The Most Successful Method of Detecting Illegal Activities in Corporations – Computer Forensics

I can hear it now! You are letting the cat out of the bag. By explaining computer forensic reports, you are aiding and helping computer criminals to cover their tracks.

But, there is always another side to an argument. By releasing this information, it can help people help computer forensic experts catch the criminals. Besides, people who commit computer crimes are very good at what they do. I am not releasing anything here they may not already know.

With that out of the way, let’s dive in.

What makes up computer forensics reports? Where does the information come from? Who puts them together?

Let’s start with the Who.

Computer forensics reports are prepared by computer forensics investigators. They gather the necessary information, analyze them and then draft out the final computer forensics reports. As good as they are, computer criminals oftentimes leave behind clues which aid the investigators to track down the root cause of their crime.

Even when the files have been deleted from the specific location in the computer, the original data is not at all erased from the entire computer system. With certain techniques, tools, and skills that the investigators are equipped with, the analysis of the fraudulent act or crime can be made with such accuracy.

Where does the computer forensic report information come from?

There are four main areas where the investigators gather their evidence from. There are other areas which are looked into but the following are the most commonly looked areas.

Civil law covers everything else, such as violations of contracts and lawsuits between two or more parties. The loser in such a dispute often must give payment, property or services to the prevailing party. Imprisonment is not at issue in civil cases. As a result, the standard for evidence is not as high in civil cases as in criminal cases.

For the law enforcement computer forensics specialist, a certain amount of extra care should be taken in collecting data and producing results, for the standard of proof is higher. There are advantages on the data collection end, however. For once a court has authorized a search warrant, an officer (and possibly several) with badge and gun can go seize the defendant’s computer by surprise and by force. Once the computer has been seized and imaged, all data is accessible and may result in additional charges being brought against the defendant.

By contrast, in a civil case, there tends to be a lot of negotiation over what computers and what data can be inspected, as well as where and when. There is not likely to be any seizing of computers, and quite a long time may take place between the time the request to inspect a computer is made and the time the computer is made available to be inspected. It is common for one party to have access to a very limited area of data from the other party’s computer. During this time, a defendant may take the opportunity to attempt to hide or destroy data. The author has had several cases wherein the computer needed for analysis was destroyed before the plaintiff had the opportunity to inspect. Such attempts at hiding data are often discovered by the digital forensic sleuth, who may in turn present evidence of such further wrongdoing in expert witness testimony.

Opportunities for learning techniques and interacting with other professionals may differ as well. While some computer forensic software suites and training, such as Access FTK, EnCase, or SMART Forensics are available to most who can pay, others, such as iLook are available only to law enforcement and military personnel. While many support and professional organizations and groups are available to all, some, such as the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) are not open to professionals who provide for criminal defense (with a few minor exceptions).

Resource Author Francisco Rodriguez H.
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