HUNTERSVILLE – With technology moving to mobile devices, mobile forensic skills are increasing in demand.

To help meet the growing need, The American Academy of Applied Forensics at Central Piedmont Community College brought in Sean Morrissey to teach the new Apple iOS Forensics class at the Merancas Campus.

Morrissey is the CEO of Katana Forensics, developer of Lantern software. The forensics tool extracts data from Apple devices – iPhones, iPods and iPads – as well as Mac computers.

Nineteen police officers took the 16-hour, two-day class. Students learned how to use Lantern to extract data from devices and the importance of the data retrieved.

Information collected included phone calls, text messages, pictures and even deleted files. 

“We find that 80 percent of all crime has some sort of digital evidence,” said Dale Callan, CPCC general forensics program manager.

Morrissey was coy about how information was recovered through Lantern.

“That’s our secret sauce,” he said with a smile. “But we do go through a very laborious process because we want to give law enforcement people correct information.”

Accuracy is important because retrieved data is often used as evidence in the prosecution of various crimes, including fraud, homicides, assaults, rapes, traffic accidents, thefts, break-ins and child pornography.

“We don’t want a police officer stuck up there on the stand with bad data,” he added.

There’s not one software that is compatible with every type of phone, so the college is always looking for different programs to train law enforcement on, said Graham Kuzia, CPCC digital forensics program manager.
The Merancas Campus will hold another Apple iOS Forensics class on Feb. 10-11.