Tag Archives: computers

Phishing: Safeguarding Yourself and Your Organisation’s Sensitive Data

Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering, a way of getting into your private network that relies more on psychology and deception than traditional hacking that involves exploiting vulnerabilities in your security software. You can find a good introduction to phishing and social engineering on Wikipedia. Continue reading Phishing: Safeguarding Yourself and Your Organisation’s Sensitive Data

Opinion: Calling for Standards and Code of Ethics to Govern Digital Forensics

Those involved with determining the relevance of digital evidence are sometimes ill-equipped to make such assessments.

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am neither a digital forensics practitioner nor do I play one on television.

I am, however, a professor in, and former chair of, an academic department at a research university that houses a graduate program in computer (digital) forensics I helped design. In 2011, I co-founded a computer forensics research center at my university. Finally, for more than 10 years, I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses on professional ethics for criminal justice and digital forensics students.

These experiences helped me to identify a glaring issue in the field of digital forensics: a lack of professional and ethical standards governing practitioners. And as digital forensics gains prominence in the legal landscape, the lack of agreed-upon standards is a big problem.

What is digital forensics?

Digital or computer forensics involves the identification, recovery, analysis and presentation in court of relevant information taken from electronic devices such as computers and cellphones.

That information becomes digital evidence presented in court and designed to tie together people and events in time and space to establish causality for crimes or civil wrongs.

For example, imagine the police arrested a suspect on charges she murdered her husband by poisoning him. The police will seize and examine the suspect’s computer to uncover incriminating evidence such as the suspect’s history of visiting web pages that deal with poisons. Once retrieved, the prosecutor will likely introduce that evidence to gain a conviction.

Digital evidence is not trivial. If it leads to a conviction on criminal charges, the defendant may face prison time. In a civil case, it can lead to a defendant having to pay monetary damages. And the police officers, technicians and private contractors who testify in court about digital evidence can be the difference between justice served and justice denied.

Read more at Time.