Digital, or cyber forensics involve the collection, examination, analyzing, and reporting of electronic evidence from any kind of digital device capable of storing digital data, including cloud storage. Specializations of digital forensics include computer forensics, cellular and mobile device forensics, network forensics, data analysis forensics, and database forensics.
Anytime a digital device is used, we leave behind electronic “breadcrumbs” that provide information regarding who we are, where we were, and what we did. This may include any type of storage media, hardware and operating systems, networks, and applications. From system logins, webpage visits, Twitter Feeds, or smartphone GPS features, an electronic trail is blazed that can be replicated and documented.
These trails allow digital forensic experts to more thoroughly investigate:
- Industrial Espionage;
- Intellectual Property Theft;
- Employee Theft;
- Infidelity Issues;
- Inappropriate Email and Internet Use (workplace or otherwise); and
- Unauthorized network intrusions.
The evidence gathering process should be well planned, methodical, and documented through four stages:
- Preparation (dealing with potential legal issues, logistics, etc.);
- Collection of the data;
- Examination and analysis of the data;
- Reporting and dissemination of any conclusions.
Digital data pose unique evidence collection issues due to its volatility and vulnerability to destruction. Evidence held inside a mobile device, for example, can be potentially deleted and lost forever by simply powering off the device. For this reason and others, it is always best to leave a device powered and not manipulate a device in an attempt to discover evidence prior to conducting a full authorized search. Furthermore, proper procedures must be followed to ensure evidentiary integrity of the data for future court proceedings. Simply put, when historical data or other potential electronic evidence is a consideration in any civil or criminal case, the handling of any device and/or software needs to be done by professionals.
Forletta is your computer and cellular forensic professional. Before handling or manipulating any device, including computers, cell phones, external hard drives, etc., call Forletta for immediate advice about how to proceed. The successful recovery of potential electronic data may depend on it. Call Forletta today.