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Sunday, September 21st

UK Private Investigator Blog - "Forensic computing"


Hi,

I am partnered with several other UK and international firms who can offer forensic computing investigation services. Itís quite a title isnít it? Forensic computing can involve the following investigations:-

1) Hard drive evidence gathering. This is usually used by companies to find out if personnel are stealing company information, it includes details on which files have been accessed at what time, if theyíve been moved to a pen drive or emailed to someone.

2) Email / IM evidence gathering. Worried parents can order this kind of investigation to find out if their child is being the victim of an internet predator. It involves finding and reading chat logs of the childís instant messaging conversations and tracing the person theyíre talking to. Obviously, there have been several high-profile arrests made of predators due to this kind of investigation but thereís still a very real concern about the childís privacy. Usually the investigator will need some additional evidence to support doing this kind of forensic computing and will only tell you if there have been any indecent conversations found, not provide you with a transcript of all of the childís conversations. Companies will also use this kind of investigation on employees they suspect may be stealing clients away form them, obviously they would have to have the employee sign an agreement at the start of employment to say their emails may be monitored.

3) Firewall investigations. Itís not unusual for employees to find ways of circumventing the office firewall and access indecent images or be using the company computer for illegal behaviour. Thatís a worry for most managers as it can open the firm up to embarrassing lawsuits. Such forensic computing would provide a list of firewall violations and what computer on the network they came from.

Remember, computers donít commit crimes - people do.

Thanks,
Andy

Andy on 09.21.08 @ 06:00 AM CST [link]

Sunday, September 7th

UK Private Investigator Blog - "Justice data missing"


Hi,

The ministry of justice has lost the data of thousands of itís staff members. It was posted from the justice office at Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire during July 2007 for testing at a data centre in Washington, Tyne and Wear. It was then moved to an EDS facility in Telford, Shropshire, where in July 2008 an employee went to use the data and found it to be missing.

The missing disc contained the names, DOBs, national insurance numbers and employee codes of 5,000 staff members. The government were quick to point out that the disc is not thought to be in ďthe wrong handsĒ. Obviously, this statement suggests the disc wasnít thought to be removed from the data centre itís just missing somewhere inside the facility.

The Justice secretary Jack Straw has ordered an enquiry into the data loss. A spokesperson from the Ministry of Justice said: "We believe nearly all of this data related to financial information - for example, invoices from Prison Service suppliers. However, we believe there is also a limited amount of personal information on around 5,000 NOMS employees including their names, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers and employee numbers."

Personal data losses are becoming more common as the availability of our personal data increases, and the devices storing them become smaller. In recent months the government has owned up to several missing data files, for which I think they should be commended. I doubt commercial businesses are as forthcoming and Iíd bet the personal data loss in the commercial sector is higher than in the government sector.

Half the problem is that the persons holding and using the data arenít properly trained in the laws and procedures governing their usage. A 2-hour course in data protection and management is not sufficient and constant refresher courses should be available in my opinion to all staff members in all sectors.

Thanks,
Andy

Andy on 09.07.08 @ 04:05 AM CST [link]