February 2018

UNT Cyber Forensics Lab serves law enforcement agencies through technology, outreach

LabUnder the leadership of Scott Belshaw, Ph.D., lab director and associate professor of criminal justice, the UNT Cyber Forensics Lab  has built a fully-functional digital forensics lab to serve law enforcement since opening in early 2017.

  • The Lab can examine cell phones, SIM cards, tablets, computers, external storage devices and other forms of digital media to detect any files and data of evidentiary value on a wide array of crimes.
  • To bring together training and a greater awareness to law enforcement regarding online child exploitation crimes, the Lab is involved in initial talks with federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and local detectives with the North Texas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
  • The Lab is developing courses that law enforcement officers can take for TCOLE credit on the areas of the basics of digital forensics, social media investigations and legal considerations.
  • To assist investigators in identifying locations where a cell phone has been, the Lab has developed software to aid in mapping cell tower location data. This information may aid in placing a suspect in the vicinity of a crime scene and/or corroborating statements made by persons (victim, suspect, and witnesses) involved in an investigation.
  • The Lab is looking into skimmers (technology attached to credit and debit payment devices to intercept card data) to better determine how they function, what data can be stored and transmitted, and ways to detect skimmers to prevent their use.

The Lab has assisted the following agencies with digital forensic examinations:

  • Irving Police Department
  • Sachse Police Department
  • Lewisville Police Department
  • City of Princeton
  • Rowlett Police Department
  • Wylie Police Department
  • Krum Police Department
  • Highland Village Police Department
  • Flower Mound Police Department
  • Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
  • Frisco Police Department
  • Denton Police Department
  • Denton County District Attorney’s Office
  • Collin County District Attorney’s Office
  • Lake Dallas Police Department
  • Josephine Police Department

The Lab has worked cases involving:

  • Tampering with Evidence
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault (Child)
  • Assault (Family Violence), M/C
  • Aggravated Kidnapping
  • Drug Overdose
  • Murder
  • Terroristic Threat
  • Sexual Assault
  • Possession of Child Pornography
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Trademark Counterfeiting
  • Unlawful Use of Criminal Instrument
  • Online Solicitation of a Minor
  • Injury to Elderly
  • Unlawful Restraint
  • Falsely Holding Oneself as a Lawyer
  • Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Invasive Visual Recording
  • Burglary (Building)

The Lab has hosted trainings or meetings involving the following:

  • Cellebrite CCO/CCPA certifications course
  • Oxygen Forensics training
  • OS Forensics training
  • Internet Safety for Teens
  • Michael Morton Act

Lab staff hold these industry certifications:

  • ACE – AccessData Certified Examiner
  • CBE – Certified Blacklight Examiner
  • CCO – Certified Cellebrite Operator
  • CCPA – Certified Cellebrite Physical Analyst
  • CMO – Certified Mobilyze Operator
  • OSFTC – OS Forensics Triage Certification

More on the UNT Cyber Forensics Lab:

  • Video: Cyber Forensics Lab helping to solve crime (CBS DFW)
  • Cellphone cybersecurity laboratory planned (Denton Record Chronicle)
  • UNT Cyber Lab to Focus on Cellphones Used in Crimes (Dallas Innovates)
  • Cellphone cyber lab to open at UNT Frisco (North Texas Daily)
  • The University of North Texas at Frisco Fights Crime with Cyber Security Lab (WBAP)

To learn more about the UNT Cyber Forensics Lab, contact Scott Belshaw or find the Lab on Twitter and Facebook.