Career in computer forensics may sound weird or unusual, but it is not that new. In fact, it’s been around for decades, and it is increasingly becoming an integral part of security and investigation industry.
A country which is paying a particular attention t computer forensics now is, you name it – the United States.
Basically, computer forensics is a branch of science that refers to the legal evidence retrieved from computers, digital storage media as well as its associated accessories. It is used to locate data, analyze, track back the source or culprits and ultimately solve crime.
Imagine one Gil Grissom in the CSI series carefully combing a crime scene occupied with a few dead bodies, shattered glasses, guns, weapons and blood stains for evidence that would ultimately lead to the criminals. Replace the crime scene with a computer system, and you get computer forensics. Sometimes, computer forensics, for obvious reason is referred as ‘digital forensic’.
Just like the physical forensics, digital forensics uses 5 basic investigative steps – preparation, collection, examination, analysis and reporting.
As a pre-requisite, someone wishing to kick start his or her career in computer forensics would need to have the knowledge about the computer (hardware and software), the peripherals, the network, web technologies, mobile network and the overall associated system. The more he knows, the better. In fact, those who had previously done some pretty nasty and unethical work such as hacking and stealing information online would be preferred, since this give them the upper hand over other candidates.
One of the famous cases involving computer forensics involved an intern, Chandra Levy from the Washington, which had been traveling and logging her traveling arrangement via email and the web mail. After her sudden disappearance in 2001, the police team search for clues and information on her through her computer system, which led to the discovery of her body in the city’s public park.