Computer Forensics and Other Information Technologies, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Discussing computer forensics in the context of law enforcement agencies or in corporate security, it will lead to a conclusion of a subject that covers the utilization of computers to catalog physical evidence that is analyzed in other forensics techniques including biometric identification, analyzing DNA and dental evidence. Current technological trends have revolutionized the methods of storing data along with different advanced access mechanisms. These systems facilitate law enforcement agencies by providing instant access to these characteristics. Although, computer forensics also facilitates in investigation of crimes within themselves in order to gather evidence associated with criminal activities that breaches violation of an organizations policy. The data can be extracted from storage devices including hard drives, flash drives, memory cards etc. (Fernandez, Smith, Garcia, & Kar, 2005).

Short History

In 1984, a program named as Magnetic media was established by Federal bureau of Investigation (FBI) that only did three cases in the first year (Daniel & Lars Daniel,). Later, the program was renamed as the FBI Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART). Consequently, by the end of 2009, FBI has established fourteen regional computer forensic laboratories with 2 more under construction (Daniel & Lars Daniel,). Likewise, revolutionary Internet continues to expand, however, understanding the academic background of the Internet is critical because it promotes sharing of all type of information among users. Likewise, in earlier days when the Internet was newly invented, ownership and regulations were the only two things to be focused on (Sheetz, 2007). Moreover, the ultimate advantage users see is the freedom of giving free access to information. This posture imposed a negative impact and forced a new field to be emerged as computer forensics (Sheetz, 2007).

Digital forensic investigators utilize network forensic analysis tools (NFAT) for capturing and examining data that is travelled within the network. Time sequencing analysis techniques, patterns and content techniques are persuade, while analyzing data capturing from Intrusion detections system (IDS) and NFAT. Likewise, Infini stream also uses time sequencing techniques to replay network activities (Messmer, 2003). Likewise, these tools provide real time monitoring and capturing of data along with real time packet capturing, network content analysis and report generation that will facilitate investigators to identify anomalies. Moreover, by the facilitates of the (NFAT) tool, investigators can playback traffic and drill down the network traffic for examination, as data packets are filtered to ease the process of detecting information leakage incident. Every online user leaves behind logs related to activities that he or she performs online. This digital traceability can reveal activities that are performed by the user on the Internet by identifying who has identified which files along with logs of each website visited. Temporary files can also reveal flash templates and buffered videos. These traceable logs, files, cookies, templates can facilitate a great deal to analyze crimes that are committed from computers and may provide solid evidence against the hacker or cyber-criminal. However, many users trust in files after deleting them from the hard drive but there are many ways and methods via which these files can be recovered. The operating system usually does not delete complete files from the hard drive, even if the user deletes the files from the recycling bin. The files are still present, until they are replaced or overwritten by new files. These traceability factors can lead to aid in forensic investigations and can track down criminals by investigating their computer. For instance, during the execution of a search warrant at the residence of John Robinson who was a serial killer, law enforcement agencies discovered two bodies that were badly decomposed along with seizing of five computers (Thigpen, 2000). After investigating computers, it was discovered that the serial killer John Robinson was using internet to find people to schedule a meeting. Afterwards they were killed by sexually assaulting them. These facts were only possible by forensic computing techniques and were not possible by physical evidence and investigation (Thigpen, 2000). However, many techniques are associated with forensic computing, few techniques are categorized in to two groups i.e. Graphical User Interface (GUI) based forensic tools and Command line forensic tools. The command line tools are relatively small, they can be stored in floppy disks as compared to heavy, and slow GUI based forensic tools.

In comparison to the confession philosophy associated with discovery residing under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), E.U Directives defines one of the fundamental policy associated with disclosure of personal data i.e. privacy information. The recitals present in the E.U Directives address the tenacity of securing individuals respect in accordance to their necessary rights along with freedom and ultimately the right to privacy (Discovery vs. privacy: When laws implementing the E.U. directive on data protection conflict with U.S. discovery rules, n.d ). However, basic standards are set by E.U Directives; deployment is established on laws endorsed within each nation in the E.U boundaries. It is obvious that any specific disclosure issue needs to be evaluated within the scope of national laws or laws that are pertinent to the data required. In general, deployment laws directed by E.U Directives limits processing in all aspects associated with personal data that is defined as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.”(Data protection officer of the EC, n.d) Moreover, E.U Directives Article 26 outlaws or prohibits transmission of personal data across boundaries i.e. out from the scope of European economic are on only one condition i.e. region, zone where personal data is transferred has sufficient, appropriate protection. However, United States is not satisfied by this condition stated by the E.U (Discovery vs. privacy: When laws implementing the E.U. directive on data protection conflict with U.S. discovery rules, n.d). Likewise, FRCP and E.U directives provides different focus areas, it is not unanticipated that there is a probable conflict among E.U Directives and FRCP. However, if conflict arrives witness will face obligations contradictory in the scope of E.U and courts in the United States. Consequently, courts of the United States are expected to adhere and address these issues and conflicts.

The set of rules and procedures from NIST do not focus on ethical issues, as these issues are not available in the publications. However, they develop an internal part of the professional practices. Ethics can be defined as “behavior of an individual with relation to something” (Ethics in computer forensics) and the legal dictionary states it as “the branch of philosophy that defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of obligations, or duties, that people owe themselves and one another” (Ethics in computer forensics). The computer forensic industry has its own perception in defining ethics definition, as it is considered to be a set of moral principles for regulating the utilization of computing devices. An example of some of the generic issues for computer forensics incorporates privacy and its influence on society (Ethics in computer forensics).

References

Discovery vs. privacy: When laws implementing the E.U. directive on data protection conflict with U.S. discovery rules, n.d Retrieved 11/11/2011, 2011, from http://www.bmpllp.com/publications/78-discovery-vs-privacy-laws-implementing-eu-directive-data-protection

Data protection officer of the EC, n.d Retrieved 11/13/2011, 2011, from http://ec.europa.eu/dataprotectionofficer/index.cfm?TargetURL=D_INTRO EUROPA

Daniel, L. J., & Lars Daniel.Digital forensics for legal professionals: Understanding digital evidence from the warrant to the courtroom Syngress.

Ethics in computer forensics Retrieved 7/9/2012, 2012, from http://digitalforensicsmagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=540

Fernandez, J., Smith, S., Garcia, M., & Kar, D. (2005). Computer forensics: A critical need in computer science programs.20(4), 315.

Messmer, E. (2003). NAI device helps keep content safe. Network World, 20(6), 21.

Sheetz, M. P. (2007). Computer forensics: An essential guide for accountants, lawyers, and managers . Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Thigpen, D. E. (2000). The bodies in the barrels. Time, 155(25), 54.

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