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Smartphones are increasing in popularity due to functionality, portability, convenience and affordability. Because of this, examiners must acquire and analyze these devices when criminal activity is suspected to have occurred. In order to obtain this information, it has to be extracted in a way that is repeatable and testable. There are several process models available for use, but the ad-hoc approach is on the rise. The dilemmas are that ad-hoc approaches and the forensic investigative process models available are not well suited for the examination of such devices. These approaches may cause the validity of investigator skill and methods to fall under scrutiny. To address this, there is a need for an investigative framework tailored to the unique qualities of smartphones. To accomplish this, the hierarchy of digital forensics should be understood. “Computer forensics” and “digital forensics” are used synonymously in literature, but wrongfully so. This paper highlights the differences in computer forensics, digital forensics, computer crime, and digital crime while proposing a revised hierarchy of the forensics discipline.


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Copyright © 2010 Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences.