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Retrieving numbers from a broken phone

Discussion of forensic issues related to all types of mobile phones and underlying technologies (GSM, GPRS, UMTS/3G, HSDPA, LTE, Bluetooth etc.)
Subforums: Mobile Telephone Case Law
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Retrieving numbers from a broken phone

Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:50 am

Hello,

I'm currently studying computer forensics but we haven't done anything on mobile phones. To the point, my dads dropped a new phone in water and can’t retrieve all his bisness numbers off. The screen won’t switch on and half the keyboard lights up but the phone its self seems to switch on. I know numbers are stored on the sim card which he’s put that in another phone of the same network and none of the numbers came up.

I’ve got access to programs like Encase, FTK, WinHex. I’m not at uni at the moment but are the ways of getting these numbers or are they gone for good? I know I put in the phone in winhex it accesses the sd cards. I don’t know if its possible to access the sim with a forensic program?

Cheers

Cool  

Dr.Zoidberg
Member
 
 
  

Re: Retrieving numbers from a broken phone

Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:15 am

Lance Mueller's blog post here might help you a little:
www.forensickb.com/200...phone.html

I know numbers are stored on the sim card which he’s put that in another phone of the same network and none of the numbers came up.


Are you sure they are on the SIM? If the SIM is working in another phone but with no contacts it sounds to me like the contacts are on the phone.

When I look at SIMs I use a USB SIM reader, not sure how you'll go accessing the SIM through the normal phone connection though (having said this I don't have a lot of experience with mobile phone forensics). If you google 'SIM card reader' you'll find some places you can get one (might even be at a local electronics store).  

ddewildt
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Retrieving numbers from a broken phone

Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:27 am

- Dr.Zoidberg
Hello,

I'm currently studying computer forensics but we haven't done anything on mobile phones. To the point, my dads dropped a new phone in water and can’t retrieve all his bisness numbers off. The screen won’t switch on and half the keyboard lights up but the phone its self seems to switch on. I know numbers are stored on the sim card which he’s put that in another phone of the same network and none of the numbers came up.

I’ve got access to programs like Encase, FTK, WinHex. I’m not at uni at the moment but are the ways of getting these numbers or are they gone for good? I know I put in the phone in winhex it accesses the sd cards. I don’t know if its possible to access the sim with a forensic program?

Cheers

Cool


I am a little surprised that there was such an immediate effect on the handset that was dropped in water when if it was switched OFF. Even if it was switched ON the phone would need to be in water for a short while to have that effect. Here are several options you may find helpful:

- I have found with a water damaged mobile phone, remove the back cover and battery (and leave both off), remove SIM card and allow handset to dry by placing it onto a towel and placing it on top of a hot radiator (not so hot that it melts though). Dry the battery (not on radiator) and back cover separately. The drying process can take a day or so. When you are sure it is completely dry then re-assemble the phone and try it. If you get access to the phone's memory then backup the phone numbers straightaway

- Depending on your make and model of handset, download the free manufacturer's software. Also find out how the handset can be linked with your computer (cable/bluetooth/infrared) to synchronize and communicate with the handset. If that works then you may get your numbers out that way.

- As ddewildt mentioned, you can buy a SIM card reader very cheaply from local electronic stores (maplin, dixons, computer world, argos etc). It is worth checking (using the SIM reader) to see whether your phonebook numbers are on the SIM or not.

These suggestions are based upon trying the inexpensive ways first.
_________________
Institute for Digital Forensics (IDF) - LinkedIn
Mobile Telephone Examination Board (MTEB) - LinkedIn
Mobile Telephone Evidence & Forensics trewmte.blogspot.com
ForensicMobex now MTEB Linkedin Subgroup 

trewmte
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: Retrieving numbers from a broken phone

Post Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:22 am

I forgot to say he took it to a shop who sent it away to get dipped in some solution which is meant to remove water residue. It didnt cost anything.

I've been looking on the sony ericsson site and I believe the numbers are stored on the either the phone or memory card. I've emailled the to find out which.

It was a sony ericsson c905... Opps...

Thanks for the help. I've been running keyword and grep searches with winhex but nothing yet.

#####[ \-]######

Thanks!

Edit: Just checked and there hasn't been a memory card in so they should be on the phones internal memory.  

Dr.Zoidberg
Member
 
 
  

Re: Retrieving numbers from a broken phone

Post Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:57 am

Came across the weblink below about water damaged mobile phones. It's basic in its discussion but thought I would add it to this thread for referral should a member have a similar issue.

www.wikihow.com/Save-a...Cell-Phone
_________________
Institute for Digital Forensics (IDF) - LinkedIn
Mobile Telephone Examination Board (MTEB) - LinkedIn
Mobile Telephone Evidence & Forensics trewmte.blogspot.com
ForensicMobex now MTEB Linkedin Subgroup 

trewmte
Senior Member
 
 
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