heard previously.

Gorman was not involved in the drugs plot itself, but a jury convicted her of money laundering.

She had denied offences of concealing and converting criminal property.

The judge said she knew her husband Hanks – branded ‘a thoroughly manipulative, dishonest individual’ – was a drug dealer.

He told her: ‘It beggars’ belief that you did not know what was going on.

‘You were happily spending money that was part of a considerable and sizeable drug conspiracy.

‘You were willingly and enthusiastically spending the money on what, on any view, could be deemed an extravagant lifestyle.

‘Without that money from the drug dealing, you could not have in any way dreamt of leading such a life.’

He said the amount of money involved was ‘well in excess of £100,000’.

Barristers for the pair, who had few previous convictions, asked the judge to consider passing suspended sentences.

They stressed the ‘devastating’ impact of a prison term on the defendants’ children.

The judge told Gorman that she and her husband bore the responsibility for their children’s suffering, as they carried on their criminal activity knowing the possible consequences if they got caught.

‘You did it essentially because you were driven by greed,’ the judge added.

Duncan McReddie, defending Ferguson, said he had responsibility for seven children and he was a good and caring father who had tried to lead a productive, law-abiding life since his arrest.

He said Ferguson got involved out of a desire to help his cousin, fellow runner David Cuthbert.

Cuthbert, 38, was jailed for five years in May last year, along with 22 other members of the gang who were locked up for a total 177 years.

David Toal, representing Gorman, said she might have ‘turned a blind eye’ to the money and played a lesser role.

He said her health had also been affected and she stood to lose her home and possessions.

It has taken almost three years for the catalogue of court cases linked to Operation Cobweb to reach their conclusion.

They began with two cases in 2012 – one following a high-speed police chase where 2kg of heroin worth £90,000 was hurled from a moving car.

They finished with jail terms given yesterday to Ferguson and Gorman, who enjoyed the fruits of the network which flooded Teesside with Class A drugs.

In between, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC jailed 22 people – from couriers to warehousemen, right-hand men, lieutenants and ringleaders – to a total of 177 years in May last year.

He said of the drugs conspiracy: ‘It was carried out in a determined and ruthless fashion. It was conceived and put into effect by professional and experienced criminals who were aiming to achieve a high financial reward.’

The second-longest sentence of 16 years was given to Robert Hickman, 29 – the leader of the Teesside operation.

He unsuccessfully appealed his prison term, and arranged for drugs to be smuggled into prison, for which he received a concurrent six-year sentence.

Then in December, one of the gang’s north west ‘controllers in chief’ Jeffrey Hanks was jailed for 22 years.

Operation Cobweb was Cleveland Police’s largest-ever drugs investigation and has now put 31 people behind bars for a total of 231 years.

The three-year investigation smashed a well-organised drugs ring, which was driven by dedicated criminals trafficking heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine using ‘dirty phones’.

The drugs were transported from the Greater Manchester area to Teesside regularly, with payment in tens of thousands of pounds heading the other way.

More than 100 trips were made between Teesside and Manchester transporting vast amounts of drugs and ‘dirty money’.

Officers seized almost 6.9kg in heroin, 2.26kg of cocaine, 437.5g of crack cocaine and more than 22kg in cutting agents.

The recovered drugs were worth £824,686, and £127,966 cash was seized, but prosecutors said this was the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

Police and prosecutors pieced together evidence including telephone communications analysis, observations, drug and cash seizures, vehicle sightings and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera data.

Detective Sergeant Colin Helyer, from Cleveland Police’s organised crime unit, said Operation Cobweb was a protracted and complex covert investigation and one of the unit’s largest-ever inquiries.

Speaking after the final two defendants were sentenced yesterday, Detective Constable John Findlay, who also works with Cleveland Police’s organised crime unit, said: ‘This has been one of Cleveland Police’s longest-running, most complex and involved investigations.

‘I would like to pay tribute to all our officers who have worked tirelessly over several years to bring these people before the courts.

‘I would also like to thank those members of the public who provided vital information to help our inquiries.

‘I would reiterate that police will always act on information on drug dealing and other crime which is provided to us.

‘You may not see anything happen immediately but rest assured, there will be a good deal of work going on in the background.

‘With assistance from our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police, we have succeeded in bringing to justice a large group of people who were involved in drug dealing across the North and North-east, and who were often profiting handsomely from their involvement.

‘Those jailed will have time to reflect on their actions, and the sentences should act as a deterrent to anyone tempted to deal illegal drugs.’