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Computer Forensics Essay

1581 words - 6 pages

The Internet is growing explosively, as is the number of crimes committed against or using computers. As a response to the growth of computer crime, the field of computer forensics has emerged. Computer forensics involves carefully collecting and examining electronic evidence that not only assesses the damage to a computer as a result of an electronic attack, but also to recover lost information from such a system to prosecute a criminal. With the growing importance of computer security today and the seriousness of cyber crime, it is important for computer professionals to understand the technology that is used in computer forensics. This paper will discuss the need for computer forensics to be practiced in an effective and legal way. It promotes the idea that the competent practice of computer forensics and awareness of applicable laws is essential for today's organizations.Computer ForensicsAs technology has advanced, computers have become incredibly powerful. Unfortunately, as computers get more sophisticated, so do the crimes committed with them. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks, ILOVEYOU and other viruses, Domain Name Hijacking, Trojan Horses, and Websites shut down are just a few of the hundreds of documented attack types generated by computers against other computers. Managers of information systems should understand computer forensics. Forensics is the process of using scientific knowledge for collecting, analyzing, and presenting evidence to the courts. Forensics deals primarily with the recovery and analysis of latent evidence. Latent evidence can take many forms, from fingerprints left on a window to DNA evidence recovered from bloodstains to the files on a hard drive. Computer forensics can be used to uncover potential evidence in many types of cases including, for example:·Copyright infringement·Industrial espionage·Money laundering·Piracy·Sexual harassment·Theft of intellectual property·Unauthorized access to confidential information·Blackmail·Corruption·Decryption·Destruction of information·Fraud·Illegal duplication of softwareThe three main steps in computer forensics are acquiring, authenticating, and analyzing the data. Acquiring the evidence in a computer forensics investigation primarily involves gaining the contents of the suspect's hard drive. Ideally, the forensic analysis is not done directly on the suspect's computer but on a copy instead. This is done to prevent tampering and alteration of the suspect's data on the hard drive. Authentication is the process of ensuring that the evidence has not been altered during the acquisition process. Any changes to the evidence will render the evidence inadmissible in court. Analysis is the most important part of the investigation since this is where incriminating evidence may be found. Part of the analysis process is spent in the recovery of deleted files. The job of the investigator is...

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