Simon Smith, a high profile Australian Cyber Forensics Ethical Hacker and Private Investigator was engaged to solve a simple cyberstalking case. However, this would be ‘hacker’ took a ‘wrong turn’ by embedding his GPS details in the evidence.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, October 24, 2016 Mr. Simon Smith aka eVestigator is well known for solving cyber cases involving cybercrime, cyberstalking and is highly skilled in programming, computer forensics and ethical hacking. It was a normal day for Mr. Smith and he was meeting a client with a problem in relation to a cyberstalking matter. His client, a married man, had a ‘jealous suspecting mistress’ who had stolen his phone, taken it to an ‘IT shop’ which entered into the hands of a person purporting be a ‘hacker’. Once the ‘hacker’ had found incriminating information of Mr. Smith’s client talking to Mistress #2, he then photographed his monitor with his iPhone. Little did this ‘hacker’ know he actually left his digital fingerprint in the photograph, leading Mr. Smith not just to him but to a whole series of events surrounding the crime.
The mistress equipped with her photo was now a lady on a mission. She first threatened to destroy Mr. Smith’s clients’ current family, by bribing him to leave his wife or she will “send the photo to her.” Her second mission was to destroy his ‘second mistress’ and her family by showing the second mistresses’ husband the photo too. Ironically, this did not surprise Mr. Smith. Although primarily Mr. Smith deals in High Tech Crime that is usually litigious and court related, he often does take on these jobs as “they are very fast to resolve for people” and in his words, “if I can make a difference in an area that is often not helped with by conventional law, I will do it.”
He explains that in these types of cases, despite holding positions relating to family mediation, he must be impartial. He states, “I must hold no opinion on the way people run their lives, I am there to solve specialised cyber matters and help gather evidence. The family structure is very unique and cannot be judged so easily, it is not my job as a Forensic Investigator.” When he was approached by the young married man, he explains that this job “stood out from the rest.” Mr. Smith has performed on over 100 successful cyberstalking cases, however Mr. Smith, “seemed suspicious about this one.” He explains that he took the photo back to his forensic work area for about 1-2 minutes.
Mr. Smith returned back with 2 items.
— the exact ‘Date and Time’ of the crime; and
— a GPS terrain satellite printout of the exact ‘Latitude and Longitude’ of where the hacker took the photo which was found to marry up with the exact location where the mistress was on the day and verified the alleged crime of theft, bribery and stalking.
Cyber 101: This ‘hacker’ failed to realise that when you take a picture with your iPhone it conveniently embeds the GPS coordinates, exact date and time of the picture and other identifying details.
Who knows, maybe now the ‘hacker’ if charged and sentenced may have some time to reconsider his ‘position’ next time.