Live box computer forensics and Internet sex crimes

There are very few people who don’t have some sort of computer access every day. As a result, computer crime is increasing very quickly. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has a mission to identify online sexual predators who target and exploit children, to identify those who seek to steal intellectual property and to tear down the criminal organizations who are involved in Internet fraud.

The FBI says that over $100 billion is the cost of cybercrime each year. However, computer forensics has also been used in murder cases, such as the serial murder BTK case and the Laci Peterson murder. When it comes to sex crimes, an investigation using computer forensics is done the same way as other investigations. Highly skilled and trained personnel follow specific protocol when gathering evidence from the computer and the computer itself.

Cyber forensics has traditionally focused on “dead-box” analysis. This means that investigators analyze data at rest — the computer is off when a copy is made of the hard drive. This has been the technique used for the last 15 years without much change. Now, however, “live-box” forensics, utilizes one to four gigabytes of information on the computer that is often overlooked. It gives investigators access to the information that is in the computer’s memory chips. It also gives investigators access to whatever might be on the live hard drive. When the computer is shut down, all of that information on the memory chips is lost.

Using a combination of dead-box and live-box forensics gives investigators the computer’s complete data for use as evidence in the case.

If you have been charged with an Internet sex crime, it’s essential that any evidence to be used against you is carefully explored by a defense expert. An attorney who is well-versed in cyber sex crimes can be a valuable ally for you.

Source: Evidence Technology Magazine, “Computer Forensics,” Rich Cummings, accessed Oct. 12, 2015