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Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Computer forensics discussion. Please ensure that your post is not better suited to one of the forums below (if it is, please post it there instead!)
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Senior Member

Re: Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Post Posted: Jan 03, 18 08:04

- marcyu

strange case....only from a perspective of things dont really add up to me

The investigator probably should have gotten the other side of the conversation as well; not sure of the jurisdictional issues but since they apparently had the credentials, they may have been able to get permission from the owner or the court to use them.

But excusing that, the accused would have received the brief of evidence from the prosecution and seen the facebook messages being used against him. He would have been able to see the conversation and say "wait..that didn't happen that way".

He didn't delete the messages on his account...so they would have been on his facebook account still? I just did a quick test and deleted my sent messages from one account, and they still appeared on the other.

Just odd that he didn't present his side  

Senior Member

Re: Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Post Posted: Jan 03, 18 08:28

I think part of the problem, both in the UK and the US, is that many forces still believe that Officers should be the primary digital investigation team.

Although I agree with developing links with external contractors and companies to provide external assistance, this should usually be used for cases where the expertise does not exist in house. A good example would be hardware repair of an important hard disk. The ultimate problem with having the majority of your digital investigation team externally is the lack of control you have over the quality and the bureaucracy involved in tender processes which never actually ascertain how good a company is.

For digital investigation teams you need technical experience and investigative capability in about equal measures. As such some officers you can train to do learn the technical skills but a lot of the time its easier to take technical people not just from Digital investigations degrees but also network admins, programmers and others and help them with the investigation/legal side.

The idea of front line officers all being trained to the correct level to do even basic examination of digital devices is the brain child of police forces who no longer have the resources to do the job properly so try and bodge a fix.  

Senior Member

Re: Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Post Posted: Jan 03, 18 08:52

Just follow the rule 'Best People on the Frontline'. But good people become seniors and move their office to the next upper floor. TotalLoss. We internally only put the Junior-Senior as twins on the frontline. No Junior self-running.  

Senior Member

Re: Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Post Posted: Jan 03, 18 13:16


The originally linked to article is on USAtoday and it is clearly a re-post.

Read the (BTW cited n the USA today article) supposed "original" :

Besides (what I already cited in my previous post):

From the outset, he insisted Facebook messages would demonstrate his innocence. He remained calm, believing common sense would prevail. Instead, he was charged and released on bail.

‘I had complete trust in the legal system at the time so thought I had nothing to worry about,’ said Mr Kay. For the next year, buoyed by friends and family, he was convinced his innocence would be established in court. When the week-long trial began, the prosecution presented Facebook messages to the jury as evidence of Mr Kay’s guilt. ‘My jaw dropped. I said to the prosecutor that there were other messages, that the conversations weren’t complete,’ he said. ‘But he got angrier and louder and kept saying, “I put it to you that you raped this girl and now you’re lying to this court.” ’

- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

Senior Member

Re: Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Post Posted: Jan 03, 18 13:34

- minime2k9
The police have to deal with a wide range of cases and although technology plays a big part in a lot of cases now, expecting them to be experts in all technology is unrealistic.

That is why you put civilian experts on expert positions and keep the suits and uniforms away until they can prove that they know what they are doing.

The situation in green-uniform agencies isn't much better, officers think that Cyber ops is like tracking down who is shooting missiles and then just firing back. They don't even have a basic understanding of spoofing and attacking via proxies (victims, not proxy servers) or anonymity services like Tor, they think compliance and generating infosec papers is more important than operational DFIR and actually stopping attacks... and they wonder why skilled people leave.  

Senior Member

Re: Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Post Posted: Jan 03, 18 14:08

- RolfGutmann
The question is how you find a top DF Professional?

And ordinary people cannot afford a top expert.

If money is standing in the way of proving your innocence, you bet your last dollar that I'm going to take out a loan or sell everything that I have. Honestly, DF services don't cost that much relatively speaking. The cases I've been hired for, it's usually less than $5,000.
Marc Yu
Vice President of Digital Forensics and e-Discovery 

Senior Member

Re: Why You Should Hire a DF Professional for Criminal Cases

Post Posted: Jan 03, 18 17:08

Yes they spend their last dime to proof innocence. Normal cases run like: People hope for the Police, they dont know of good DF professionals on the market. As the case evolves frustration about what the Police is doing grows, may a lawyer recommends to pay for a DF Professional.

But digital evidence on-site is a matter of immediately. My experience is if victims overcome the shock of abuse do not take immediately into account to 'freeze the digital layer'. After bringing a case to the Police they hand it over to the prosecution department (Staatsanwaltschaft). They - I agree are lawyers and incompetent.

Suspects do everything to 'hide the crime' - they are more active than victims in a shocked-state.
If suspects hear that a criminal complaint was started (they get informed from the prosec dept.), they realize 'oh shit'. Hiding starts.

Reality is manytimes better in respect that suspects are also digitally incompetent and do not know the skills of digital examiners. This helps to find evidence.

Organized crime - I deal with these guys - are perfect in deception and digitally camouflage. But humans make mistakes - Police too - and this is the only chance.

BTW we recently had a case of mafia where they transfered tiny paper-messages in Panini FIFA 365 envelopes handing them over to the bosses's children by visiting them. We found the Point-of-Kill as we physically saw the clear-cutted envelopes. Children don't do this Smile

Back to: How you know a DF Professional is capable of cracking the criminal element as he is master in the technical domain?  

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