Standardisation assists the facilitation of consistent processes, encouraging harmonisation across jurisdictions and countries – something of increasing importance in the modern, globalised age.

Cross border crimes are rising for a multitude of reasons, but improvements in technology and communication devices are undoubtedly decisive. Criminals have increased methods and mediums for interactions, meaning that mobile phones are a pivotal part of the majority of criminal investigations. The complexity of the data and artefacts recovered from mobile devices exaggerates this issue to a highly complex challenge for LEAs. 

Standardisation of the procedures related to mobile phone investigations can assist experts in completing the work paramount to their activities. Generally, this will include –

  1. Device seizure 
  2. Data preservation 
  3. Data acquisition 
  4. Data examination and analysis 
  5. Documentation of all investigation steps 
  6. Reporting 
  7. Evaluation and sharing of information with other LEAs 

Moreover, the standards are vitally important to prepare and present robust, verified and validated data that can be used in a court of law to assist the justice actions to be taken – either proving the innocence or liability of the person(s) on trial.

FORMOBILE is taking a three-step approach to work package 3 (WP3) connected to standardisation.

FORMOBILE gap analysis for new standard, for mobile phone investigations

The first deliverable and the connected tasks were to identify the existing standards, directly and indirectly, relevant to mobile forensics. Understanding the typography of the current standardisation landscape helps to identify the missing gaps and opportunities for improvement.

To support the identification of the standards, the relevant documents were split into three separate categories; namely –

  1. Specific Standards
  2. General Standards 
  3. Non-Formal Standards 

Each identified standard includes the title and its scope. For the standards that are not specifically for Mobile Forensics, the Austrian Standards International (ASI) - responsible for the deliverable, provided a summary of a standard’s relevance.

Existing standards and practices for mobile forensices

Even without completing an in-depth analysis of the requirements of LEAs, (Task 3.2) it is clear that there are many more 'General Standards' that are not specific to mobile forensics but remain some relevance. This highlights the lack of exact standards and emphasises the benefits FORMOBILE can bring in this area.

As mentioned, the next steps of WP3 are to identify the gaps connected to the requirements of LEAs. The subsequent Gap Analysis report will provide the input to the CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA), which will be the tangible output of WP3’s activities in the FORMOBILE project.

To read more about the scope of WP3, click here