Digital forensics is an extensive process, and a secure environment is required to recover and secure digital evidence. Each subset of digital forensics may have its own specific guidelines for conducting investigations and handling evidence. For example, cell phones may be required to be placed in a Faraday shield during seizure or capture to prevent the device from receiving further radio traffic.
In criminal investigations, national laws limit the scope of information that can be seized. In the United Kingdom, for example, the seizure of evidence by law enforcement is governed by the PACE Act. At its inception, the International Computer Evidence Organization was a body that worked to establish compatible international standards for evidence seizure. The job of a forensic computer analyst is to investigate criminal incidents and data breaches.
Job titles for computer forensic experts vary widely, but generally they are variations on a theme. Commonly encountered designations are: Digital Forensic Engineer, Digital Forensic Investigator, Digital Forensic Specialist, Digital Forensic Analyst, Digital Forensic Examiner, Digital Forensic Technician, and others. In this case, investigators analyze and reconstruct digital activity without the use of digital artifacts. Artifacts include evidence of a digital crime, such as changes in file attributes during data theft.
The CHFI presents a methodical approach to computer forensics that includes the search and seizure of digital evidence, as well as the collection, storage, analysis, and reporting of that evidence to serve as valid information in investigations. A CHFI may use various methods to obtain data from a computer system, cloud service, cell phone, or other digital device. Recovered data is often used as evidence in criminal trials, but is also sometimes recovered for businesses after a data breach. In addition, the criminals investigated by computer forensic experts are not always cyber criminals. Since almost everyone uses a computer, there is often valuable information on your personal device that can contribute to an investigation.
Today, digital forensic tools can be classified as open source digital forensic tools, digital forensic hardware tools, and many others. Digital forensics is a branch of forensic science that deals with the recovery and examination of material found on digital devices related to cybercrime. Since then, the term has expanded to include the investigation of any device that can store digital data. Although the first computer crime was reported in 1978, followed by the Florida Computer Act, it did not become a recognized term until the 1990s.
In the 1980s, there were very few digital forensic tools, forcing forensic investigators to perform live analysis and use existing system management tools to extract evidence. This risks altering data on disk, which can lead to lawsuits for tampering with evidence. Digital forensics is concerned with the identification, preservation, examination, and analysis of digital evidence using scientifically accepted and validated methods for use in court and in public. Electronic evidence is a component of nearly all criminal activity, and digital forensic support is critical to police investigations.
SMS data from a mobile device investigation helped exonerate Patrick Lumumba in the murder of Meredith Kercher. Digital forensics is not limited to recovering data from computers, as criminals are breaking the law and small digital devices (e.g., tablets, smartphones, flash drives) are now widely used. There are sufficient methods for retrieving data from volatile memory, but there is a lack of detailed methodology or framework for retrieving data from non-volatile memory sources. Depending on the type of device, media, or artifact, digital forensic investigation branches into several types.
In the context of intrusion detection, digital forensic techniques can be used to analyze a suspected compromised system in a methodical manner. The details of the intrusion may also require a forensic investigation, such as in the context of personal data theft in regions covered by one or more data breach disclosure laws. In the context of intrusion detection, digital forensic techniques can be used to methodically analyze a suspected compromised data breach system. The details of the intrusion may also require forensic investigation, such as those related to the theft of personal data in regions covered by one or more data breach disclosure laws. Computer forensic experts are able to scan networks and examine security event logs, network traffic and credentials to draw conclusions about a cyberattack. First, investigators find evidence on electronic devices and store the data on a secure drive.