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Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Discussion of forensic issues related to all types of mobile phones and underlying technologies (GSM, GPRS, UMTS/3G, HSDPA, LTE, Bluetooth etc.)
Subforums: Mobile Telephone Case Law
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ahoog
Member
 

Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Post Posted: Jul 10, 09 20:38

Good morning,

We've completed an iPhone investigation for an individual hoping to recover deleted text messages unfortunately the person was a heavy user and about 6 weeks had passed by. My question is this: does anyone have knowledge of a process individuals (or an attorney they hire) can go through to recover the message from AT&T directly? I believe they keep messages for some period of time. Thanks all..

For those interested in the high level feedback I give to people wanting to recover deleted SMS messages on the Apple iPhone, you can review my post at:

viaforensics.com/iphon...phone.html
_________________
Andrew Hoog
viaForensics
viaforensics.com/ 
 
  

seanmcl
Senior Member
 

Re: Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Post Posted: Jul 10, 09 20:48

You may not be able to. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act excludes e-mail service providers from civil subpoena. If their account is an AT&T wireless account, they may be able to refuse any request for communication that isn't from law enforcement.  
 
  

4n6art
Senior Member
 

Re: Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Post Posted: Jul 10, 09 22:04

I would check with AT&T as to what their retention time is first before you go through the hassle. I believe retention times are very short - or non-existent in some cases. If they have already cycled their backups, you maybe at a loss.

-=ART=-  
 
  

jmech
Member
 

Re: Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Post Posted: Jul 13, 09 18:29

The information I have heard from others is that AT&T does not store text message content. Most other providers only store text message content for about 3 to 7 days after it was sent, depending on the service provider.

Its a long shot, but you may want to check out the computer the Iphone was synced with (if possible), to see if anything was archived there at some point.

Joe  
 
  

PaulSanderson
Senior Member
 

Re: Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Post Posted: Jul 07, 16 13:57

Think I know what's coming next.
_________________
Paul Sanderson
SQLite Forensics Book
www.amazon.com/SQLite-...entries*=0

Forensic Toolkit for SQLite
sandersonforensics.com...for-SQLite 
 
  

sgreene2991
Senior Member
 

Re: Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Post Posted: Jul 08, 16 01:16

- jmech
The information I have heard from others is that AT&T does not store text message content. Most other providers only store text message content for about 3 to 7 days after it was sent, depending on the service provider.

Joe

I can vouch for this from the LE side. ATT, along with the vast majority of providers, do not store the content of SMS or MMS. You can get the transaction, but the content can't be recovered from them.  
 
  

BChaseAZ
Member
 

Re: Recovering text messages from AT&T directly

Post Posted: Jul 11, 16 04:41

The last I checked, Verizon was the only carrier that stored content of text messages, and they only store them for 7 days.
Every other major carrier stores the meta data (to, from, date and time) and they typically say they keep that information for 6 months. However, I have found carriers to keep that kind of data for much longer.

If these text messages were to another iOS device, don't forget to check iMessage. I have successfully recovered deleted messages by using an individuals laptop connected to iMessage.  
 

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