Computer forensics are used in many fields, from legalities involving trade secrets to prevention of computer-related fraud; however, more and more computer forensics are being used to help solve crimes of all kinds. Computer forensics have both obvious and less obvious implications in a criminal court and are a helpful new tool for prosecutors and police alike.
The area of computer data was something that was ignored or under used in court cases for far too long. This was even worse because most criminals are very, very sloppy about their data encryption – they make the game easier for the forensic guys.
This type of forensics use scientific methodology to protect, assess, and analyze computer data. Deleted data may be retrieved or recovered, encrypted or password protected data revealed. Damaged computer hardware can also be salvaged in the pursuit of information and answers by the computer forensics team themselves – there’s very little information you can safely hide from them. No matter how damaged the digital media is. Computer forensics consciously work within the rules of evidence set out by the criminal courts, thereby providing law enforcement with viable and admissible evidence within a court of law. Basically if they catch you with something they’ve done it legally and it will stand up in a court of law as evidence.
Computer forensics are playing a growing role in the US courts, and electronic forensics experts are called upon in a variety of types of criminal cases. Theft, embezzlement, and fraud may all have computer records and evidence that is assessed and analyzed by a forensics specialist – there’s very little done in business today that doesn’t involve computers at some level.
Even the use of cell phones isn’t safe from the forensic guys. Every text message you ever sent, every phone number you ever stored or even any images you ever kept on your cell phone are all items that these guys can undelete and use against you in a court of law. There have been several high profile murder cases examined in the last few years were cell phone forensic evidence played a key role in the prosecution of the criminals. That’s right – they were stupid enough to send each other text messages organizing the murder of another human being.
Specifically, computer-related crimes, such as hacking, child pornography, and intellectual property theft are also prosecuted with the aid of computer forensics. Furthermore, these forensic teams aid in the search and prosecution of terrorists who may use computer technology for planning, scheduling, and locating acts of terrorism. This has become especially important after 9/11.
Computer forensics enable prosecutors and police to gain admissible evidence against offenders, whether the offense is corporate embezzlement or child pornography. A good computer forensics specialist can not only preserve data, but also even reclaim deleted or damaged data and pass this information to the courts.