MobileEdit Camera Ballistics

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We all know that ballistic fingerprinting is an essential method of examining weapons. Now the same will be possible in the field of digital photography, since we can get a reliable answer to the question "Was this photo really taken with this camera?"

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Advantages of the MobileEdit Camera Ballistics

Answers the question of whether a photo was taken by a suspicious camera 

Camera Ballistics is a unique software product that uses advanced algorithms and state-of-the-art technology to determine whether or not a photo was actually taken by a suspicious camera.

Photos contain more information than you can see in the picture. Camera Ballistics' unique scientific algorithm goes deeper than just EXIF. It detects whether or not a photo was taken by a suspicious camera device, providing you with maximum data from the photos, making Camera Ballistics an essential tool for any forensic investigator.

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The principle

Camera Ballistics does not rely on metadata like EXIF, but uses mathematics to analyze the physics of the sensor. Due to small differences in size and material composition, each pixel behaves differently, resulting in effects like Photo Response Nonuniformity that make each sensor unique. We can simplify the principle by saying that it identifies anomalies in each pixel and uses that information to create a description of the camera sensor - the sensor fingerprint. This is true even between devices of the same brand and model. These differences allow you to generate a sensor fingerprint and associate an image with the specific camera that created it. Camera Ballistics compares the examined photos with the fingerprint of the sensor, 

Two steps to digital forensic expertise

The power of Camera Ballistics is further enhanced by the elegant and intuitive user interface that guides you through processing in just a few clicks. Camera Ballistics converts the complex analysis method into a two-step process. Just take a few reference photos with the suspicious camera so that the program learns about the device's sensor and creates a sensor fingerprint. Camera Ballistics will use this fingerprint to analyze the photos you examine and match them to those taken by the suspect camera.

Learning: In this first step, you provide reference photos of a camera to create its sensor fingerprint. The more photos you provide, the more accurate your results will be. It is recommended to take at least 30 photos of white walls or clouds - images without sharp shapes and edges. Camera Ballistics applies advanced algorithms to this folder to determine the sensor's fingerprint.

Analyze: In this step, the fingerprint file created by the learning process is compared with the examined photos. When you run the analysis, you can see the processing progress as well as the math data and results as after the analysis. Finally, a comprehensive and well-organized PDF report is produced, suitable for submission as evidence. The report includes clickable thumbnails of all processed images, camera device make and model, GPS data, camera settings, mean square error, fingerprint presence result, match probability, and correlation.

Create tamper-proof evidence: All sorts of information such as device brand, model, GPS, camera settings, mean square error, fingerprint presence result, probability and correlation are organized in a well-designed and comprehensive PDF report ready to be submitted as evidence.

Interpret results: The results are to be interpreted as with other typical ballistic tests: If traces of the device fingerprints are found, the probability that a photo originates from the camera is very high. If it's not found, that doesn't necessarily mean that the particular camera wasn't used to take the picture. This can happen when photos are resized or edited too much, causing fingerprint information to become corrupted or lost.

Case Applications: Proving that an image matched to a camera can be as deadly in defense of a case as a bullet matched to a gun.

There are countless uses for camera ballistics. It is crucial that your laboratory is equipped with the right tools whenever you need them. Imagine a person is suspected of producing child pornography. The suspect saved many pictures to a hard drive but denies taking any of them, claiming they were just downloaded from the internet. They also found some digital cameras. Now you can find out the truth scientifically.

Consider a different scenario: an explicit photo of a high school student has gone viral among classmates. The victim tells the investigator who took the picture, but the suspect denies it. The investigator can quickly determine whether or not the suspect's phone was used to take the photo. When it comes to an alibi, camera ballistics can also be used to confirm or disprove a suspect's whereabouts when a photo is presented as "evidence." The suspect claims to have been in a certain place and can prove this with photos. With our photo verification tool, an investigator can determine if the camera took the photos and when they were taken, and use GPS data to determine the location.

Combination with phone forensics: When you use Camera Ballistics in combination with our leading mobile forensic tool, MOBILedit Forensic, you not only get all the photos extracted from a phone, but each photo also contains information on whether it was taken with the phone being analyzed or not. This clearly distinguishes downloaded, shared or received photos from those actually taken by the phone owner.

The law

How is camera ballistics evidence accepted in court? Well, the technology is fairly new, as were gun ballistics or fingerprint authentication in the past. Acceptance depends on the country. The accuracy of this method is 99.9% or better, which is equivalent to the classic fingerprint test. In addition, independent of the law, there are two other advantages. First, this tool provides you with important information that can help you steer the investigation in the right direction. Second, you can easily secure a suspect's conviction under the pressure of camera ballistics evidence.