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Computer Forensic

Computer Forensic

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Published by blmahesh

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Published by: blmahesh on Feb 15, 2010
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09/28/2010

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Computer Forensic www.bestneo.com
1
INTRODUCTION
The proliferation of computer use in today’s networked society is creatingsome complex side effects in the application of the age-old greed, jealousy, andrevenge. Criminals are becoming much more sophisticated in committing crimes.Computers are being encountered in almost every type of criminal activity. Gangs usecomputers to clone mobile telephones and to re-encode credit cards. Drug dealers usecomputers to store their transaction ledgers. Child pornography distributors use theInternet to peddle and trade their wares. Fraud schemes have been advertised on theInternet. Counterfeiters and forgers use computers to make passable copies of papercurrency or counterfeit cashiers checks, and to create realistic looking falseidentification. In addition, information stored in computers has become the target of criminal activity. Information such as social security and credit card numbers,intellectual property, proprietaryinformation, contract information, classifieddocuments, etc., have been targeted. Further, thethreat of malicious destruction osoftware, employee sabotage, identity theft, blackmail, sexual harassment, andcommercial and government espionage is on the rise. Personnel problems aremanifesting themselves in the automated environment with inappropriate orunauthorized use complaints resulting in lawsuits against employers as well as loss of proprietary information costing millions of dollars. All of this has led to an explosionin the number and complexity of computers and computer systems encountered in thecourse of criminal or internal investigations and the subsequent seizure of computersystems and stored electronic communications.Computer evidence has become a ‘fact of life' for essentially alllawenforcement agencies and many are just beginning to explore their options in dealingwith this new venue. Almost overnight, personal computers have changed the way theworld does business. They have also changed the world’s view of evidence becausecomputers are used more and more as tools in the commission of ‘traditional' crimes.Evidence relative to embezzlement, theft, extortion and even murder has beendiscovered on personal computers. This new technology twist in crime patterns hasbrought computer evidence to the forefront in law enforcement circles.
 
Computer Forensic www.bestneo.com
2WHAT IS COMPUTER FORENSICS?Computer forensics is simply the application of disciplined investigativetechniques in the automated environment and the search, discovery, and analysis of potential evidence. It is themethod used to investigate and analyze data maintainedon or retrieved from electronic datastorage media for the purposes of presentation ina court of law, civil or administrativeproceeding. Evidence may be sought in a widerange of computer crime or misuse cases.Computer forensics is rapidly becoming a science recognized on a par withother forensicsciences by the legal and law enforcement communities. As this trendcontinues, it will becomeeven more important to handle and examine computerevidence properly. Not every departmentor organization has the resources to havetrained computer forensic specialists on staff.COMPUTER FORENSIC PROCESSAs in any investigation, establishing that an incident has occurred is the firstkey step. Secondly,the incident needs to be evaluated to determine if computerforensics may be required. Generally, if the computer incident resulted in a loss of time or money, or the destruction orcompromise of information, it will require theapplicationof computer forensic investigativetechniques. When applied, thepreservation of evidence is the first rule in the process. Failure topreserve evidence inits original state could jeopardize the entire investigation. Knowledge ofhow thecrime was initiated and committed may be lost for good. Assignment of responsibilitymay not be possible if evidence is not meticulously and diligently preserved.The levelof training and expertise requiredto execute a forensics task will largely depend onthelevel of evidence required in the case. If the result of the investigation were limitedtoadministrative actions against an employee, the requirement would be lower thantaking the caseto court for civil or criminal litigation.
 
Computer Forensic www.bestneo.com
3WHO CAN USE COMPUTER FORENSIC EVIDENCE?Many types of criminal and civil proceedings can and do make use of evidencerevealed by computer forensics specialists:Criminal Prosecutors use computer evidence in a variety of crimes whereincriminating documents can be found: homicides, financial fraud, drug andembezzlement record-keeping, and child pornography.Civil litigations can readily make use of personal and business records found oncomputer systems that bear on: fraud, divorce, discrimination, and harassment cases.Insurance Companies may be able to mitigate costs by using discovered computerevidence of possible fraud in accident, arson, and workman's compensation cases.Corporations often hire computer forensics specialists to ascertain evidence relatingto: sexual harassment, embezzlement, theft or misappropriation of trade secrets andother internal/confidential information.Law Enforcement Officials frequently require assistance in pre-search warrantpreparations and post-seizure handling of the computer equipment.Individuals sometimes hire computer forensics specialists in support of possibleclaims of: wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or age discrimination.EXAMINATION STANDARDSMany software applications keep temporary records, temporary documents and othertemporary data that the user is not aware of, and therefore, does not delete, passwordprotect or otherwise try to hide. This data can normally be quickly located andaccessed by forensic examiners.

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