←All Posts Posted on August 25, 2014 By admin
Computer Forensic specialists know well not to accept USB Serial Numbers alone for unique device identification. Unlike changeable “Volume Serial Numbers” created upon formatting, “hard coded” Device Serial Numbers are harder to modify. It is, however, possible with the right software. Petty criminals often employ this technique to defraud naïve eBayers by offering brand name USB flash drives for a fraction of the cost. This method has also been recently utilised by a computer forensic professional to bypass SanDisk SecureAccess Encryption.
Serial numbers or service tags are commonly used for “unique” identification of computers. In most cases these serial numbers are modifiable. There are valid reasons for modifications, for example in system recovery, rebranding, compliance or assets management etc. Intel Integrator Assistant or Dell Diagnostic Utility provides an option for changing serial numbers on supported devices.
An experienced computer forensic specialist always checks for inconsistencies or digital artefacts pointing to such modifications.
In a similar way, serial numbers can be changed or restored on Apple computers. Apple Technical Note TN1103 mentions one situation when a device can lose its serial number. Contrary to this document stating that “there is no means to restore it”, a freely downloadable, but unsupported tool called Blank Board Serializer exists. It is used for writing a new serial number on Apple computers.