Deadbolt Forensics Provides Advice on Why Attorneys Need Digital Forensics Agencies When Investigating Criminal and Civil Matters


(PRWEB) August 05, 2014

In today’s day and age, technology issues have popped up everywhere in criminal and civil matters. Many law firms are inundated with cases related to corporate data breaches, employee misconduct and intellectual property theft. Most recently, in the case of Moyer v. Michaels (Art & Supply) (Case No. 1:140cv-00561, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois) the company was charged with exposing as many as 2.6 million customer credit and debit card numbers in a data breach. The cyber-attack which occurred from May 8, 2013 – Jan. 27, 2014 left customers vulnerable to identity theft, fraudulent payments and account withdrawals.

In cases like these, it is very important for law firms to hire the proper digital forensics investigator as they are experienced in technology footprints and how data moves throughout the system. Conducting a proper digital investigation can often times determine the ultimate success of the firm.

Michael Yasumoto, Senior Forensic Analyst at Deadbolt Forensics has provided these tips to attorneys on how Digital Forensics agencies can help their next technology related case on the following issues:

Recovery of hidden or destroyed data, including formatted hard drives


    Time is of the essence here. Deleted and formatted data can be recovered but the drive needs to be examined immediately in order to increase the chances of successful recovery. If drives continue to be used after important data is lost, new files may overwrite and prevent recovery of the deleted evidence.
    Many “hidden” files are easily revealed through a forensic analysis. Whether the file is improperly named (a .jpg renamed to a .doc file) or hidden within another file (a .jpg embedded within a .doc file) they can be easily located and flagged for closer scrutiny.

Mobile forensics evidence including cell phones (both smart and feature phones), PDAs, GPS devices and tablets/iPads

    Most mobile devices keep track of their location in order to decrease the time it takes to connect to the cellular network. By reviewing this location information as part of a forensic exam, it is possible to get a date and time stamped record of where these devices have been.
    It is more common today for young people to communicate using third party apps like whatsapp, viper, and snapchat than to use more traditional forms like email and text messages. Despite the claims made by these apps regarding security, the contents of these communications can usually be recovered using forensic techniques.

Theft of intellectual property or trade secrets

    When an employee departs, it is becoming more and more prudent these days to preemptively create forensic copies of their computer and mobile phone so that all possible evidence is preserved if needed in the future. In case of IP litigation at a future date, it then becomes a matter of reviewing the preserved evidence to show removal of company IP. Without this preemptive action, there is the risk that the forensic artifacts proving the theft will be deleted, if they are not already erased, and eventually overwritten by the next employee during regular business use. Law firms can greatly benefit from learning why a digital investigation is needed, what steps to take within an investigation and who should be involved. These simple facts could save their firm thousands.

For more information on Deadbolt Forensics please visit their website at https://www.deadboltforensics.com.

About Deadbolt Forensics

Deadbolt Forensics is a privately held company focused on digital forensics and the associated services of data preservation, electronic evidence retrieval, analysis, neutral expert witness services, hard drive sanitization, and password/data recovery. The company works directly with attorneys and litigation support teams in both criminal and civil cases supporting plaintiff and defense clients. Deadbolt Forensics accepts clients in the states of Oregon (Registry# 906073-92), Washington (License# 603343020), and Alaska (License# 1000625). For more information on pro bono services offered to our partners in the non-profit sector, please contact us at publicrelations(at)deadboltforensics(dot)com.

Contact:

Deadbolt Forensics, LLC

1915 NW AmberGlen Pkwy Suite 400 Beaverton, OR 97006

Phone: (503) 683-7138

Fax: (503) 296-5504

Email: info(at)deadboltforensics(dot)com

Web: https://www.deadboltforensics.com/







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Prominent Forensics & Analytics Expert Anton Litchfield Joins Discovia as Vice President of Forensics


San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) July 22, 2014

Discovia, a leading global provider of eDiscovery services to corporations, law firms and government entities, announced today that it has expanded its senior data forensics team with the hiring of Anton Litchfield as Vice President of Forensics. He is based in Vancouver, Washington and can be contacted at anton(dot)litchfield(at)discovia(dot)com.

“I am extremely excited to join Discovia as the next step in my professional career,” said Litchfield. “Discovia is a well-run company staffed with proven industry experts who utilize cutting-edge technologies and workflows to help clients achieve favorable results. It seems like the perfect fit for me and I look forward to adding my law enforcement and private sector investigative experience to the Discovia team.”

Litchfield will assist law firms, corporate legal departments and federal, state and local governments with corporate governance, internal investigations, data collection, data forensics and analytics, and cybercrime prevention. Prior to joining Discovia, he was Vice President of Forensics & Analytics at Epiq Systems. He held a similar position at Encore Discovery Solutions, which was acquired by Epiq in 2011, and previously was Managing Director of the data forensics consulting practice at Bridge City Legal and Managing Principal of the data forensics practice at New Technologies, Inc. (NTI). He is an EnCase Certified Examiner and holds a professional certificate in computer forensics from Oregon State University.

Since 1996 Litchfield has testified in over 50 jury trials, depositions, and hearings throughout the US and Canada. He has also served as a court appointed Special Master for computer discovery and forensics. Prior to moving to the United States he was a detective in the Ontario Provincial Police’s Child Pornography Unit (“Project P”). His investigations in Project P included child pornography crimes and matters involving the sexual exploitation of children. Mr. Litchfield has conducted joint forces investigations with law enforcement agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Customs, Interpol, the US Postal Inspectors Service, and the Toronto Police Service.

He regularly advises corporations, government entities, and law firms on issues involving electronic evidence preservation and collection. He has conducted computer forensic training classes that have been attended by US federal law enforcement officers, state and local law enforcement officers, military personnel, foreign government officials, and corporate computer security professionals.

“We are very excited about the addition of Anton to our data forensics team,” said Andy Crain, Discovia’s Vice President of Forensics and the unit’s practice leader. “As a former law enforcement officer, he has developed unique expertise in online investigations and data forensics and analytics. He brings to Discovia a sterling reputation as one of the eDiscovery industry’s leading consultants and expert witnesses.”

About Discovia

Discovia is a leading global provider of electronic discovery services to corporations and law firms handling litigation, internal and ITC investigations, and HSR Second Requests. Services include onsite and remote data collections, data minimization, data processing and hosting, expert application of leading technology-assisted review tools, document review management, and document productions. Through its proprietary processes, highly-automated operation and outstanding talent, Discovia delivers a 99.6 percent accuracy rate, data culling rates of over 95 percent for repeat clients, and a net promoter score of over 60 percent. Discovia is the first eDiscovery services firm to deliver a fixed-price managed service, enabling Fortune 500 corporate legal departments and law firms to gain a world-class eDiscovery function without building it internally. More information is available at 415-392-2900 or http://www.discovia.com.

Contacts

Nuala Coogan, Discovia

nuala(at)discovia(dot)com

415-321-8279







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Expert Witness Corner: The Importance of Computer Forensics in Criminal Law

In many instances old, or conventional crime is perpetrated using new approaches that are reliant on technology. Postal fraud, for instance, has evolved to employ electronic communication channels, giving rise to waves of emails seeking to defraud recipients with promises of money and fictitious prizes (commonly known as ‘419 scams’ as many of such notes tend to originate from the African continent and 419 is their penal code for wire fraud).

Studies into the cost of cyber-crime, commissioned independently by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reveal alarming trends in the abuse and misuse of technology. The average cost per security incident has risen to over £160,000 and nearly one in four businesses in the UK have suffered a serious hacker attack or virus outbreak. The impact of an information security breach can be so devastating to business operations that one in ten never actually recover and the shutters close permanently. To counter this growing threat, security and law enforcement agencies have adopted fresh approaches for dealing with high technology crime.

Forensic Computing is a relatively young science when compared to contact forensics such as fingerprint recognition which have roots that can be traced back to Edmond Locard, who in the early 1900s famously postulated the theory of evidence being left as ‘mutual exchanges of contact’. Whilst various descriptions exist in relation to this practice, the international survey undertaken by Hannen has been taken as the de-facto definition: ‘Processes or procedures involving monitoring, collection, analysis… as part of ‘a priori’ or ‘postmortem’ investigations of computer misuse’. It is important to appreciate that this definition takes a wider view than the conventional reactive description, where forensics was regarded purely as an incident response function. Hannen considers digital forensics as also taking a pro-active role in security, where it can be combined with intelligence and operational planning.

As a serious field of research, forensic computing studies only started to take real form in the early 1990s when, faced with ever increasing numbers of computers being seized at crime scenes and the potential for crucial evidence to be stored on a PC, various government agencies came together to host the International Conference on Computer Evidence (ICCE). Here many of the challenges facing law enforcement communities were aired and agreements forged to cooperate towards finding effective solutions.

Two years later, in 1995, the International Organisation for Computer Evidence (IOCE) was formed, and a further two years later the member states that comprise the G8 subscribed to the mission of IOCE, pledging support for the organisation. This was the catalyst required to stimulate research and development, and since then great advances have been made in all spheres of digital evidence management. When working on a matter where the case will rise or fall on the strength of digital evidence, for example where an allegation of possession of indecent images has been made, it is important to commission an independent forensic examination of all evidence and digital materials. This places the evidence into the wider context of the offence and enables barristers to make directions to the court based on a fuller appreciation of matter.

Assuming material has been seized by the authorities, the state will usually conduct their own forensic assessments (typically undertaken by the regional police hi-tech crime unit), the results of which will be provided to legal representations. The mechanics of this process involve the ‘imaging’ of the ‘target media’ – the process of making a forensically sound duplication of digital materials of interest (e.g. the computer hard drive). During this duplication process a ‘write-blocking’ device will be employed to ensure the target media is not affected or corrupted in any capacity whilst its content is read and mirrored. The actual forensic analysis is then made upon the duplicated material, with the original placed into secure storage and maintained in the state in which it was seized. The forensic analyst will then peruse the imaged copy to identify materials of potential evidence value, extracting copies as necessary to form the basis of the expert report.

Looking at this from a defence perspective, a number of questions should be posed in relation to the digital evidence (based on the Daubert threshold test that evaluates the competency of evidence in the United States):

• whether the theories and techniques employed by the scientific expert have been tested;

• whether they have been subjected to peer review and publication; • whether the techniques employed by the expert have a known error rate;

• whether they are subject to standards governing their application; and

• whether the theories and techniques employed by the expert enjoy widespread acceptance.

Putting abuses of technology on a statutory footing, Britain has a suite of legislation that can be invoked, from the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Today digital forensics is an accepted science, and evidence duly secured in relation to best practices (in the UK these guidelines are outlined by the Association of Chief Police Officers) can be served in a court of law. Digital forensics are providing breakthroughs in all manner of high profile cases around the world, helping security and law enforcement agencies to catch offenders and secure convictions.

In the US, for example, the notorious BTK serial killer that had a reign of terror lasting over twenty five years in the Wichita areas, was ultimately tracked down after he sent a disk to a local radio station gloating at the police’s inability to catch him. Unique digital footprints embedded within the files were extracted by forensic specialists, and like a lone fingerprint, investigators now had a powerful lead – all they needed was to match the file to the computer that had created it (much like having a fingerprint but not a suspect’s hand to match it with). Wichita Police then conducted a house to house search, taking file samples from every computer encountered. Back in the laboratory, the file footprints were compared to the sample disk posted by the BTK killer, eventually finding a match. This tied the floppy disk to Dennis Radar’s PC, a virtual smoking gun as far the prosecution were concerned. This digital evidence became a pivotal element of the State’s case and ultimately helped secure a conviction.

In the UK the 2002 murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, also saw digital forensics play a crucial, but largely unknown, role in the investigation. Technical analysts examined one of the girl’s mobile phone to identify where it was located when it had been turned off. Information on the nearest network communication tower tends to be stored in a phone’s memory and when the signal coverage of that tower is plotted, it is possible to identify the rough area (typically a few square kilometres) in which the phone was located when it was switched off. Having extracted this information from the handset, authorities had a rough idea of where to base their search; which ultimately led to the recovery of the two girl’s bodies.

Speaking in an interview several years after his pioneering research on the Manhattan Project where atomic reaction theory was developed, scientific visionary Oppenheimer explained that ‘the scientist is free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence’. This thinking holds especially true when applied to the discipline of forensic computing in a legal context. Here experts may be instructed by either the prosecution or the defence, however, in either instance, they have a higher duty to the court. They are instructed as experts, but experts for the truth. It is important therefore to ensure that the experts instructed are duly qualified, experienced and independent.

Commenting on the nature of digital evidence, John Brown, Partner at Hogan Brown Solicitors, explained how the fragile nature of digital evidence can pose serious challenges to the investigator: ‘digital material is extremely volatile – perhaps more delicate than its physical counterparts. It can be copied, amended, and transferred without almost any trace – only experienced and qualified specialists should be employed to work in a digital forensic environment if the subsequent findings are to withstand the scrutiny of a court of law’. When working on a matter where the case will rise or fall on the strength of the digital evidence, perhaps where an allegation of possession of indecent images has been made, it is important to commission an independent forensic examination of all evidence and digital materials. It is also important that lawyers, when they try to find an expert witness choose someone with the necessary skills who is not only able to prepare an objective, unbiased report but also deliver oral testimony if required.

Forensic computing and the securing of digital evidence is a powerful tool in today’s fight against increasingly technically-savvy criminals. It is a discipline that continues to evolve and should remain high on the radar for both legal practitioners and law enforcement authorities.

Ross Patel is a forensic computer consultant with Afentis Forensics. You can view the company profile and find an expert witness at X-Pro UK, the innovative expert witness directory.

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McCann E-Investigations Houston Computer Forensics Announces New Rates for Data Storage


Houston, TX (PRWEB) May 13, 2012

McCann E-Investigations (McCann EI), a Texas-based computer forensics firm announced that it will offer new storage rates for all data collected in computer forensics investigations. Many of McCann EIs clients have on-going cases which require storage of imaged data for future use. McCann will offer secure storage of client data at McCann EIs state-of-the-art computer forensics lab for as low as $ 0.75 per gigabyte per month.

Our technicians always work from copies made of the original data and the original drives are securely stored, said Dan Weiss, Partner and Licensed Private Investigator at McCann E-Investigations. Once the project is completed, we will now offer to store the copies of the data for future use, continued Weiss.

McCann EI will retain the data for forty five (45) days following the final report related to such data. After the 45 days, the client can agree to storage of all of the data at $ 0.75 per gigabyte per month. McCann EI will also provide secure destruction of all data related to the case upon the clients request. All hard drives will be permanently wiped and any case files will be securely disposed. It should be noted that the destruction of data and related case files is permanent, irreversible and irreparable. Should the case be re-opened, the data acquisition process would have to begin again at the normal rates.

After the 45 day retention period and absent other written agreement between McCann EI and the client, any data/equipment/media unclaimed or otherwise abandoned for a period in excess of thirty (30) days will be disposed of at McCann EIs discretion. McCann EI will not be responsible for data/equipment/media left in its possession beyond such thirty (30) day period.

About McCann EI:

http://www.einvestigations.com

Twitter: @McCannEI or https://twitter.com/#!/McCannEI

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/McCann-Investigations/203760582969139

Call us toll-free at 800-713-7670

McCann Investigators follow the trail and decipher the information regardless of whether the evidence is digital, such as electronically stored information found on computers, mobile phones or other devices or if the investigation requires traditional private investigative services. McCanns PI tools and techniques include surveillance, undercover work and detailed record searches. The final product helps our clients gain a deeper understanding of what has happened or what is occurring. The gained clarity and discovery of truth allows our clients to quickly respond and recover.

McCann EI is based out of our state-of-the-art forensic labs in Houston, which provide the latest in computer forensic and IT security technology. Our e-investigators combine digital skills with traditional private investigative techniques to provide you with an one-stop solution for your investigative needs. Our lab houses our computer forensics and electronic discovery service along with our databases, surveillance technology, and undercover investigators. Our investigators are experienced in providing expert witness testimony, including computer forensic testimony, in courts across Texas. Although we are headquartered in Houston, our investigators live in and work in cities all across Texas.

Call us toll-free at 800-713-7670 or speak to a local investigator:

Austin Computer Forensics: 512-377-6142

Houston Computer Forensics: 832-628-4904

Dallas Computer Forensics: 214-329-9059

Lubbock Computer Forensics: 806-589-0320

Lufkin Computer Forensics: 936-585-4070

Brownsville Computer Forensics: 956-465-0849







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McCann E-Investigations Austin Announces Launch of New Website Focused on Austin Computer Forensics


Austin, TX (PRWEB) June 03, 2012

McCann E-Investigations (McCann EI), a Texas-based computer forensics firm announced that it has launched a new website solely focused on Austin Computer Forensics. The new website will allow Austin customers to have access to information and overviews of Austin computer and digital forensics information with links to even more information at McCann EIs main site.

McCann EIs Austin computer forensics division provides digital services to law firms, private businesses as well as to individuals in various case types such as family law, bankruptcy, fraud and embezzlement. In addition to Austin computer forensics service, McCann EI Austin also provides digital forensics services and network breach remediation.

Austin, Texas is a vast market for computer forensics cases. said Gary Huestis, Director of Forensics Services at McCann E-Investigations. We provide multiple services to our Austin computer forensics clients including cases such as contentious divorces, intellectual property theft and non-compete enforcement. continued Huestis.

Gary Huestis is the Director of Forensic Services for McCann EIs Austin digital forensics. Mr. Huestis is an EnCase certified examiner and a licensed private investigator.

About McCann EI:

http://www.einvestigations.com

Twitter: @McCannEI or https://twitter.com/#!/McCannEI

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/McCann-Investigations/203760582969139

Call us toll-free at 800-713-7670

McCann Investigators follow the trail and decipher the information regardless of whether the evidence is digital, such as electronically stored information found on computers, mobile phones or other devices or if the investigation requires traditional private investigative services. McCanns PI tools and techniques include surveillance, undercover work and detailed record searches. The final product helps our clients gain a deeper understanding of what has happened or what is occurring. The gained clarity and discovery of truth allows our clients to quickly respond and recover.

McCann EI is based out of our state-of-the-art forensic labs in Houston, which provide the latest in computer forensic and IT security technology. Our e-investigators combine digital skills with traditional private investigative techniques to provide you with an one-stop solution for your investigative needs. Our lab houses our computer forensics and electronic discovery service along with our databases, surveillance technology, and undercover investigators. Our investigators are experienced in providing expert witness testimony, including computer forensic testimony, in courts across Texas. Although we are headquartered in Austin, our investigators live in and work in cities all across Texas.

Call us toll-free at 800-713-7670 or speak to a local investigator:

Austin Computer Forensics: 512-377-6142

Houston Computer Forensics: 832-628-4904

Dallas Computer Forensics: 214-329-9059

Lubbock Computer Forensics: 806-589-0320

Lufkin Computer Forensics: 936-585-4070

Brownsville Computer Forensics: 956-465-0849







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