Before people had access to computers no one knew about computer crimes. With the advent and development of computers crimes related to computers started happening. People started storing data in computers while they started committing crimes. Computers were also used for committing various hacking jobs and other computer related crimes. This led to the emergence of computer forensic investigators. The job of a computer investigator is to find out digital evidence found in computers and other digital storage devices. The evidence thus found can then be presented in the court of law.
The job of a computer investigator seems easy – they need to get hold of a computer where evidence is stored and then gather the data from it. There are many ways one can access the hard drive of the computer and copy the data from that hard drive. But then everyone would have been computer forensic investigators wouldn’t they? It is important to remember that the moment a file is opened it is deemed to have undergone some changes. The defense lawyer can successfully argue that the person that collected the data tampered with it because they opened the files. The evidence would fall flat on its face. Here is where the skill of a computer forensics expert comes into the forefront.
As part of their jobs, computer forensic investigators use modern techniques to collect data from computers. One of the techniques used in collecting data is to collect it by creating bit-stream copies. For the purpose of collecting data in this manner there is no need for a computer to be shut down. A computer investigator can sit in front of a running computer and collect data live. This, thus, can be used as evidence. While the data is collected a write blocking technique is used so that contaminated storage devices can be identified. And once the data capture is complete a unique hash sign is attached to it so that the integrity of the data is not compromised.
The magic of computer forensics is that even deleted data can be recovered. When someone deletes data from their computer they merely remove it from its location. With appropriate software applications a computer investigator can recover the data and present it as evidence. With modern computer criminals using advanced techniques like steganography it is absolutely impossible to recover data without the aid of professional computer forensic investigators.
If you want evidence to be collected from a single computer or a group of computers for the purpose of fighting in court the only way to do this is through the expertise of computer forensic investigators. Modern computers can store terabytes of data and it is virtually impossible for a single person to recover the data. However, a company dealing with this field of work can hire more than one computer investigator to get the job within time and with sufficient integrity for you to use in court. You can always rely on these professionals to give you the data you want.