The Australian Federal Police (AFP) may be on track to take a fresh look at how it gains access to data on mobile devices, with the agency going to market for a supplier to provide it with a mobile phone forensics tool.
Such tools are typically used by law enforcement entities and other appropriate agencies to essentially hack into mobile devices and extract data for investigation purposes.
It is understood that the AFP, among other Federal Government bodies, have previously used the services of Israeli digital forensic solutions provider, Cellebrite, which was reportedly identified as the provider that helped the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) gain access to the smartphone belonging to the San Bernadino shooter.
Indeed, a report by Fairfax Media earlier this year suggested that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the AFP, the Department of Defence and at least two other Federal entities have spent a combined total of more than half a million dollars for Cellebrite’s services and associated services from local providers.
Now, the AFP is looking to engage a phone forensics tool provider for an initial contract period of two years, with the option to extend the terms for a further two years and then additional periods of one year at a time.
The law enforcement agency issued a request for tender (RFT) on 29 August.
“This RFT seeks responses from suitably qualified and experienced service providers for the supply of a mobile phone forensics tool that allows investigators to obtain mobile telephone data in a forensically sound manner,” the RFT stated.
Among the AFP’s essential criteria for the tool and its provider is the ability to conduct SIM extraction, the acquisition of micro SD data, and access control to a device via a username, password or active directory.
Additionally, the AFP’s desirable criteria include the facility for screenshot capture of a device, the ability for an investigator to bypass user locks, and the extraction of cloud data.
Suppliers have until 25 September to get their tender submissions in.