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Is it possible to retrieve deleted text messages?

By: Navid Sobbi

If you have ever accidentally deleted a text message from your mobile phone and wanted to get it back, the answer is yes when you use a proper digital forensic process. At NSI Global Counter Intelligence, the leading digital forensic data recovery firm, we use PROPRIETARY HARDWARE to perform our forensic data recovery investigations. This is the same hardware that Government and law enforcement agencies worldwide use for their digital forensic investigations. This equipment does not install anything whatsoever on your device. The data flow is a one way connection that extracts the raw binary data from your device, leaving it intact and ready for analysis.

If your data is precious or valuable to you in any way, using commercially available software online is not recommended as this will overwrite the data you are trying to retrieve in most cases. 

NSI Global Counter Intelligence’s Digital Forensics Division follow a forensically sound 5 step process when recovering your data:

  • Step 1 involves the triage of the device and identify the purpose of the digital forensic investigation and the tools that are going to be utilised. We take on both private and legal matters and have legally qualified digital forensic examiners that have been called upon by law firms to provide expert witness testimony.
  • Step 2 is the collection of the data from the device. This involves the device being connected to our proprietary hardware in our forensic lab and a digital forensic technician beginning an extraction of the device.
  • Step 3 is the analysis phase of the forensic process. The digital forensic technician processes the raw binary data that has been extracted. Factors such as the way in which the device was used since the data was deleted, if there were any software updates or factory resets, and the amount of memory on the device, will determine the success of the recovery.
  • Step 4 is the reporting phase of the investigation. Once data is recovered and analysed, we then create reports based on our clients requirements such as messages between a group of people at a particular time. If required, legally admissible reports can be prepared and examiners can present evidence in court.
  • Step 5 is the completion phase. Our examiners prepare the device and reports for the client and go through the findings with them.

We also have the capability to manually reproduce your deleted files. This involves painstaking analysis by a senior forensic examiner who may need to reassemble the fragmented data manually. This process demands an extremely detailed, methodical approach in order to locate the scattered remnants of the original file.

To put this level of effort in perspective, imagine you are asked to assemble a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle where you have each piece hidden in different areas throughout your neighbourhood without the original picture to guide you. This is indicative of the level at which the data can be scattered in the binary memory of your device.

Do not take the risk of overwriting your valuable data with inferior data recovery software. And please don’t entrust your valuable data to a company that relies on data recovery software either.

For the absolute best chance of success contact the digital forensic experts at NSI Global Counter Intelligence today.
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