National Computer Forensic Institute To Analyze Digital Evidence
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Alabama state officials have unveiled the National Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover, Ala., to assist in the field of computer forensics and digital evidence analysis.
The institute is partially funded by the department’s National Cyber Security Division and will be developed by the U.S Secret Service.
It will serve as a national cyber crimes training facility where state and local police officers, as well as prosecutors and judges, will be offered training and equipment.
“The same technologies that are a part of everyday life in the 21st century are routinely used by criminal groups for their nefarious activities,” says Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “This institute will turn the tables on these criminal groups and equip law enforcement with sophisticated skills to use the same technologies in combating criminal activity.”
Law enforcement agencies routinely encounter computer or digital evidence, and the level of training for state and local police departments is diverse. The National Computer Forensic Training Institute will provide training and tools for state and federal law enforcement to meet the challenges ahead.
“Today’s high-tech environment presents new challenges to law enforcement as cyber criminals exploit computers and the Internet to threaten our banking, financial and critical infrastructures,” says Secret Service Deputy Director Brian Nagel. “As a result, law enforcement has been propelled into technologically non-traditional terrain requiring specialized skills and innovative applications of traditional investigative strategies. It is imperative to address the changes in technology by providing training on cyber-investigative techniques and by sharing current expertise among federal, state and local officers.”
The facility will include classrooms, a computer forensic lab with a research and development area, an evidence vault, storage and server rooms, public education exhibit space and a conference room. Training will be based on the current U.S. Secret Service curriculum and will include basic electronic crimes investigation and network intrusion.