Category Archives: COMPUTER FORENSIC INVESTIGATION

How to protect yourself from false forensics

It is commonly understood that once something leaves the closed system of your phone or computer, it is out of your hands. Text messages are saved by providers, blog posts are screenshotted and saved, and calls are logged or recorded. When it comes to technology, nothing is ephemeral.

That said, technology is highly adaptable by nature. Every time we think we have found a way to outsmart it, a new strain of deception appears. Many people are aware of ‘deep fakes,’ a method of effectively impersonating someone via video editing. Considering how simple it has become to alter someone’s face and words, the act of altering text is hardly outside the realm of possibility.

Problems with digital evidence

On top of this, a number of problems prevent law enforcement from accurately assessing digital evidence. This includes the amount of digital evidence (thousands of texts can be sent within the span of a few hours); the difficulty of obtaining original copies of messages (screenshots are easily edited and tech giants are notoriously slow at providing data); and the ease of cherry-picking information from a seemingly endless source (you might have searched for a term tangentially related to the crime five years ago).

False forensics can be particularly damaging in cases that involve fraud and sexual assault. Messages can be erased or edited to appear in someone else’s favor or to hide evidence of misrepresentation. Especially when dealing with law enforcement who might not be trained to deal with digital evidence, a doctored email could sway an entire case against you.

Computer forensics in Dallas

Bearing everything in mind, it is crucial to consider your own technological safety. Computer forensics should be handled by experts, who have a professional understanding of the evidence. ICFECI offers computer forensics in Dallas and computer forensics in Fort Worth with the goal of protecting you from false accusations or mishandling of crucial evidence. Our experts are trained to identify relevant parts of data, in addition to often overlooked warning signs for when messages have been deleted or doctored.

In today’s world, it is easier than ever to frame someone using technology. You need to ensure that you are doing everything you can to make technology work in your favor.

How Cell Phones Can Save the Day

When people think about the insidious and, frankly, not unwelcome, growth of technology in our lives, it is usually with a twinge of guilt: ‘I shouldn’t spend so much time on Twitter,’ or ‘I’m working on keeping screen-time to a minimum,’ and so on. But the rise of mobile technology is probably here to stay: it’s just too useful to us! Need milk? Message your partner to pick some up. Running late? A quick phone call, email or SMS reassures the person you are meeting that you are on the way.

But there are other ways that being ‘always connected’ can help, and that is when a crime is committed and someone else ends up being accused because of an unfortunate coincidence. This can be a resemblance between them and the real criminal, crossing paths with the real criminal as they make their getaway, or any number of happenstances that can occasionally happen – some of them being so very unlikely that a writer of fiction would not dare make them up. As the saying goes, life is often stranger than fiction as seen by this tale, often recounted in cybercrime anecdotes all across the US, from cyber forensic services in Fort Worth to police forces in Seattle and Minneapolis.

Charley Bergin, a tow truck driver, was called out one night to discover that a man had got his truck stuck in the New Mexico desert. The man had called his son, who obligingly drove out to rescue his dad, only to get stuck himself. The man and his son then called on another friend to help them, and that friend got stuck too! Realizing they needed expert help, they finally called on Charley who came out and pulled all three trucks free of the mire. In the midst of all this busy-ness, Charley’s wife phoned him and they got into an argument. Tiring of his beloved’s voice, Charley lobbed his phone into nearby bushes, finished his job and drove home to face the music. The discovery of not one but several bodies in the vicinity, alongside Charley’s phone, had Charley on the hook for serial murder, but after he told his highly unlikely tale, the police checked it out, and soon had the real murderer safely locked up!

But phones can save suspects in other ways too: Larry T Roberts looked very much like a man wanted for murder and was accused. Witnesses, misunderstanding their instructions, picked out Roberts as the guilty party, and things looked very bleak until his cell-phone was forensically examined, and a timeline of his calls and movements over the night in question showed that he was many miles away for considerable time on either side of the murder. On the brink of being jailed for a very long time, Roberts was hugely relieved that the truth was uncovered in time.

And this is the worth of cyber forensic services in Dallas and all across the US: done correctly they can ensure that the truth of your innocence is revealed ensuring that justice is correctly served for the victims as well as for the innocents wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit.

3 TECHNOLOGIES USED IN COMPUTER FORENSIC INVESTIGATION

Technology and the internet have provided a wide platform for cyber as well as white collar crimes. Crime involving the use of computers and technology is rising in unprecedented proportions. In light of this, the field of forensic investigation has introduced cutting edge tools and equipments in order to remain at par with the criminals. From retinal scanning to tracing evidence on internet servers, computer forensics has improvised technology to solve sophisticated crimes involving the use of modern day resources like computers, laptops, cell phones and tablets.

The basic functionality of Computer forensic tools is to extract and analyze vast amount of data and zero –in on the relevant facts and evidence beneficial to the criminal or civil litigation at hand.

While the acquisition of digital evidence and the process of presenting it at courts is a complex task carried out by expert Computer Forensic Investigators, there are countless tools available to aid the procedure. However, among the wide range of cool technologies available, forensic experts rely on software and equipments that are court –incited platforms and helps them investigate efficiently and effectively. The state of the art tools selected by digital forensic investigators must be platforms accepted by a court of law. This increases the reliability and the admissibility of the evidence. Here we have tried to focus on the use of specific tools, their benefits and advantages over other forensic equipments available.

Forensic Toolkit (FTK)
FTK or Forensic toolkit is a digital forensic tool approved by court and designed for analyzing vast repository of data with uncontested speed. It is characterized by stability, ease of use and speed which makes it reliable as a source of digital evidence. It efficiently searches, filters, analyzes, indexes and points out relevant facts and evidence pertaining to the case. Owing to the comprehensive architecture, FTK can be used for collaborative analysis and web based case management. However, the most important aspect of FTK that makes it a favorite among computer forensic investigators is the speed with which it filters relevant evidence from a heap of data.

Mobile Phone Examiner Plus (MPE+)
Selecting a tool for cell phone forensic examination is a challenging task. Investigators are required to choose a Cell Phone Analysis tool that meets the ever changing mobile phone technology. Mobile Phone Examiner Plus is a stand-alone investigative solution for digital cell phone forensic analysis. It presents a unique approach to cell phone data extraction thus easily zeroing on the key facts and evidence. Plus, it supports the analysis of more than 7000 mobile phone models, including GSM/CDMA devices and using versatile technologies like Blackberry, Android, iOS and Windows. MPE+ has robust tools built into its architecture thus providing a single solution for multiple platforms and thus making the investigation a cost effective process.

dtSearch
dtSearch is one of the most common effective search tool used by computer forensic examiners. It is deployed by most forensic investigators owing to its ability to reduce data search time. It primarily helps in imaging, hashing, searching and indexing data on drivers and other digital storage media devices. dtSearch is a pivotal element of modern forensic investigation due to its ability to search through a variety of document types such as HTML, PDFs, PSTs, Unicode and common files like word documents, excel sheets and more. Instantaneous identification of key facts say file names and strings reduces the overall time frame of analysis thus providing accurate desired results that assist in finding successful resolution on a case.

The role of a computer forensic investigator and that of forensic tool is complementary in an investigation. High end, user friendly and effective tools are imperative to the successful resolution of a case and effective representation of clients involved. Similarly, competent and experienced analysts should also be employed who can operate and extract required information from these complex equipments and present them as admissible evidence.