Through the month of December, we posted one fact about vehicle forensics per day for 12 days. These facts also reflect challenges faced by many investigators. In case you missed any, we’ve put them all together for you here.
1. Over 80% of crimes involve a vehicle, and almost every crime involves a digital element.
2. Connecting a smartphone to a car via USB just to charge will still result in some phone data being stored on the infotainment system.
3. Knowing the version of a vehicle’s software can be incredibly helpful when it comes to finding user data.
4. Storage devices like SD cards and USB drives can leave behind their serial numbers when connected certain systems.
5. Many vehicle systems have an event log, recording things like doors opening/closing, lights turning on/off, etc. These events are often accompanied by a timestamp and geolocation data.
6. OEMs decide what OS and hardware to use, and implement that setup into all brands. As such, vehicle forensic support is global — the same tool is used regardless of country.
7. A device’s contact list, or phonebook, is one of the first and most common things to be uploaded and stored on an infotainment system.
8. If a driver uses the infotainment interface to “delete” their device, that device information often remains in unallocated space and can be recovered.
9. Having access to a suspect’s connected vehicle is the next best thing behind having the actual phone itself.
10. Data can remain on a vehicle’s system for weeks, months or even years.
11. infotainment systems as we know them were first implemented by Ford as a response to the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.
12. Vehicle forensic data compliments accident reconstruction data, allowing the investigator to create a robust recreation of what happened before, during and after an accident.