In today’s world, more and more information, documents, conversations, photos and more are produced and stored digitally. When this same information becomes important in potential court and legal cases, a digital forensics expert may be needed to complete any pertinent investigation. Digital forensics is often used in case investigations, including those involving a disloyal spouse.
If you are considering digital forensics in the Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC areas, contact Prudential Associates today for a case evaluation.
What is digital forensics
Digital forensics is about the investigation and recovery of material found in digital devices, sometimes as it relates to computer crime. At one time digital forensics and computer forensics meant just about the same thing. That has all changed. Now it is about all devices that can store digital data.
Digital forensics began with the personal computer explosion in the 1980s and evolved standards and practices fully in the 21st century after a couple of decades of haphazard development.
The most common forensic analysis is used to recover data to support or refute theories before a criminal court. Sometimes it is used to identify other suspects or crimes.
Today, eDiscovery is a type of discovery used by forensic investigators in civil litigation. Intrusion investigation is a specialist investigation into the nature and extent of a network hack or intrusion.
There are several sub-branches of digital forensics, including computer forensics, network forensics, database forensics, and mobile device forensics.
The digital forensic process
The digital forensic process involves the seizure, acquisition, and analysis of various digital media. Reports are then produced of the collected evidence for a court or client. Digital evidence can be used to connect evidence to a specific individual. It can help determine alibis, intent, sources, perhaps in a copyright case, or determine the authenticity of documents.
The digital forensic process usually consists of three stages:
- Acquisition and imaging of exhibits
Acquisition means creating an exact duplicate of the media to be analyzed. The data is blocked from further modification. The copy and original are compared to make sure they match exactly.
In analysis, a number of tools and methods are used to recover evidence. For example, a keyword search may be done across the media, including deleted files. That evidence is reconstructed to recreate actions and to reach conclusions.
When the investigation is complete, a written report is produced.
For more information about digital forensics investigations in Maryland, Washington DC or Virginia and how Prudential Associates may help, contact us today.