Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Man Accused of Remotely Wiping Cellphone After Arrest

May 19, 2020

Mark Shenefelt of the Standard-Examiner reports that Jon Lee Arends has had obstruction of justice charges filed against him. Arends was charged recently with offering a woman free rent in exchange for sex and has now been accused of tampering with evidence by remotely erasing data from his iPhone before law enforcement could finish their search. 

Arends was arrested Wednesday May 13,and has been charged with three counts of intent to engage in sexual activity for a fee after allegedly placing three ads on the internet. Two of the ads were offering women room rentals in exchange for sex and the third asked for a woman to model a bra for him in person. Police seized Arends’ iPhone upon his arrest,retrieved some evidence from the device and locked the phone up, with the intent to continue their review the following day. Arends was released from jail just hours after his arrest with the posting of his bail.  A detective at the Weber County Sheriff’s Office stated that the next morning data had been wiped off of the device and it was restored to factory settings. Investigators believe that Arends used the “Find my iPhone” feature or an iCloud account to remotely wipe data off the device, as the physical device was in possession of the Sheriff’s Office.

Remote wiping capabilities are certainly possible with many mobile and other devices which is why it is imperative that network communications and connections are restricted or blocked when conducting an analysis or examination of the contents. Items such as Faraday bags, cages, etc. assist in blocking these network connections as well as enabling, especially on mobile devices, the airplane mode feature, which helps to restrict connections.

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