Story: Computer Forensics
Last Updated on Sunday, 22 March 2009 18:33
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What are Computer Forensics
Computer forensics is a branch of forensic science pertaining to legal evidence found in computers and digital storage mediums. Computer forensics is also known as digital forensics.
The goal of computer forensics is to explain the current state of a digital artifact. The term digital artifact can include a computer system, a storage medium (such as a hard disk or CD-ROM), an electronic document (e.g. an email message or JPEG image) or even a sequence of packets moving over a computer network. The explanation can be as straightforward as "what information is here?" and as detailed as "what is the sequence of events responsible for the present situation?"
The field of Computer Forensics also has sub branches within it such as Firewall Forensics, Database Forensics and Mobile Device Forensics.
There are many reasons to employ the techniques of computer forensics:
In legal cases, computer forensic techniques are frequently used to analyze computer systems belonging to defendants (in criminal cases) or litigants (in civil cases).
To recover data in the event of a hardware or software failure.
To analyze a computer syste
m after a break-in, for example, to determine how the attacker gained access and what the attacker did.
To gather evidence against an employee that an organization wishes to terminate.
To gain information about how computer systems work for the purpose of debugging, performance optimization, or reverse-engineering.
Special measures should be taken when conducting a forensic investigation if it is desired for the results to be used in a court of law. One of the most important measures is to assure that the evidence has been accurately collected and that there is a clear chain of custody from the scene of the crime to the investigator---and ultimately to the court. In order to comp
ly with the need to maintain the integrity of digital evidence, British examiners comply with the Association of Chief Police Officers (A.C.P.O.) guidelines. These are made up of four principles as follows:-
Principle 1: No action taken by law enforcement agencies or their agents should change data held on a computer or storage media which may subsequently be relied upon in court.
Principle 2: In exceptional circumstances, where a person finds it necessary to access original data held on a computer or on storage media, that person must be competent to do so and be able to give evidence explaining the relevance and the implications of their actions.
Principle 3: An audit trail or other record of all processes applied to computer based electronic evidence should be created and preserved. An independent third party should be able to examine those processes and achieve the same result.
Principle 4: The person in charge of the investigation (the case officer) has overall responsibility for ensuring that the law and these principles are adhered to.
Original source: Wikipedia