forensic computers are specially designed devices that are used to investigate digital evidence relevant to a particular criminal investigation. They have revolutionized the way that law enforcement agencies handle cases that involve digital evidence. With the rise of technology, cybercrime has become more frequent and complex, making the need for forensic computers essential. As such, understanding the basics of forensic computers is crucial for both criminal justice professionals and the public. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what forensic computers are and how they are used in investigations.
What are Forensic Computers:
Forensic computers are specially designed devices used in the investigation of digital evidence relevant to specific criminal investigations. These computers are designed specifically for forensic purposes and contain specialized software and hardware that can recover and examine digital data from a wide variety of devices. Forensic computers are designed to preserve the integrity of the evidence they extract, ensuring that the evidence is admissible in court. Forensic computers can recover data from damaged hard drives or retrieve deleted files that can aid in investigations.
How do Forensic Computers work:
Forensic computers utilize several specialized applications, such as data carving, file recovery, and computer forensics software. They also feature customized hardware such as write-blockers that prevent write operations on the source drive, making sure the data stays preserved. These computers are equipped with advanced tools, including disk cloning, password cracking, and forensic imaging software. Imaging software is a critical component of forensic computing since it creates a bit-for-bit copy of a hard drive, ensuring everything extracted is admissible evidence in court. In addition, forensic analysts can use other software to index, organize, and search the data.
Who Uses Forensic Computers:
Forensic computers are used by law enforcement agencies to investigate various digital crimes such as cyberstalking, hacking, identity theft, and other forms of cybercrime. However, it’s not just law enforcement agencies that use forensic computers. Organizations such as corporations and financial institutions use forensic computers to investigate cybercrimes committed against them or to prevent crimes from happening. Some individuals may use forensic computers to investigate incidents such as cyberbullying, harassment, or to monitor their computer use. In short, forensic computers are used anytime an investigation involves investigating digital evidence.
What to Consider When Buying Forensic Computers:
When buying forensic computers, it’s crucial to consider the specifications that the device needs to display. For example, forensic computers should meet the American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) accreditation standards. The computer should have at least two internal hard drives, one for the operating system, and the other for storing the data acquired from digital devices. The forensic computer should also have customized software that can extract digital evidence while maintaining data integrity. Other factors to consider include storage capacity, memory, and processing speed that align with the needs of the forensic analyst.
Conclusion: The rise of cybercrime has made forensic computers essential for investigating digital evidence. Forensic computers are specially designed devices that recover and examine digital data relevant to specific criminal investigations. They contain specialized software such as data carving, file recovery, and computer forensics software. Forensic computers work by utilizing specialized hardware and custom-built software designed to preserve the integrity of the data extracted. Forensic computers are beneficial for law enforcement agencies, organizations, and individuals who need to engage in digital investigations. Before buying forensic computers, it’s crucial to ensure that the devices meet the necessary ASCLD/LAB standards, have customized software, ample storage capacity, memory, and processing speed. As technology continues to evolve, understanding the fundamentals of forensic computers is key to keeping up with cutting-edge forensic investigations.