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Social Media in Legal Procedings

download (56)Social media has changed courts of law and the rules about what is and is not considered substantial. Relevant evidence has changed dramatically with the growth of internet prgrammes such as Facebook and Twitter.

Today social media evidence is admissible in a court of law and social network accounts are very important considerations where lawyers and private investigators look for evidence when building cases.

Lawyers specifically use evidence from social sites to build up prepared statements about a person’s state of mind as well as proving evidence of communication, place and time, or actions.

For example, someone might publish on his or her Facebook status: “I have got to do it. There is no turning back, I’m sorry”. If this was published by an accused person twenty minutes before the alleged crime was committed it could certainly pack a punch with a jury.

Remember also it is not just about the words used but also these sites can often offer some incriminating location details. A post could put someone near the scene of the crime at a given time. Additionally, social media evidence can add up over

Home-Brewed Data Destruction

images (32)Law around the subject of electronically stored information (ESI) and computer forensics is ever-evolving. In a lawsuit, it’s treated just like paper documents. If you shred or burn the paper evidence, you’re in trouble – and if you’re caught deleting or wiping electronic evidence, you’re in the same boat.

But in some cases, it can be easier to get busted for destroying ESI, both because electrons have a way of proliferating as digital copies of files and pictures and documents, and because the process of destroying data usually leaves detectable digital traces.

Just yesterday, a fellow (I decline to call him a gentleman) called me up to ask if he could consult with me on an hourly basis about how to destroy data (evidence) on his computer for an upcoming potential divorce. I actually found myself offended and explained to him (trying to keep the disdain from my voice) that destroying evidence is the exact opposite of the service I offer.

We don’t wreck evidence – we find it.

I further suggested that he might want to look into the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Sections 26

Hacking Expert Witness: US Charges Eight in Hacking Scheme

download (54)This allegedly began in 2011, when several accounts in banks such as: Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, PayPal, the U.S. Military Defense Finance and 11 other banks had their accounts compromised. Once inside these accounts, the hackers setup a payment which was sent to several pre-paid debit cards. The pre-paid cards were then used by an accomplice (aka “cashers” or “money mules”) to make ATM withdrawals or purchases to convert the card into cash.

From here, the cashers took a small cut for themselves, while sending the bulk of the money to their employer via a wire transfer.

They managed to avoid detection for some time by keeping the transfers below the $10,000 threshold set by the anti-money laundering laws of the U.S. However, they routinely made payments of $9,900. A $10,000 transaction sends up a big red flag, a $9,900 transaction sends up a smaller red flag. It is these multiple $9,900 amount transfers along with a Gmail account the defendants use to talked with others about the scheme that was their downfall. In addition to the discussion about the scheme, there were many emails

Cyber Crime Prevention

download (55)Cyber Crime

I would like to discuss on a very stimulating topic i.e. Cyber Crime, or in other terms the crime committed by means of computers over internet. The illicit use of computer to promote fraudulent activities like child pornography, stealing personal identifiable information or violating policies of any association, all such actions can be categorized under Cyber Crime. Most of the misconducts are triggered via Internet and its study has gained importance in recent decades, because the use of internet is seen in every sector of society like business, entertainment, medical services, sports, media industry.

Definition:

Maximum of the law-breaking cyber-criminal crooks target information that are owned by any individuals, corporations or governments. These attacks never exist in any physical form; it always takes place in virtual form. One of the major aspects of these crimes is that it can be easily committed from a remote distance in a matter of seconds and it becomes very difficult to trace evidence or punish criminals because it might require global co-operation. With the advancement of various technologies criminals can easily hide their identity physically or virtually over

The Current State of CyberWar in the World

download (57)Drama. Drama is the touchstone for reporting. We have to look well around this particular stone in order to catch a realistic impression of the virtual. We have to look around it even to understand what CyberWar is or how it is defined.

When talking about cyberwar, hyperbole & metaphor are the rule rather than the exception. Cyberthis, cyberthat – you may have noticed that the virtual world is inhabited by nouns and verbs taken from the material world, and that images of cyberthings in the news tend to have dramatic pictures of physical things rather than the electrons that make up the cyberworld. Images of coins inhabit stories of purely virtual cryptocurrency, such as BitCoin. Perhaps Physics journals, where readers actually are interested in the electrons and the math of the cyberrealm, are the exception to this rule.

But when we read stories of cyberwar, we see pictures of soldiers, firearms and materiel accompanying the story. When we read of the people sitting at desks and computers to figure out how to hack and not be hacked, we call them CyberWarriors and pictures of

Computer Forensics Expert: How to Keep Anyone From Snooping Around Your Cloud

images (31)The American Civil Liberties Union, based in New York, NY., reported the U.S. Government claims the right to read personal online data without warrants. This trend is not unique to the U.S. Government. Many governments around the world make requests of these service providers as well.

According to statistics published by Google, it received over 16,000 requests for information affecting over 31,000 users in 2012. Google’s same statistics stated they provided information in over 85% of the requests.

In 2012 Microsoft received over 70,000 requests affecting over 120,000 accounts. While this is a much higher number, Microsoft only produced information on these requests about 2% of the time. Almost 80% of the requests asked Microsoft to divulged subscriber and transactional information only.

Locking the thieves out:
Companies and individuals can take easy steps to prevent thieves, companies and the government from gaining access to online storage which contains private information.

Here are a few basic ways of protecting or encrypting the data to keep prying eyes from viewing confidential and/or personal information:

1) The data can be encrypted before it is stored in the Cloud. Products like TrueCrypt,

Packet Capture – Definition and Importance

download (53)As the data keeps streaming by, sniffers capture each packet and decode them if needed showing the value of various field in the packet. The content then gets analyzed as per the specifications. The analysis helps in determining if there are unusual packets. This helps in maintaining effective data transmission.

Use

A packet capture can be used in two ways- legitimately and illegitimately. In legitimate use, sniffing identifies the data and transmission errors to ensure an efficient network communication. However, in an illegitimate scenario, a disgruntled employee can use the data to actually ‘capture’ the company’s credit account information. Obviously, this information is not for any saintly purpose. He may use the information to transfer the company money to his own personal accounts!

Its Importance

The primary importance of packet sniffer is detection of network. A packet capture is similar to telephone wire tapping. It detects what is going through the computer networks. The main function of the software is to monitor the performance and troubleshoot the problems that may arise in a network. In addition, it can capture the traffic from different parts of the network

How to Become a Digital Forensic Specialist

download (58)A Digital forensic specialist is someone who analyses the digital crime scene in case of cyber attacks and malicious intrusions in order to find the criminal and prove their involvement. Just like a regular forensic specialist, their digital counterparts analyze the smallest bit of evidence and use it to construct a foolproof case against the culprit. Evidence in case of a digital crime includesIP addresses, small footprints left when the hacker tried to access or change something, and more. A degree in computer forensics, criminal justice or engineering is a must in order to pursue a career in this profession. You will also need to attend formal training in order to become a digital forensics specialist.

Steps needed to become a certified digital forensics specialist

There are a number of universities that offer a formal program which you can take to become a forensic specialist. Similar courses can also be found online and can help you master the basics of this program, but courses offered at colleges are generally preferred since they use a more hands on approach and provide formal training that is more

How to Keep Anyone From Snooping Around Your Cloud

download (52)The American Civil Liberties Union, based in New York, NY., reported the U.S. Government claims the right to read personal online data without warrants. This trend is not unique to the U.S. Government. Many governments around the world make requests of these service providers as well.

According to statistics published by Google, it received over 16,000 requests for information affecting over 31,000 users in 2012. Google’s same statistics stated they provided information in over 85% of the requests.

In 2012 Microsoft received over 70,000 requests affecting over 120,000 accounts. While this is a much higher number, Microsoft only produced information on these requests about 2% of the time. Almost 80% of the requests asked Microsoft to divulged subscriber and transactional information only.

Locking the thieves out:
Companies and individuals can take easy steps to prevent thieves, companies and the government from gaining access to online storage which contains private information.

Here are a few basic ways of protecting or encrypting the data to keep prying eyes from viewing confidential and/or personal information:

1) The data can be encrypted before it is stored in the Cloud. Products like TrueCrypt,

Open Source Computer Forensics Investigations

download (50)The world of computer forensics — like all things computer — is rapidly developing and changing. While commercial investigative software packages exist, like EnCase by Guidance Software and FTK by AccessData, there are other software platforms which offer a solution for obtaining computer forensic results. Unlike the two aforementioned packages, these open sources alternatives do not cost hundreds of dollars — they are free to download, distribute and use under various open source licenses.

Computer Forensics is the process of obtaining information from a computer system. This information may be obtained from a live system (one that is up and running) or a system which has been shut down. The process typically involves taking steps to obtain a copy, or an image of the target system (often times an image of the hard drive is obtained, but in the case of a “live” system, this can even be the other memory areas of the computer).

After making an exact “image” or copy of the target, in which the copy is verified by “checksum” processes, the computer specialist can begin to examine and obtain a wide

Data Forensics Expert Witness: Facebook Exposes Personal Data!

images (30)Unfortunately, this is not the first time Facebook has been in the news for its poor handling of data. In July 2012, there was a similar breach where a private security consultant used a piece of code to gather information on over 100 million profiles. This was not seen as a hot topic issue because the information gathered was not secured by the user, and therefore in the public domain. But, it does brings up some interesting points which many users seem to forget when they surf or post to social media.

For any social media sites, you should follow these rules:

Rule #1: Do not post private information on the internet, regardless of security or visibility options. If you are not comfortable with sharing your location with 1.1 billion users, it is strongly recommended you avoid posting that information. Be wary of who might use your profile against you.

Rule #2: Try to keep separate social media profiles for work and personal. LinkedIn and Facebook are perfect examples. LinkedIn, while useful for businesses, is not geared towards someone looking to keep in touch with friends

Computer Forensics Expert: Traveling? Treat Your Laptop Like Cash!

download (51)In today’s society, traveling with a laptop seems like an everyday occurrence, whether for “mobile office” or just personal use. There are some things you should be aware of when traveling with your laptop. Since it is portable and portable items can be easily lost or stolen. Here are a few tips to help avoid heartache and an employer’s wrath.

#1 Treat your laptop like cash. Some of the information might be replaceable. Other information, however, may be irreplaceable. There is also the risk of someone using the information to further their cause (attempt to sell it back to you, or one of your competitors). If nothing else, it will be the hell and countless hours you have to go through to get another machine and get it setup just like the laptop which disappeared.

#2 Never leave your laptop alone and exposed, ANYWHERE! Not in the car, not in a conference, not anywhere someone armed with a crowbar or just a bag can easily grab it. Airports are especially notorious for this type of theft.

#3 Invest in a security lock. These long steel cables

What Are the Biggest Issues Facing Forensic Accountants

images (29)Whether it is for the purposes of business valuation or other analysis of complicated data, an accountant can play an important role in identifying problems and establishing new protocol going forward. The forensic accountant will usually combine fiscal and legal skills in determining the presence of a crime or/and identifying those factors that should be considered in a business valuation. This role is increasingly more valuable since economic difficulties in 2008 have caused many businesses to analyze their activities much more closely in light of potential fraud. Since 2008, there have been key changes in crime and the way that the FBI and other government authorities pursue fraud.

The FBI, for example, created positions in this field within their own department and currently 15% of staff are specialists working on issues such valuation of companies and calculation of damages. Playing the role of forensic accountant can be a critical one as it will impact many individuals whether in a business valuation or a fraud sense. Perception is a key issue that forensic accountants face.

Although many clients could see forensics as just another accountant, there

Data Loss Prevention, The Unintentional Attacker

download (49)MOM! Means, Opportunity and Motive. When thinking about the risk of theft, be it a household article, towels from a hospital, books from the library, the perfect culprit is the person who has the means to perpetuate the act, the opportunity to do such and a motive or reason. Amazingly, most scenarios discussed in the world of information security are paralleled in our everyday lives. How many times have we suspected an insider job? A homeowner can often detect or control an outsider’s attempt to enter and remove any asset without authorization. Chances are he or she would immediately see physical signs of a forced entry. Broken window, kicked in door etc. Of course it will not be as apparent if controls were not in place. As a home owner we try our best to activate our deterrent, detection, prevention mechanisms when they are needed. The game changes if one has no policies as to who visits our home, what they can do in our home, how our valuables are managed in our home and how much access that visitor has.

A visitor

How to Become a Professional Ethical Hacker

download (48)As with time, while we developed the technology and we are keeping busy like a bee, we have been able to drastically evolve and improve the level of technology. But with the evolution of technology, it also left behind, its residue and that has turned out to be the vulnerability and the loops of the technology which could lead to a situation of hacking, where the important information and data might be accessed in the purpose of theft, modification or destruction etc. So, these hackers turned to be the troubled-genius of the information systems where they can combat and breach the enabled security in your device and can leave you mugged.

In recent times, the need for the Information security also increased, where someone can help in preventing the situation like these and can save you from the moments of apocalypse. Now, these people who are the nemesis to their unethical counterparts, have been able to help us in providing the proactive Information security and save us from going into sleepless nights. They ensure the safety and the security of our data and information

Secure Your Web Application Like Your Own House

images (28)An easy way to view web application security is by picturing your own house. It has a front door, a back door, windows, a number of rooms, a roof, boundary fences and different access routes. Only the terminology is different.

The Front Door.
The front door of any web application is the login page and, not surprisingly, it is the primary point of attack. A login page will consist of edit boxes to type a user name and password and a button to send these for the server to authenticate your access to the rest of the web application. Some login pages may provide a captcha to make sure you are a human being and not a mock-up of the same form on a different server. The mock-up form will cycle through variations of user names and passwords until it gains access to the application. This is known as cross-site forgery and is akin to a burglar forging the keys to your house.

Captchas are jumbled images of scrambled letters and numbers which make it impossible for an automated script to read. Unfortunately, as the

4 Reasons Why Managed IT Support Services Teams Outperform the In-House Technicians

download (47)Every mid-sized business wishes to have its own in-house IT team. This team performs a range of activities related to troubleshooting and maintaining the computer network. After all, a business needs having a team by its side every day so that IT catastrophes get averted way before they wreck the entire system. However, do such mishaps come to pass daily? No, they don’t.

For this reason, you’ll notice countless businesses that prefer having a managed service provider rather than an in-house IT team. Any mid-sized business having in-house IT techs complains that they mostly eat away the resources even when the network is running smoothly-and that’s just one of the many reasons why companies prefer a managed service provider. So read further if you’re blowing hot and cold on bringing on board a provider offering managed IT services in any other part of the world.

A structure that’s built on trust and experience

Every leading managed services provider has a structure to perform the everyday IT activities; that is, every IT process-no matter how much critical it has been-is tested, tried, and refined before it gets

Apple Vs FBI – Is It Over?

images (27)You probably know that the FBI sued Apple to make it crack the cell phone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. To order Apple to do this, the “All Writs Act” was used. The All Writs Act, passed more than 225 years ago is essentially a way to create a demand by Federal law enforcement when there are no other legal grounds for doing so.

As you also probably know, Apple refused at first, and took a little while to craft a response to the court so as not to have to give in to the demands of the Feds. And as you may know, some unknown company, individual or group (currently believed to be grey-hat pro hackers) gave the FBI a method to crack it themselves.

So, what the issue here? Apple had cracked many iPhones for the FBI before.

At stake was one of Apple’s main selling points, and that is the security of its flagship device. Apple has cracked its devices in cooperation with government requests previously, but in this case, the device was one of the more modern iPhones, a

CSI18 – The Case of the Deadbeat Beauty

download (46)The Case of the Deadbeat Beauty

Not everything always works out in Forensicland. Sometimes we strike out. In more ways than one.

I was gazing out the tall windows of my office at the blue, blue Santa Barbara sky, with nary a cloud in sight. It was my 50-something birthday. The bills were ignored. It seemed like a perfect day.

Then the phone rang and a delightful voice answered. Ginger Justín. She laughed; she loved my jokes; she thought I was brilliant. She said I was perfect for her. As an expert. I reminded her of her dad. Her deceased dad. I should have taken the cue.

It seems that Ms. Justín’s dad had passed away – possibly with the help of Lynn Dallas, live-in companion – a companion who was in the latest version of dad’s will. Not only that, Ginger – kind, caring, lovely Ginger – had been written out of the will. Her siblings were still in there. The grandkids were still in there. Ms. Dallas’s companion animal was in there, for dog’s sake! Money for the companion’s companion! But nothing for Ginger.

Something had