Computer Forensic Salary Computer forensic is a relatively new career. The interest in the field was due to the popular television shows. The importance on the other and is far more serious. Cyber crimes are steadily increasing. Criminals and offenders nowadays are getting more sophisticated and high tech. Thieves use their technical know how to hack into confidential data for their own schemes. This is why the need for computer forensics has risen. The field can be a lucrative career and pay well. However before you become a qualified computer forensic analyst you have to undergo training. It is just natural that a computer forensic company and the individuals who need their service hire experts. Apart from finishing a degree, analysts must also keep themselves updated by having continuing education. Cyber crimes get more advanced as technology continues to develop. Computer analysts must keep abreast with the times to make sure that they have enough knowledge in whatever problem that they will encounter ahead. Computer forensics pays Computer forensic experts are paid by the hour. The price is usually from $250 to $350 per hour but it will also depend on the client's problem or case. If the evidence has been tampered or damaged it make take a lot of time for the data to be recovered. Usually in companies, the common mistake is by sending their IT personnel to make a preliminary investigation. To reduce costs they may even try to handle the problem by themselves which just complicates the problem at hand. Naturally before you get hired you have to take finish a course. There are universities and colleges that offer this course who have realized its need in the modern high tech world. There are also courses online. You have to careful though because anyone who has technical know how of the internet and HTML can make a website. Be sure that the online school you will apply too is credited. There are also certification programs available for those who want to expand their knowledge. Some will teach you from the ground up while some will require experience. Security administrators and auditors can apply for new programs. Professional who have a related degree in information technology and computer science can apply. There is a broad range of topics available for those who want to learn and acquire certifications for new areas. This will also be a chance for experts to upgrade their tool kits. Continuing education is important especially in the field of technology. You can also work freelance or put up your own agency or company. Computer forensic analysts can trace emails which is a common way of communication. They can also trace other forms of communications such as instant messaging and cell phones. There are individuals who hire private investigators. This requires technical know how because computers are an important of our lives. Computer forensics is a lucrative field. Apart from that the need for computer forensic experts are also steadily increasing. Companies loose millions of dollars due to fraud, sabotage and employee theft. Technology is continually evolving and due to that we all have to keep up even the criminals. The Hollywood movies may not be true but the danger is real. Computer forensics is one of the newly sought after field, whether you want to expand your knowledge or just finding an alternative career
Considerations in a Computer Forensic Analyst's Job Computers have greatly improved our lives. Unfortunately, technology can also prove to be a sophisticated weapon or aid in crime. Criminals today are more technologically aware and capable to keep up with the times. The interest in forensics has increased due to popular television shows. However, the whole process is actually more meticulous and draining to do in comparison to the scenes on television. One of the aspects of the investigating team would be the computer forensic analyst. Like any other job they have a number of things to consider. Due to the advancement in technology, law enforcement agencies have also incorporated computer science in their legal process. Crimes using computers and information technology were originally sporadic. However, with the advent of modern technology influencing everything we do, criminals knew they have to keep up with the times. The internet became a haven for those who commit fraud. A day in the job Watching forensic television shows don't exactly depict a day in the job of forensic investigators. The tasks that they do are mentally draining and time consuming. They may look interesting due to great camera angles and effects but in reality it takes lots of patience and a keen attention to details. Computer analysts are more concerned with analyzing computer systems to find out if they have been used or illegal activities or crimes. They also find out if the suspect's compute contain evidence that may contribute to the investigation of the case. Electronic evidence can be gathered from different sources. An example of this is the company's work. The analyst can gather the information in three parts. First at the suspect's workstation, second on the server he accessed and lastly at the network which connects the two. Like any other piece of evidence the information gathered must be handled carefully. It also must follow the standards of admissible evidence so that it will be accepted in court. The analyst can only use methods and tools that has been tested and evaluated to make sure that they reliable and accurate. Tools can be verified by the Defense Cyber Crime Institute at no cost. The original evidence must be handled as little as possible so that the data will not be modified. Electronic data can be easily changed compared to physical evidences. Analysts must also be cautious of viruses, damages and traps. After the evidence has been analyzed the analyst establishes and maintains the chain of custody. The evidence will then be stored in its proper place. After the examination has been finished the analyst documents his or her reports and findings. This also includes everything that he has done so far in his investigation. The analyst has to keep in mind that they should exceed beyond their knowledge approach the investigation without bias. If the original evidence had somehow been damaged or changed, it will not be admissible in court anymore. In this case the analyst must consider what time operations were inconvenienced. Apart from that the analyst should also consider how the sensitive information will be handled that was discovered unintentionally. Analyst must also be careful in handling digital evidence from an owner that has not given any consent for the investigation. This happens in most cases. Apart from the evidence being inadmissible in court the analyst can also be sued.
Computer Forensic History: Tracing its Beginnings The term forensic science is often shortened by most people into simply "forensics". Whatever its coined name may be, the truth remains the same that forensics is an application which deals with the legal system. Computer forensics is just among its many branches and it particularly expresses its use in line with the civil action or crime. Some very meticulous individuals will likely disagree as to the correctness of the use of "forensics" instead of "forensic science" since the first term is held to be a synonym for something that is related to the courts or any legal matter. A part of computer forensic history will make mention about its meaning in Latin which is "prior to the forum". With the onset of several modern dictionaries, the name "forensics" equivalently points out to "forensic science". Let us dwell deeper and touch on some basic facts about computer forensic history. Going Back to the Old Days Forensic generally roots from a Latin word, "forensic" which means forum or discussion. In the reign of the Romans, any criminal who has been charged with a crime is presented before an assembly of public folks. Both of the complainant and the defendant are to present their sides through their own speeches. The one who was able to explain his side with fervent delivery and argumentation typically won the case. That individual was referred to as one who was skilled in forensics Forensic Science Historical Points The earliest account of the employment of forensic science can be traced back to the renowned legend of Archimedes' "Eureka". He defined that a crown was not fully composed of gold by means of identifying its weight and displacement yet without creating any damage to it. More so, the most primitive trace of the use of fingerprint to institute one's identity was in the 7th century. It was Soleiman, the Arabic merchant, who explained that the borrower's fingerprints were enjoined in the bill which was to be given out to the lender. As a proof, the bill was recognized as a legal validation of the existing debt. Then again, the book entitled Xi Yuan Ji Lu or the Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified as written by Song Ci of the Song Dynasty tells of the instance when the case of a murdered person was resolved by one death investigator who directed all individuals to relocate his sickle in a particular location. Then, the flies gathered onto the single sickle. With this, the murderer eventually confessed. Likewise, the book points out the examination of the presented evidence in order to distinguish if a death was a result of an accident, suicide, or murder. Around the 16th century in Europe, the medical specialists in the university and army started studying the cause and method of a person's death. Notable personas dealt with the study of the internal organs and the changes in the human body structure as a result of diseases. Whereas, a demonstration of the use of proper procedure and logic was once depicted in the murder case of Edward Culshaw by John Toms of Lancaster, England. Computer Forensics as a Discipline Forensic science has a myriad of subdivisions. One of which is computer forensics. Otherwise known as digital forensics, this subdivision is the submission of the proven claims of scientific methods and strategies in the purpose of recovering lost data whether they have been purposefully or accidentally erased, from a digital or electronic media source. Computer forensics is applied both in the lab and in the field. Computer forensics history tells of the account of this field's development and it explains the reason as to why this is much applicable for today. More so, crimes are helpfully solved through the process of computer forensics.
Computer Forensics Report—What You Ought to Know What consists the computer forensics reports? Where are they based from? More so, with the people's continued reliance on the Internet, the computer forensics investigators are tasked to unearth all information which have been made using the emails, file transfers, Internet website searches, online account negotiations, chats and any other transaction made over the Internet. Computer forensics reports are prepared by none other than the computer forensics investigators who gather the necessary information, analyze them and then draft out the final computer forensics reports. In the advent of the multifarious computer-related crime incidents, the criminals oftentimes leave behind the clues which aid the investigators to track down the root cause of the 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 the certain techniques, tools, and skills that the investigators are equipped with, the analysis of the fraudulent act or crime can be made much accurate. As soon as the evidence has been derived from the electronic media, the computer forensics experts prepare their computer forensics reports. The lawyers who are in charged to tackle the cases are prompted to gather as much bundles of information as possible as it is needed in the course of the computer forensics dealings. Among the significant cautions to note of include the backing up of the compressed data, tapes, encrypted data as sourced out from the computer system's platform, and the collection of the password protected files. There is only one problem that computer forensics reports get affected with though, and that has something to do with the strides in the modern technology that nonetheless make the achievement of the reports pretty hard. If the software or tool that the investigators use is not updated, the more it is difficult for them to arrive at a precise conclusion and findings. Thus, there is the necessity of the continued update when it comes to the computer forensics tools and software applications. Where are the computer forensics reports sourced out from? There are mainly four areas from where the investigators gather their evidences. Yes, there are other areas which are looked into but the following are the most commonly looked into. The saved files. These are the bits of information which are viewable on the computer itself. The task of looking into these files is not at all complicated. The deleted files. These data are either placed into the trash or those which require the special software in order to restore them. The temporary files. These data are produced when one browses through the Internet, works on any document, and uses some other types of backup software and other installations and applications. All of these may only be uncovered through the use of a special tool or software. The meta data. These are the details which are related with the information that have something to do with a document or file. Among the details which appear include the date that such files had been created, modified, and the last time when it was accessed. An add-on information is about the creator of the said file. Indeed, computer forensics reports can only be made precise with the proper skill and technique which the person in charged will exert.
What is Computer Forensics? Computers have radically changed the way we live your lives. Everyday living as become easier and technologically advanced decades ago. It has changed the way we work and the way we live in our houses. Children to day are sometimes even more technologically aware than their parents. Mobiles phones have gotten smaller and laptops have gotten slimmer. With the launch of the Iphone that used the touch screen technology it will only be a matter of time when this idea permeates into other devices and appliances. Unfortunately, technology also makes it easier for criminals to their dirty job. However, computer forensics makes sure that technology is put to lawful use. Everyone keeps up with the times, even the criminals. The internet is a public place which makes it vulnerable for fraud. Criminals often take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Law enforcement agencies have incorporated computer science in their investigation process to aid them with computer savvy criminals. Crime and computers We have seen a lot of Hollywood movies about hackers stealing from financial institutions. We have also seen two parties making their deals through bank transfers with a bunch of computers. Although these are not possible in real life, there are other ways that criminals can use computers. Computer forensics is basically applying computer science to assist in the legal process. It entails the technological and systematic inspection of the contents of a computer system for evidence. Individuals in this field are called by different titles such as digital media analyst or computer forensics investigator. These people scanned a computer thoroughly to find out if they have used for a civil wrongdoing or criminal act. The skills required are more than just normal data collection and using preservation techniques. Other definitions include the use of special tools to meet the Court's criteria and not just a thorough examination of a computer for potential evidence. This definition is similar to Electric Evidentiary Recovery or e-discovery. Most of the time computer forensic investigators investigate hard drives, portable data devices and data storage devices. These devices include USB Drives, Micro Drives and external Drives. The first task of the computer forensic investigator is to find sources of documentary or digital evidence. The next step would be to preserve the evidence so that it could be analyzed later on. When dealing with computer systems, important files or data can be quickly lost. The investigator should take the necessary test because data retrieval can be time consuming and costly. The investigator would then analyze the collected data for potential and supportive evidence. The final step would be presenting the findings. The investigator will render his opinion based on the examination and make a report. The process of using computer forensics must comply with the standards of evidence that are acceptable in court. This field is both technical and legal. The investigator should also have a complete understanding of the suspect's level of sophistication. If they don't the suspects are assumed to be experts. Investigators then presume that the criminal have installed a countermeasure to render forensic techniques useless. The computer will then be shutdown completely to prohibit the machine from making further modifications to its drives. Computer technology has changed the way we live, work, and for others - commit crime. Although the internet may seem like a very convenient place users should always be wary for seemingly innocent offers.
Computer Forensic Training: An Overview What is usually covered by the computer forensic training? Who can qualify for it? Before you think of applying for any computer forensic training, you better be guided by some principles. Read on and find out more about what its training provide the learner with. At a Glance Basically, computer forensics deals with the process of bringing together the computer-related proofs and files and thereby examining them fully in order to unearth any possible engagement with crimes and deceptive moves. This is the newest field in which the military, intelligence firms, business corporations, and the law enforcement concentrate in. There is a protocol which the computer forensics training emphasizes. It mainly focuses on the scrupulous observation of all evidences since these findings are to be presented before the court. What the Training Offers Computer forensics training specializes in equipping the individual with the skill to flawlessly handle the tasks at hand especially in line with retrieving the data which have been kept in an electronic device or any type of digital media. The deleted files can miraculously be restored by a computer forensics investigator and such skill is nonetheless honed by the training. More so, many intelligent agencies as well as the military and the law enforcement field see the need to employ computer forensics in uncovering any motives or evidences to solve the crimes that they handle. Most of the times, suspects to the crime that use the computer data in their misdemeanors are tracked down by the computer forensics specialists. Likewise, anyone who is suspected to leak or use any of the confidential information in a company to a third party can be found out with the help of a computer forensics specialist. The training for computer forensics molds the trainees with the necessary qualifications needed for applying the techniques in response to the need of the task. The field of computer forensics is nonetheless expanding and the more chances of grabbing out some opportunities escalate for the budding specialists. Certificate programs and computer forensics training are offered by several institutions. By attending the classes for a formal education in computer forensics, the computer skills, legal issues, and forensic tools will be learned by the person. It is necessary that at the end of the training, the person is prepared to go on with the tasks like retrieving information from the computer programs and its systems. The main job of a computer forensic investigator is to restore both the purposefully and accidentally deleted data. More so, the training also points out the most appropriate tools and software to use on a case to case basis. Credential Requirement There are no licensure examinations to be undergone only that there are certain credentials that should be supplied. Among the major credentials that one can present are the formal education bases such as the Certified Computer Examiner or CCE and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional or CISSP. Graduates of the training can be employed as computer security or as an investigator in the law enforcement team. Also, another growing opportunity that one can try out is the computer forensics consulting. Consultants earn higher compensations since most of them work as freelancers. Computer offenses are escalating every now and then so there is the significance of computer forensics experts in the fields of defense forces, law enforcement agencies, business corporations, and other related institutions. But before one can qualify to handle the responsibilities designated for an investigator, he has to first undergo the profound computer forensics training.
Computer Forensic Investigation Service: Leave it to the Experts Technology has greatly influenced the way we work. All established companies have their own IT departments to keep systems and networks secure. Computers have become an important part of our lives and have been used for a variety of purposes. Unfortunately this does not stop criminals and offenders. Cyber crimes are now becoming more and more common. Millions of dollars are lost due to sabotage, fraud and employee theft. Fortunately there are computer forensic investigation organizations that offer consulting services. As an entrepreneur we all want to reduce cost as much as possible. Some of may even send our own IT professionals to do some digging for us to investigate. Unfortunately even though these professionals mean well and they are well informed about your company's system they will compromise the whole situation without intending to do so. Leave it to the experts Any employee can turn into an offender and before you know someone has hacked into your company's network. In this situations, and other wherein the company's security have been breached most of us would usually send in their own people. Unfortunately in computer crimes this is not a good idea. In fact these well meaning employees that are there to do their job may unintentionally make matters worse. Computer forensic experts do their job in a way that complies with the standards of evidence so that it will be admissible in the court of law. If the electronic evidence is tampered in anyway it will be inadmissible in court. Your IT professional may know what to do but they do not have the legal qualifications for this job. It is always advisable to hire professional help from the outside. If a computer forensic analyst is not able to address the situation at the start of the problem the operating system will randomly overwrite the data on the hard drive. The longer that the involved computer system is used there's more possibility that the evidence will be lost. In this situation no matter how much we want to do it ourselves, we have to hire professionals. Computer forensics analysts don't just collect data but they also thoroughly examine and analyze the information gathered. They can also obtain relevant evidence from an opposing party which works the same way as requesting for production of documents and determine if the computer was used for a criminal act or violation of policy. They can also retrieve deleted data from an operating system and preserve it. The internal cost, time and pulling out employees from their jobs will also affect the outcome of the situation. Paying for a computer forensic expert will be considerably less compared to time and money you will spend in making your own investigation. The price of a computer forensic expert can cost from $250 to $350 per hour. Their work involves three phases: acquisition, investigation and reporting. Acquisition costs about $500. Investigation and reporting will depend upon the nature of the case. Usually it can be completed in 15 hours. The total analysis will cost around $4,500. Business will not be interrupted while the investigation is going on. There are computer forensic companies that offer a quick analysis. They will examine a hard drive and send you the report. You can then examine if there is substantial evidence that warrants further examination.
Computer Forensic Investigation State Requirements By definition, computer forensics is the procedure wherein an expert sees through the files stored or recorded in a computer's system. These data may have been deleted, hidden, or saved. The search for the computer-related information uncovers the engagement in any crime or deception. Computer forensics is nonetheless being widely used in the areas of intelligence, military, businesses, and law enforcement agencies. There is obviously a protocol that is followed in the course of the computer forensic investigation since the collected, analyzed, and examined data are presented before the courts of law in the effort of uncovering the malicious acts incurred by certain parties. Moreover, as it is related to a legal action, it is but necessary that the computer forensic investigation state requirements are observed. Computer forensics is an application which is not only confined to the recovery of any lost data. Such field is more so used in giving explanations and providing insights to any committed crime. Computer forensic investigation is often employed to collect the pertinent data in finding out the truth about a criminal or suspect to a crime. With today's wide use of the Internet and the computer, it is very possible that clues may be traced from the electronic media sources. More so, the company employers are nowadays seeking for employees who are equipped with the rightful knowledge on the techniques and tools about computer forensic investigations. It is necessary that the person is qualified to handle the task. Needless to say, a formal education on the said field is required. Among the instructions which the computer forensics training institutes tackle about are the enhancement of one's computer skills, important legal issues, and the needed computer forensic tools and techniques to be applied in different cases. There are various computer forensic investigation state requirements and they vary from one state to another. However, we must touch on with the most common requisites which apply to all of them. The following discussion will provide you with the insights on the computer forensic state requirements for your perusal. First of all, it is a must that the individual is a computer forensic professional. For one to attain this, a particular training course must be undertaken. Certificate programs in computer forensics are offered in a lot of institutions. The academic requirements differ too and it matters that one passes all of them. Next, one must contain in him an all-embracing knowledge about the computer systems and how its applications and programs work. With these, one must also have the skill or the ability to restore any lost information from all types of electronic media but without the occurrence of any changes in them. A forensic investigator must be knowledgeable of the computer software and hardware and must be capable of understanding the various operating systems in use these days. An investigator should know the techniques to be used in uncovering the data from any type of file structure. There are different tools which need to be used in various cases. Most importantly, a computer forensic investigator must be able to generate a refined report so that all of the input data are comprehensible enough even for those who don't understand the technicalities of the investigation. These are just among the computer forensic investigation state requirements that must be strictly observed for a more precise result in the findings and conclusions in a particular case.
Computer Forensics Tools to Uncovering Lost Data Generally, computer forensics is the procedure of computer system investigation by means of gathering and examining all information and proofs related to computers. The process is done to find out the illegal use of the files and system in any crime or deceitful activities. Through time, computer forensics tools have been deemed useful by the various agencies like the law enforcement, military, intelligence and other businesses. Since the process is not only tedious but is also recognized to be a way of uncovering certain wrongdoings, all of the gathered evidences are required by the court. Aside from recovering all computer data, computer forensics is likewise concerned with digging out all possible angles that may point out the so-called rascal contractors or employees who have been greatly involved in the act of leaking out certain information, company projects and plans to a third party. Only the computer forensics specialists can put in the techniques of uncovering fraudulent actions and crimes into materialization. With its application being widely used in almost all fields, company employers nowadays concern themselves in tracking down the best computer forensics professionals so that they can be assured that their properties are safe at all costs. Moreover, only these professionals are the ones who are entitled and knowledgeable to apply the computer forensics tools. The investigators nonetheless make use of computer forensics tools as they collect the pertinent data from the system yet without changing any of the information keyed into the computer's data bank. The computer forensics tools are held to be very important since the original data must not at all be changed or else the purpose of uncovering the malicious act will be defeated. Originally, it is very difficult and almost impossible not to alter any of the stored data but with the tools that the computer forensics experts use, they can ensure than no alterations will be made as they scan through the saved data. In fact, even the simple act of shutting down the computer's power system may cause some slight changes to the system's databank. However, when done by the expert, the originality of the information is kept intact. To do this, the computer forensics professional often creates an authenticated copy of the data. The process is referred to as imaging and is thus presented as the subject for scrutiny. Another wonder that the computer forensics tool can make is the possibility of recovering any deleted data. As the professionals put it, any deleted data is not at all erased from the entire system. What is usually wiped off is the reference to its location. The data, therefore, still exists only that the operating system is no longer acquainted about it. With imaging and seeing through all of the information kept in the system, it is by all means possible to recover any intentionally or accidentally deleted data. The computer forensics tools are not limited to a specific task just like a hammer is intended for hammering a concrete nail. They are by nature multi-functioning. The experts in computer forensics know which of the tools from their toolkit they should use to tackle the problem at hand. More so, the costs of the computer forensic tools vary. Most of the commercialized tools amount to thousands of dollars. Again, it is the intensity of the problem which will determine the right tool to utilize.
Computer Forensics and Crime The need for computer forensics has increase due to the rise in cyber crimes. There are many illegal activities and criminal acts that can be done online due to the accessibility of the internet. Criminals nowadays have more sophisticated schemes. Any employee can turn into an offender once they are able to hack in the company's network for malicious purposes. Due to this, the government has incorporated computer science and the latest technology to address these crimes. Computer forensics and crime are intertwined now more than ever. There are many ways that a computer can be used for crime. Computers have changed the way we interact, communicate and live our lives. Due to this information has become a valuable commodity. Crimes over the internet have also risen such as identity theft and fraud. Computer science to fight crime Computer forensics has many definitions. To put it simply, it's thoroughly investigating computer systems to know if it has been used in a criminal act. Computer forensic analysts extract and examine data for evidence or supportive evidence. He or she then documents the entire investigation and findings. Electronic evidence is also handled with care and follows standards so that it will be admissible to the law. Computer forensic analysts can retrieve data from a hard drive whose contents have been completely erased. However this requires expertise and experience. Criminals who used the aid of computers are aware what law enforcement agencies do. Countermeasures such as viruses and booby traps can also be installed in the computer which may modify or damage the evidence, making it inadmissible in the court of law. Computer forensics can be used to track emails and evaluate their contents. Email is the most common way of communicating nowadays due to its reliability. They may contain evidence that is substantial to the case. They can also track down instant messaging and computer related communications. They can help in identity theft which common nowadays. They can trace the activities of buying and selling of child pornography online to the individuals involved in it. They can find out the employee who's responsible for hacking into the company's network. Companies are monitoring their worker's computers but some are still able to find a way to get in. Once the security has been breached they can trace the tampered computer system. They can also help in different types of disputes other than criminal matter and law enforcement. This includes divorces, wills and civil disputes. Computers are common tools that we use everyday. Important information can be found in the computer which can help in any case. Some knowledge in the field can also help average people from becoming victims of cyber crime. They can install security measures in their computer. Apart from that they should also be careful when using their credit cards online. They should also watch out for their kids who might be taken advantage of criminals and sex offenders online. Computer forensics is becoming more and more important as technology continues to develop. Criminals nowadays are adapting to changes and keeping up with the times. Unlike the scenes depicted on television it a mentally draining job that takes a lot of patience and keen attention to details. Hopefully in the future we will have right tools to address cyber crimes looming ahead.
Your Network Security Breached? Hire a Computer Forensic Expert! We often see Hollywood movies using the term "hack" into extremes. Most often in crime and action thrillers it gets pretty much blamed for anything. It may make other people paranoid in using their computers but professionals are aware that most of them are impossible. Company owners are very confident in their security systems. Unfortunately most offenders are the employees themselves.
Who can better cause a breach of security other than someone who knows the about the company's network. Once this situation arises, you can opt to hire a forensic expert. Before you call for a computer forensic expert or company what do you do? You can also play a part in making sure that the situation will be addressed properly. Its common knowledge that once is tampered or damaged it will be inadmissible in the court of law. Before the investigation commences you can help make sure that there is evidence in the computer.
What to do in a computer crime scene First you have to make sure that the computer system involved is not used. Leave the computer system the way it is either on or off. If the computer is turned off with the standard shutdown mode, data can be lost. Turning it on the other hand changes the slack file space, temporary files and caches. This causes the data to become altered. If the evidence is anyway tampered it will be accepted in the court of law. Do not send your IT personnel to handle the matter. They may be able to collect data but they do not have knowledge in evidence techniques. They may be able to collect data but this will also change the information at hand. Computer forensics do not just collect data but they also preserve and thoroughly examine the computer and its contents while following standard legal procedures in handling evidence. Any evidence must comply with the standards of the law so that it will be accepted in court. If you already have the data but you are not sure if it does contain evidence you can call a computer forensic expert or company. Some companies offer a quick analysis to know if the computer system has indeed been used for a criminal act. They can collect the data on site while others require you to ship the hard drive to them. The hard drive can be taken out by an IT employee, put in an antistatic bag, taped securely, bubble wrapped, placed in a box then shipped. You may have to call the company first before you ship them. Letting your IT personnel make a preliminary investigation will change the data. If there is evidence found in the said computer then it has already been tampered with and cannot be used in the court. Computer forensic experts are both trained in the technical matters computer science and standard legal procedures required in court. Computer forensic experts hire by the hour and the total costs will depend on the nature of your case. After collecting and examining the said data, the analyst will make a report. They can also be used as expert witnesses if it leads to a litigation and prosecution. It's important to think first thoroughly about the situation rather estimating future costs. Hiring outside experts is considerably less than the internal costs that will caused by the problem.
The Purpose of Computer Forensics When we hear forensics we have envision detectives dusting off prints in a crime scene. When we hear computer forensics we imagine guys in a lab coat examining a computer in a lab. This may be true but the uses of computer forensics are wide and varied. They are not just used in law enforcement and criminal matter. Computers have become an important part of our lives. Most of the time they contain important information than can turn into a piece of evidence. Technology is continually developing which means that information is the next valuable commodity. Most business stores their confidential information in computer systems which make them the target for hackers. Hacking is a possible threat. Security technologies continue develop so do criminals who are bent on cracking them. The purpose of computer forensics The main purpose of computer forensics is examining a computer system to find if it has been used for a criminal act. All of its contents are thoroughly analyzed to find out if it contains substantial or supportive evidence. The entire investigation is not as easy as it is portrayed in television shows. Computer forensic analysts have to follow a set of procedures to be able to comply with the standards of evidence. If they not follow legal procedures the evidence will considered inadmissible in court. Computers are used in a variety of purposes. Most often this hardware contains pertinent information. Computer forensic experts can trace emails, instant messages and computer related communication. They can examine portable storage devices that may contain evidence. They can find out when, who and what happened by acquiring and analyzing data. It can be used if a company network's security is breached. Almost all businesses nowadays store important and confidential information in their computer system. Computer forensic analysts will able to detect if someone has disclosed corporate information. In these cases they can be either accidental or intentional. Million of dollars have been lost due to sabotage and employee theft. They can also find out if there has been a case of industrial espionage. Competition has always been stiff in any industry and with the technology today some use it to get ahead. In general cases, criminals often store or leave traces of information in their computers. It is applicable in deception cases such as counterfeiting. It has also been important in playing a part of finding evidence for phishing which is very common. Analysts are able to track down child pornography by tracing buy and sell activities online. It has played a part in many cases from corporate fraud to threats in national security. We may not know but exchanging information through the internet can also be used against us. The internet is a public place which makes it vulnerable to scams that prey on unsuspecting victims. Information now has become a valuable commodity. Criminals nowadays are able to hack into computer systems. It can also be applied in cases wherein relevant information is needed. Analysts can obtain information from an opposing party. In most criminal cases they can examine computer system even without the consent of the owner. Information is becoming more readily available nowadays. As computers become more important to us it will continually become targets by criminals and offenders. Computer forensics enables us to keep with the rising cyber crimes.
What Remains to be Today's Computer Forensics Problem? Computer forensics is one the fields today which often gets updated. Many agencies have found the application of computer forensics very useful especially in the investigation of fraudulent actions and crimes. More so, computer forensics is the procedure that is applied when electronic devices such as the computer media is placed under careful investigation. The process involves the discovery and analysis of any available data whether they have been hidden or deleted. These are among the evidences that will support the defense and claim of a particular individual or company as they file for any legal action. Moreover, computer forensics specialists use the tools that recover both the accidentally and intentionally erased files and information. So whether the loss of the data is blamed to the untoward occurrences of hardware failure, there is a better chance of recuperating them.
One of the biggest computer forensics problems though is how to retain the original data without the slightest alteration in them. So much to say, even during the process of shutting down the computer system to transfer the data into another media may cause changes in them. It is important that the computer forensics expert has the skill to maintain the exact form of the data. Nobody can exactly say when the data may be altered but with the most apt tool and the specialist's skills, it can be possibly prevented. Computer forensics attracted the attention of the public during the height of the Enron scandal which prompted the widest-ranging computer forensics investigation marked in the world's history. As computers these days are becoming an integral part of human life, big quantities of data are being stored in these electronic devices. More so, crimes and other fraudulent acts are likewise increasing in intervals. Computer forensics investigations are also done in emails, websites visited, chat histories, and many other forms of electronic communications.
The advances in today's technology have shaped the improvement of computer forensics. The developers continually upgrade their tools to meet the increasing intensities of computer forensics problems. Modern software and tools are coming out into the market which nonetheless makes the task easier for the computer forensics experts. Thus, data is found and restored faster and with more preciseness.
These evidences need to be in their original format especially when they are to be used as evidences in the court. These proofs are often gathered from all kinds of computer media such as the discs, Pen drives, tapes, memory sticks, logs, emails, PDAs, handhelds, deleted information, and hidden documents. The people's common notion is that when the data is deleted from its location, the file is already completely deleted and unfound. This makes you wrong though. Upon deletion, what is erased is only that of the data's reference location but the actual document remains intact in your computer system. It is easiest to tell that the data have been deleted but the common computer forensics problem is where and how to find it and how to recover them without making traces of changes. Thus, the solution to the dilemma will entirely depend on the computer forensics professional's skills. Computer data security is very important so it is also significant that they remain original. Part of the training of these professionals includes the molding of their skills to be careful when handling the recovery of the data at all times.
However, it is not for them to conclude when data may be altered or not. This remains as one of the top computer forensics problems to date.
The Computer Forensic Toolkit Computer forensics has been garnering a lot if interest due to the increase of cyber crimes. The need for computer forensic experts is steadily increasing. As the technology continues to develop criminals and offenders find a way to catch up. The Computer has become an important part of your lives. It has changed the way we work and live. This is why it has become the target of criminals and offenders. Computer forensics helps combat crimes. It is also necessary for them to avoid mistakes and make sure that they do their job. Fortunately a computer forensic toolkit is available to make sure that they got all the bases covered. Computer forensics is complex. It needs careful preparation and procedures must be followed diligently. It may look easy in television but computer forensics takes a lot steps. If any of these steps are missed the evidence can be tampered. The evidence will be inadmissible in court and the computer forensic analyst may face a lawsuit. The right tools for the right job Like any other job we need the right tools for it. These tools are important to be able to do your job well and avoid mistakes as much as possible. If you're a computer forensic expert you cannot afford to make a mistake. Any evidence should be handled carefully and properly. Any IT professional can retrieve data but they are not trained in evidence techniques that are necessary for the job. In most cases the computer system is taken from owners even though they have provided consent. If the data and the machine are compromised the computer forensic analyst may face a lawsuit. The computer forensic toolkit reduces the risk of making mistakes while doing your investigation. It also serves as a guide and framework to be able to have a smooth investigation. It also serves as en educational guide for newcomers that will provide the technical and legal know how to a forensic investigation. A computer forensics toolkit is available online. Unfortunately it not free and costs $199. It's a comprehensive guide for both the beginner and the veteran. To keep with the continuing changes in the technology tools such as these are important for a faster and more efficient forensic investigation. Computer forensics is not exactly one of those jobs wherein you can erase your mistake and begin over. The whole tool kit can be viewed in MS word format for easier reading. The first part of the toolkit is the Introduction and Guide. It contains a comprehensive overview of computer forensics with an outline for the whole procedure. The next is Management Presentation. It is followed by forensics report template which provides a guide in making consistent reports. Essential Forensics Forms, as the name suggests contains all requisite forms for documentation. Manuals and Procedures contain all the steps done in the forensic laboratory. Forensic glossary contains all the terms. Forensic resources contain the FAQ, cost estimator, case studies and valuable tips. There's checklist to keep track of your progress. The last but not the least is the Tool Reference Catalog which contains the list of documents and software tools that you need. The toolkit will provide the know how for any newcomer and a reviewer for the veteran. Every analyst should keep abreast with the times to make sure that the criminals won't overtake them.
What Happens in a Computer Forensic Investigation We have always heard of the word "hack". Its mostly used in related to computers and gets blamed for everything bad that happens in futuristic crime action movie. Most of these are not entirely true but network systems do get hacked. Most companies are confident of what their IT department is capable off. However that does not mean that an employee can not be tempted to do a little snooping of his own. Most of the time offenders are within the company itself. The accessibility of the internet also poses a problem. Anyone can be anything online. This is why fraud, phishing, and identity theft happen. The computer is an important part of our lives. Sending letters have been entirely changed through emails. Communications have been dominated by instant messaging and texts. Portable storage devices that were only known to IT professionals are now used by the general public. We already have an idea of what computer forensics is but what does happen in a typical investigation? The computer crime scene First like any other investigation would start, the location is regarded as a crime scene. The computer analyst will take digital photographs and secure documentary evidence. This includes printouts, notes and disks in the scene. If you have hired a computer forensic expert you should leave everything to them. The computer system should left as it is whether it is turned on or off. If the computer is turned on the computer analyst will gather all the information that he can from the running applications. It will then be shutdown in a way that the data will not be lost. Doing a standard shutdown or pulling the plug is not an option. Both of these methods may cause the lost or damage of the data in the computer system. The computer forensic analyst then documents the configuration of the system. This will include the order of hard drives, modem, LAN, storage subsystems, cable connections, and wireless networking hardware. The analyst will take digital photographs and make a diagram. They will also take portable storage devices within the area that may contain substantial evidence. After that the hard drive will be taken to the lab. It's not suitable to examine data in the same hardware. Offenders who engage in cyber crimes are also aware that important data can be retrieved to convict them. Countermeasures, viruses and booby traps may be installed in the system to damage electronic evidence. Analysts take the hard drive in their lab instead to make an exact duplicate of its contents. This process is called Imaging. Analysts have their own tools to make sure that the data is copied completely and accurately. The duplicate will then be verified by an algorithm. The data is then examined and analyzed. The analyst makes a report containing his findings and all that was done during the investigation starting from the acquisition of the data. The evidence that will be found will be presented in court of prosecution takes place. The analyst will be an expert witness to present his findings. The most important thing about computer forensic experts is that they are trained in handling evidence. Any IT professional can extract data but they will not be able to preserve it. The legal aspect of the field makes it different and therefore important.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Forensics Computer forensics has become an important of litigation. Computers have become an important part of your lives. This does not exclude criminals who have the technical know how of hacking into computer network systems. Electronic evidence has played a role in court but obtaining can be difficult. There have been issues of authenticity concerned with this type of evidence. Nonetheless it still used today with the help of legal standards to make them admissible in court. Computer forensics is beneficial but it also has disadvantages. Computers are the most dominant form of technology. It has been used in variety of purposes which has made digital and electronic evidence important. However there are still setbacks to this field. Pros and Cons The exchange of information is taking place everyday over the internet. Although this may be convenient for us, it can also pose as an opportunity for criminals. Phishing, corporate fraud, intellectual property disputes, theft, breach of contract and asset recovery are some of the situations wherein computer forensics can be used. Apart from the technical aspect, legal issues are also involved. Computer forensic analysts make their investigation in such a way that the electronic evidence will be admissible in court. There are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to computer forensics. This field is relatively new and criminal matters usually dealt with physical evidences. This makes electronic evidence something very new. Fortunately it has been a helpful tool wherein important data needed for a case that has been lost, deleted or damaged can be retrieved. Computer forensics' main advantage is its ability to search and analyze a mountain of data quickly and efficiently. They can search keywords in a hard drive in different languages which is beneficial since cyber crimes can easily cross borders through the internet. Valuable data that has been lost and deleted by offenders can be retrieved which becomes substantial evidence in court. Legal professionals are able to produce data in court that were previously impossible. The first setback when using electronic or digital evidence is making it admissible in court. Data can be easily modified. Analyst must be bale to fully comply with standards of evidence required in the court of law. The computer forensic analyst must show that the data is tampered. His or her own investigation must also be fully documented and accounted for. Computer forensics must also training of legal standard procedures when handling evidence. The main disadvantage is the cost of when retrieving data. Computer forensic experts hire per hour. Analysis and reporting of data can take as long as 15 hours but it will also depend on the nature of the case. Another one is that when retrieving data, analyst may inadvertently disclose privilege documents. Legal practitioners involved in the case must also have knowledge of computer forensics. If not they will not be able to cross examine an expert witness. This also applies to the judge, solicitors and barristers. Computer forensics is still fairly new and some may not understand it. The analyst must be able to communicate his findings in a way that everyone will understand. Although computer forensics has its disadvantage, this can be solved by the party involved. Evidence on the other hand can only be captured once. The use of computers and the rise of cyber crimes also call for an equally high the method of stopping it.
Employment in Computer forensics Forensics has gained a lot of attention due to popular television shows. It has now become one of the popular career alternatives. Due to the rise in cyber crimes computer forensic analyst are now needed in various situations. Criminals nowadays are more sophisticated. The internet is also a vulnerable place due to its accessibility. They are keeping up with the changes of their environment. Computers are now among the common household devices. Employment in computer forensics will widen your knowledge and experience. Taking a computer forensics course or certification will also enable the individual to take advantage of the rising need for computer forensic analysts. Computers are getting more advanced and more important as the years pass by. Most of them have also become more user-friendly while being top notch. Due to this cyber crimes will also increase. The forensics career There are universities and colleges that offer forensic courses. There are also certification programs and online courses in the internet. Some of these programs do not require work related experience or degree but others do. There are also advanced courses that analysts can take to widen their knowledge. It can be a certification for certain software or learn new tools and topics. Technology is continually changing and developing so analysts have to take certification programs to add and upgrade their tool kits. Finding the right program though will depend on you. There also different topics available for those who are interested in widening their knowledge. Crimes done against people and children are now also included. There are other training programs that will teach you from the ground up. These programs do not require any experience except for some basic computer skills. However, you have to careful in enrolling. You can be a victim while aiming to be a computer forensic yourself. After you have become a qualified computer forensic analyst you can be employed in law enforcement agencies and organizations. Apart from that you can also do free lance work. Computers nowadays are used in a variety of purposes. Information can be a formidable weapon. It can be used for leverage or for blackmail. Computer forensic analysts can extract important information from emails and messages from instant messaging. They can also find out if a certain computer has been used for illegal communications and activities. Their skills can also be used in different situations other than criminal matters and law enforcement. They can also play a part in civil disputes and divorces. Their skills are not just applicable for data acquisition and retrieval but also crimes in the internet. They can detect fraud done online by examining your computer. There are also companies that offer consulting services. Individuals with enough money often initiate their own investigations by hiring experts in the field. Of course, to get yourself employed just be sure that you have a wide educational background in computer forensics. With the continuing importance of computer in our lives, it's no wonder that criminals will use them to get what they want. Hacking nowadays is already a common problem. Most personal and confidential information are stored in a computer nowadays. Computer forensics is a good alternative for those who have a degree and work experience in security technologies and computer science. The criminals are not the only ones who have to keep up with the fast paced world.
How Computer Forensics Analysts Work Thanks to television shows most of us already have an idea of what forensics is. Although some scenes are not depicted correctly (examining specimens are more exhausting and mentally draining due to the constant demand for paying attention to details, they don't look as easy as they are in television with swooping camera angles) they have given us an idea on what they do in collecting evidence. Computer forensics is part of this investigation. Due to the higher incidence of cyber crimes they are now an essential part of the legal process. We already have an idea on what they do. However a computer forensics job entails a lot of procedures and expertise. Like any other evidence electronic data can also be fragile and damaged. There are certain steps to be followed to ensure that the data will be collected without being tampered. A day in the work of a computer forensic analyst The first thing that an analyst will do is to secure the data and the machine. The data can never be analyzed in the same system that it came from so exact copies are made. Usually the data in a hard drive is duplicated to extract the information needed. The collection process starts when the analyst examines the surroundings of the machine. Other physical evidence such as notes, disks and printouts are also taken. Photographs of the surroundings are also taken. The area is also examined for portable storage devices. If the computer system is still operating the information will be collected by examining its applications. Computers that are used for illegal communications may not have all of the data stored in the hard drive. Information stored in Random Access Memory will be lost if the computer is shut down so this step is important. Open source tools are used to analyze on live computers. Analysts can also obtain an image of mapped drives and encrypted containers while they are on. The data from network connections are captured first, then running applications, and lastly from the Random Access Memory. The computer is then shut off carefully in a way that it will not loose any data. The method used will depend in the computer and the operating system it uses. If proper shut down is made volatile data can be lost. Pulling the plug is not advisable either because it may corrupt the file system and loose important data. The analyst then inspects for trap and photographs the configuration of the system. A diagram will also be made including serial number and markings. The analyst then makes an exact duplicate of the hard drive called Imaging. They often use hard drive duplicators or software imaging tools. This is done in sector levels to make bit-stream copies of ever part that is accessible to the user which can store data. The original hard drive is then installed with a hardware write protection and sent to a secure storage. After making a complete and accurate copy the duplicated data can now be analyzed for evidence. Analysts use algorithm to make sure that the imaging process is verified. Two algorithms are generally used in this process. The analyst then renders his opinion then documents everything that was done. A report is made that contains all the findings of the analyst and whether or not it has been used in an illegal activity or criminal act.
Certificate Program in Computer Forensics A way to be Certified Computer forensics that is otherwise known as Electronic Evidence Discovery or Digital Forensics is defined as the conservation, restoration, and examination of the amount of information which is kept on the computer or on any other type of electronic media. Over time, computer forensics has gained a wide number of patrons as it continuously turns out to be an integral tool and resource of the proof of evidence for the prosecutors, corporate counsel, and criminal investigators' use. The investigators concert their efforts to distinguish and then recover the corrupted, formatted, hidden or deleted files from any electronic media while attempting to maintain the originality of the form of the crucial data. Some special software is utterly used in keeping up with the said procedure. Moreover, only the professionals who have earned the degree through a certificate program in computer forensics can capably do this. Before you attempt to know more of the degree that equips an individual with the necessary skills on computer forensics, you should first realize that this field is widely popularizing in several areas such as in the law enforcement, military, and intelligence agencies as well as in the big corporations. Computer forensics is nonetheless an application which aids in solving the crimes and other derogatory actions done by an individual. Court cases require the presentation of the utmost evidence which have been collected by the computer forensics investigators. Certificate Program in Computer Forensics as a RequirementSince computer forensics is continually offering a vast range of professional careers, there are more and more individuals who seek to earn the degree in the said field. To become a full-fledged computer forensics investigator, one needs to take up the certificate program in computer forensics. For now, the educational requirements for achieving a career in computer forensics are quite minimal. Most graduates land on jobs in the law enforcement agencies and computer security posts. Of course, the main requirement is the certificate program in computer forensics so it is a must that one takes up the formal educational units in this field. The Career Path for the Computer Forensics Professional depends on his qualifications and credentials. A computer forensics professional may start a career with the computer firms, military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies. Others can prefer to become freelance consultants. Some people would rather like to be in less risky jobs such as becoming a security guard. The wages likewise vary as per the individual's experience is concerned. Through all of these, it is only proper that one is endowed with a profound ground in line with the tools and techniques utilized in the tasks concerned with computer forensics. And, all of these may only be attained by taking up the certificate program in computer forensics. Two of the significant phases in the formal education concerning computer forensics are the on-the-job application training as well as the academic prospectus of the degree program. The academic requirements differ from one training center to another in relation with the job specification that one seeks. Definitely, the forensic scientists who appear in court are those who are called the experts and who typically bear their doctoral or master's degree. Indeed, it is important that the trainee passes the requirements for the classes and the entire course for the certificate program in computer forensics.
The Nature of Computer Forensics Investigation What is computer forensics investigation? How can it help solve crimes? The news in the broadsheets, television, and radio about various crimes such as murder, holdup, thieving, and the likes are no longer new to us. Crimes happen here and there. We can't say that we can't fall as the next victims. In the past years, computer forensic investigation had earned a remarkable commendation particularly in line with solving crimes. The then Enron scandal signaled the start of the glories of computer forensics. To date, a lot of intelligence, law enforcement, military, and business agencies rely on this field in the hope of speeding up the process of solving any malicious scandal done to other individuals or within the firms themselves. Computer forensics is the scientific study that deals with computers and the related facts in connection with an investigation done by any law enforcement firm for the purpose of presenting the evidences in the court. This branch of study has existed for an innumerable number of decades and perhaps it is of the same age with the presence of computers. However, thanks to the advantages in the modern technology because computer forensics investigation is placed onto a much higher level. Revisions and upgrades are constantly applied to the field of computer forensics. Old Time Computer Forensics at a Glance In the past years when technology was not yet that modern, computer forensics was much known for data dumps. The procedure was too hard and slow because all of the keystrokes were to be printed out in eight digits. However, those digits were all zeroes and then ones. The materials used in printing out the data were cases of paper. Needless to say, the systems analysts were required to convert the information into hex and then to translate their values into the actual information keystroke. The entire procedure permitted the investigators to go through all of the information at hand and specify at which point did the program and the computer system packed up. In the olden days, computer forensics had gone through a variety of ups and downs. But of course, it is important to note that those are the things of the past. Nowadays, the said field has a brighter future ahead of it. In fact, computer forensics investigation is the known way of providing an in-depth examination to solve series of crimes and other deceitful actions. Indeed, the computer language still ranges from the zeros to ones or those hex and binary but these days, everything is already being upgraded. The same thing goes around with the process of computer forensics investigation. The developers of the tools are keeping up with the competition. For now, computer forensics investigators are able to retrieve any wiped off data. These specialists are the people who are capable of reconstructing the lost data either they have been intentionally or accidentally erased from the computer's hard drive. They are moreover overly familiar with the science of computer forensics and the construction of digital technology. Computer forensics investigation digs deeper into all electronic files. You can trust the investigators to collect and examine the data from the emails, chat histories, and other communications done using the computer. The military, law enforcement, and other intelligence companies are making use of this field in uncovering whatever evidence may be used to file for a legal action before the court of law. This is very significant especially now that many crimes remain unsolved.