Sacramento, CALIFORNIA—He's known as the hacker "NerveGas," but don't get the wrong idea- he's on the right side of the law. In fact, this week he's the guest of the Sacramento Sheriff's Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force.
The cell phone explosion is off the hook, and now police going mobile to hook-up with whole new world. “I-Clues.”
He shows us what’s called a “logic cube.” It looks like a brief case that has a curtain of cables where the pockets would usually go in the top. It was built to be a military intelligence computer that plugs into nearly any phone, anywhere. But when it comes to cell phone forensics the IPhone is the Holy Grail.
"We get a lot of cases involving murders, rapes, terrorism… and the IPhone being the hot topic, the big name item," said Johnathan Zdziarski a renown IPhone hacker. Zdziarski is one of the few people worldwide who can pluck clues from deep inside an IPhone. He's in town, teaching investigators from England, Sweden, Denmark, and of course California.
"Mr. Zdziarski. He is the guru of IPhone forensics," said Chrsten Bangsgaara, an investigator from Denmark. "For forensics, it's actually the only tool to get some data."
The class shows detectives how to harvest numbers, messages, addresses and pictures... even information that suspects have deleted.
"Prosecutors are finally catching on to the fact that there's a lot of smoking gun evidence buried on these phones," Zdziarski said.
And the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department isn't missing the call. In 5 years, they've dramatically expanded their phone forensics. This year they'll look at about 750 phones, almost double last year.
"These people are very smart. They're at the top of their class in their departments," Sgt. Mannering said.
And if you're a criminal who thinks you're out-of range in a police investigation - don't be so sure. Sgt. Mannering says Sacramento cops have even been able to use cell phones to revive and solve cold cases, including one that was two years old.