Cracking Down On Crime
New software tools and strategies are enabling law enforcement officials to search computers and networks for proof that violators believed they had erased. Investigators now have software tools that can search PCs, servers, and networks for evidence such as text files, images, and emails that can be utilized to find white-collar criminals.
EnCase by Guidance Software, for example, establishes pieces of the hard drives of up to 20 PCs at the same time, reducing by 90 percent the time it would take to examine the hard drives separately.
In looking for pieces of proof, investigators look in locations a lot of computer users are unaware of, such as parts of deleted files. A search of this kind can yield what is needed to successfully bring a case against a criminal.
The emergence of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is one reason for the increase in forensic investigations, as it mandates firms to obtain, search, and keep electronic data. In addition, the California Security Breach law forces firms to look into and report incidents in which client-account data has been jeopardized.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the InformationWeek (02/23/04); Marlin, Steven .