Computers and other digital devices are ubiquitous in our everyday lives. They can be used for both personal and professional purposes. Unfortunately, the fact that digital technology is so prevalent in our lives means that its involvement in crime is also increasing. Digital forensics has thus become an important field. Digital forensics involves uncovering and examining any evidence located on any electronic devices. Digital forensics is rife with challenges, including that information on a computer system can be changed without a trace, the scale of data to be analyzed is huge, and the variety of data types is enormous. A digital forensics investigator needs to be able to make sense of any piece of data from any electronic device.
Digital forensics serves two primary purposes, and both are teeming with challenges. First, computers or digital devices can contain incidental evidence that a crime occurred in the physical world. However, computerization makes evidence harder to analyze than paper records. Other digital forensics cases are those in which crimes inherently involve computer systems, including hacking. The biggest challenges with these types of investigations are the technical sophistication of the systems and the amount of evidence that needs to be analyzed.
Digital evidence requires special handling and analysis. If handled improperly, electronic data can easily be changed, erased, or damaged. For example, simply turning on an app on a phone can mess with critical data. Furthermore, computers might contain hidden evidence that can only be revealed if specialized tools are used.
Future blogs will dig deeper into the vast world of digital forensics. In the meantime, Forletta can help you with any of your digital forensics investigations. Our knowledgeable Cleveland- and Pittsburgh-based private investigators are ready and willing to help. Contact us today for a consultation.
Garfinkel, Simson L. (2013). Digital Forensics. American Scientist.