computer forensics

Role of Computer Forensics in Crime


As digital crime increases exponentially, the need for computer forensic expertise in law enforcement grows with it. There are many law enforcement agencies, such as your local police force, the FBI and countless other entities, who rely on computer forensics to catch criminals.

Computer forensics is quickly becoming used for many different areas of criminal investigations and there is now a methodology that is used. Computers have been widely known for being used in committing a crime but now the tables have turned and forensics has the edge using computer forensics to catch criminals who believe they do not leave an imprint when committing certain crimes.

Collecting Criminal Evidence

The role of computer forensics in crime has advanced to evidentiary admission in a court of law. This is very important in how the evidence is maintained and collected and it has become quite a precise process in law enforcement. Demand is high for expertise in computer forensics.

The FBI uses IT professionals to gain serious evidence in their investigations and these crimes can be simple or hacking, espionage and even bank fraud. The FBI now uses computer forensics as a standard tool to investigate a crime. Using devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and hard drives to collect the evidence needed to prove premeditation in some cases.

Computer forensics is the new frontier of criminal investigation for these agencies and it is growing daily. As technology enhances so do the crimes associated with using technology in criminal activity.

Computer forensics is widely known for catching criminals in various types of fraud. However, investigators are now using computer forensics to catch murderers, and access encrypted data daily that will stand as evidence in a court of law.

Computer Forensics Tools and Tasking

Those who decide to enter this vocation are considered investigators. They will investigate encrypted files and using the “live box” method along with many other great new types of software used in the latest techniques available. Information technology professionals who choose this profession are considered in a class by themselves.

Many of the tasks included in this particular part of the criminal investigation are recovering deleted files, deleted passwords and checking for breaches of security for cyber-crime. Once the evidence is collected it must be contained and translated for lawyers, judges, and juries to examine.

While one might think that recovering fraud data is the main task of computer forensics this is just simply not true anymore. The origin of computer forensics began this way as most of the cases solved in the beginning were of this type. However, The BTK Killer was also caught and evidence was used in his court trial from computer forensics discovered in a search of his home.

Computer forensics goes back as far as floppy discs? Yes it certainly does and now police use their computers for everything from searches to warrants and as technology grows so will the ways criminals hide their activities. There does not seem to be a ceiling on technology and the ways it is investigated.

Cold Case Files Solved Using Computer Forensics

Law Enforcement agencies are also using computer forensics to reopen and solve cold case files. This is a great advantage as technology grows so do the ways to collect information from old hard drives to solve crimes that have gone unsolved for years.

The role of computer forensics in crime is increasing as databases are being introduced to hold case files for law enforcement. The simple gathering and organization of old forensics from unsolved cases have brought forward details that investigators might have missed in initial investigations. These innovations are helping to change the face of the criminal investigation.

The Role of Computer Forensics in Crime

The role of computer forensics in crime is just going to increase in demand because the need for assistance in retrieving information that can be used as evidence is getting more difficult for law enforcement. Now more than ever this growing field of study demands IT professionals who are experts at this type of data retrieval for law enforcement.

The number one profession for 2015 according to Forbes Magazine is IT professionals and this is just for general types of IT positions. IT expertise in law enforcement is not only a critical position but also one that changes the face of law enforcement with technique and expertise to solve cases and make a real difference.

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Recommended Reading

Who Are Cyber Criminals?
The 5 Pillars of Information Assurance
Career Outlook: Information Security Analyst 


Digital Evidence and Forensics, National Institute of Justice
Computer Forensics, US-CERT

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