Because you may be considering a career in computer forensics, the first thing you should ask is, “What is computer forensics?” To evaluate if you would enjoy and be successful in the subject of computer forensics, you must first comprehend the definition.
Computer forensics commonly referred to as “digital forensics,” is a new profession that deals with the convergence of digital evidence and the law. The process of identifying, preserving, and analyzing data and technological items for use as evidence in court is known as computer forensics. Data from personal computers, laptops, personal digital assistants, cell phones, servers, tapes, and other types of media is often analyzed by forensic examiners.
Breaking encryption, executing search warrants with a law enforcement team, and recovering and analyzing material from hard drives that will be essential evidence in the most serious civil and criminal prosecutions are all examples of this process. Computer and data storage medium forensic investigation is a time-consuming and highly specialized technique. Reports are compiled from the results of forensic examinations. Examiners testify about their findings in numerous cases, and their skills and abilities are put to the test.
It’s impossible to say when the history of computer forensics began. The area of computer forensics began to evolve more than 30 years ago, according to most specialists. Law enforcement and military investigators in the United States were among the first to notice criminals becoming more technical. In reaction to suspected security breaches, government professionals responsible for preserving vital, private, and certainly secret information conducted forensic examinations to not only examine the specific breach but also to understand how to prevent future breaches. Information security, which focuses on protecting data and assets, and computer forensics, which focuses on responding to high-tech crimes, eventually became intertwined.
The field exploded in the following decades and continues to do so now. At the local, state, and federal levels, law enforcement, and the military continue to have a strong presence in the field of information security and computer forensics. Private companies and organizations have followed suit, either hiring internal information security and computer forensics experts or contracting such experts or services on an as-needed basis. Significantly, the private legal sector has only recently recognized the need for computer forensic tests in civil legal disputes, resulting in an e-discovery explosion.
On a daily basis, the field of computer forensics expands. Large forensic agencies, boutique firms, and private investigators are all gaining experience and knowledge in this area. Newer and more robust forensic software solutions continue to be developed by software businesses. In addition, law enforcement and the military are continuing to identify and educate more of their people in the response to technology-related crimes.
The emergence of computer forensics can be attributed to a number of factors, the most important of which is that computers are ubiquitous. Today, it’s difficult to find a home without at least one computer. Computer forensic investigators are involved with more than simply computers. Computer forensic examiners look into a wide range of technological gadgets. While walking along the street, notice how many individuals are talking on their phones, using iPods, PDAs, and text messaging. All of these electronic gadgets are examined by computer forensic examiners!
Another reason for the rapid expansion of the computer forensics area is that the majority of civil and criminal disputes are between persons who know each other and communicate using technology such as email, cell phones, and text messaging. As a result, there’s a lot of prospective proof. Law enforcement agents, too, are confronted with technology at practically every step and in almost every form of crime. This is a problem that is now being addressed at the municipal, state, and federal levels.
Another reason for the growth is the Internet’s ubiquitous nature. Internet users have vast amounts of information available to them in seconds. It is a tremendous resource, but with all good things there are negatives, and the increase in Internet use and availability has created an increase in criminal activity like hacking, cyber-terrorism, identity theft, theft of intellectual property, fraud, and child exploitation. Significantly, criminals think they are anonymous online and won’t be caught. This only increases the amount of criminal activity.
Another reason for the field’s growth is that huge corporations, particularly those that are publicly traded or keep vast amounts of private customer data, are concerned about the loss of intellectual property on a massive scale. The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Government Trade Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service are among the federal oversight/regulatory bodies that these businesses are concerned about. Violations of several statutes designed to protect individuals and consumers can result in significant fines and criminal punishments.It’s possible that the lawsuits will be more serious. As a result, businesses are going to great efforts to secure the integrity of their data, particularly intellectual property, and to discover how to prevent data loss or theft.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the field of computer forensics has developed into a highly profitable enterprise. The expense of producing e-discovery in a lawsuit can go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. You might wonder why. The so-called “CSI Effect,” which states that juries and judges prefer to see real proof before deciding who is accountable in a legal case. With the advancement of technology, computer forensic examiners are frequently employed to extract and present evidence in court using highly sophisticated techniques. When properly stored and examined, this evidence can be extremely compelling. This new company is attracting document examiners, lawyers, litigants, forensic examiners, and consultants.
Every form of computer forensics crime case brings law enforcement officials into contact with technology. In law enforcement instances, technology usually manifests itself in one of two ways. The first sign is when a computer or other technological gadget is utilized to conduct a crime. In some circumstances, the computer or gadget is both a tool of the crime and a potential evidence storage site.
Online Child exploitation, identity theft, online auction fraud, threats/harassment, and intellectual property theft are just a few examples. The second time technology comes into play in criminal proceedings is when evidence from a non-high-tech crime must be collected and processed. Homicide cases in which suspects exchange emails about the case, theft cases in which stolen objects are sold online, and robbery cases in which the suspects utilize technology to plan and organize a heist are all examples of this.
Every type of case brings law enforcement officials into contact with technology. In law enforcement instances, technology usually manifests itself in one of two ways. The first sign is when a computer or other technological gadget is utilized to conduct a crime. In some circumstances, the computer or gadget is both a tool of the crime and a potential evidence storage site. Online child exploitation, identity theft, online auction fraud, threats/harassment, and intellectual property theft are just a few examples. The second time technology comes into play in criminal prosecutions is when evidence from a non-high-tech offense needs to be collected and processed. Homicide cases in which suspects exchange emails about the case, theft cases in which stolen objects are sold online, and robbery cases in which the suspects utilize technology to plan and organize a heist are all examples.
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