Law Enforcement agencies have enough on their plate when it comes to extracting data from a suspect’s smartphone. Now it looks like they have another thing to worry about, as recently a shooting suspect was able to successfully wipe her iPhone X while it was in Police custody.
Police says woman named Juelle L. Grant, who is a suspect in a drive-by shooting that took place on October 23 has remotely wiped her iPhone after the police confiscated her smartphone and told her it was considered evidence. According to the police, the defendant was aware why the Police has seized her iPhone however she still went ahead and remotely wiped the device.
She has most likely used Apple’s Find My iPhone service to wipe her iOS device. Based on how Find My iPhone works, a user does not need to have physical access to his or her iPhone in order to wipe its data. A user can simply log into iCloud website, locate the smartphone and remotely wipe its data. When an iPhone is wiped all data stored on the device including photos, videos, messages, notes and more are removed.
While there is possibility of foul play on the suspect’s part, she was able to delete data from her device because of negligence shown by the police. For Find My iPhone to remotely wipe a device the device needs to be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cellular network. The device is only wiped after it connects to the Internet, at which point iCloud can send wiping instructions. Police could have handled the case better and placed the device in special containers ‘Faraday bags’ that are capable of blocking remote access to devices.
As for miss Grant, Police has arrested her and charged her with three felonies that includes two counts of tampering with physical evidence and one count of hindering prosecution. She has denied any wrongdoings. (Source)