Computer Forensics Expert: Traveling? Treat Your Laptop Like Cash!

In today’s society, traveling with a laptop seems like an everyday occurrence, whether for “mobile office” or just personal use. There are some things you should be aware of when traveling with your laptop. Since it is portable and portable items can be easily lost or stolen. Here are a few tips to help avoid heartache and an employer’s wrath.

#1 Treat your laptop like cash. Some of the information might be replaceable. Other information, however, may be irreplaceable. There is also the risk of someone using the information to further their cause (attempt to sell it back to you, or one of your competitors). If nothing else, it will be the hell and countless hours you have to go through to get another machine and get it setup just like the laptop which disappeared.

#2 Never leave your laptop alone and exposed, ANYWHERE! Not in the car, not in a conference, not anywhere someone armed with a crowbar or just a bag can easily grab it. Airports are especially notorious for this type of theft.

#3 Invest in a security lock. These long steel cables can be used to lock your laptop to a bench, table, or other stationary object, via a dial (or padlock) which can only be removed by someone with the code or key. Otherwise, the computer has to be damaged to remove it from this lock. One way to increase the difficulty of taking your laptop from an exposed area is to run the cable through the handles of your brief case, thus adding a damper to a swift pull. That is: if your handles absorb some of the tug of someone trying to make off with your laptop, it will be much harder for them to yank the lock mechanism from your laptop. We recommend that employees be required to use a lock even if their laptop is in the trunk of the car. If attending a conference, the laptop should be locked to a table or some other object which is difficult to move. The idea is to deter the casual thief. Most thefts are non-targeted and opportunistic. By placing a lock on your laptop you are preventing this from possibly happening. A good lock costs about $25 and can be found at most electronics retailers.

#4 Never carry written passwords with your computer. If you must write down passwords (we recommend you never do, but we realize this is not realistic for some) keep them in a separate bag or in your wallet. So in the event your computer is stolen, you still have your passwords which can changed if needed.

Computer Forensics and Hacking Expert Witness: Howdy, I’m a Hacker!

The most common visual is the pale nerd in his mother’s basement who is getting into his university server to change his rivals grades to failing ones. Then there are the various Hollywood depictions which show “master criminals” manipulating traffic signals and financial markets. This is a fairly recent use of the word “hacker” and for years before it had a very different meaning.

In the early 90’s when Linux (a popular free computer operating system) was introduced, the word hacker did not even exist. Users of these operating systems referred to themselves as “hackers”, only due to their ability to manipulate and reuse programming code for their own purposes, outside of its originally intended purpose. If you think of them as chefs, everyone has that one basic recipe for lobster bisque, but each chef will put their own spin on the recipe to make it their own. They were / are very competent programmers that had a passion for writing their own programs.

The majority of these “hackers” used their skills for good. For example, helping a friend who needed new software to help keep track of inventory at a grocery store. Then there are some more famous hackers, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who made a lot of money creating a consumer computer for the home. A small percentage used their skills for less than honorable purposes, such as Kevin Poulsen and Adrian Lamo. These dishonorable hackers are what gave the noble hobby of computer manipulation its bad name.

Due to the large amount of media attention on the subject, in recent years, the term “hacker” has become synonymous with crime and people using their skills to steal and create fear. While this may be true in some instances, it is not the majority. Now we distinguish good from evil with (figurative) hats:

“White hat hacker” or “Ethical Hacker” is person who hacks for good to find their own or other organization’s vulnerabilities and report them for improvement.

When the term “Black” is useed along with “Hacker” they are considered to be someone who hacks for evil maliciousness or personal gain.

“Gray hat hackers” are in that limbo status between the two who may offer to repair a vulnerability for a fee.

“Blue hat hacker” are usually outside computer security consulting firms who test software or systems for bugs looking for exploits so they can be closed prior to software or system release.

Remember: not all hackers are bad.

Aspiring To Get A Job In Computer Forensics? Check Out This Post

Do you think you have control over all your valuable assets, including trillions of dollars of transactions happening all around the year? If yes, then I am sure you must have developed a sophisticated and multi-faced approach to cyber-security in advance and if no, then you must consider developing one. With the era of digitization, cybercrime is increasing at a rapid rate. After all, there are tons of high school students hacking into systems in their spare time and most of the current attacks are initiated through such gimmicks.

Computer Forensics is a highly specialized area where investigators are charged for uncovering or fighting cyber crime for law enforcement agencies. These professionals spend most of their time working on computers, either in an office or digital laboratory setting. A computer forensics expert is mostly meant to work on digital artifacts such as computer systems, hard drives, CD’s and several other storage devices, electronic documents and files like emails, JPEG images, etc.

Job Description

Like I said before, a computer forensics investigator is a trained professional who works with law enforcement agencies as well as private firms to retrieve all the missing information from the computers or any other electronic device. Being an analyst, you need to work within the law enforcement and he or she can also be tested the security of a private company’s information system. In addition to this, as a computer forensics expert, you also need to carry the excellent working knowledge of all aspects of the world of computers. And if you are seriously thinking about making a career in this field, then always remember that patience and the willingness to work long hours is well suited for this position.

Job Duties

During any criminal investigation, an analyst recovers and examines data from computers and electronic devices in order to use the data as evidence in criminal prosecutions. In case of any damage to the equipment, the computer forensics expert should be capable enough to dismantle and rebuild the system in order to recover the lost data.

When all this is done, you need to write up the technical report detailing how the evidence was discovered and all steps were taken during the retrieval process.

How To Make A Career In Computer Forensics

Step 1- Gain a degree

In order to become an investigator, you should at least have a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. More and more colleges are offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the specialties such as specialties of Computer Forensics where you can gain skills needed in both the investigation and computer use.

Step 2- Find a job

Computer Forensics jobs can be found in all levels of law enforcement agencies. Starting from smaller agencies such as city police departments with larger ones like homeland security offices, National security agency, will have a growing need for these investigations. So approach them and get a job.

Step 3- Advance your career with experience

Now basically there are two ways of learning, once you can learn by learning and secondly, you can learn by doing. It’s time to explore the second way, i.e. advance your career by practicing computer forensics investigation. Moreover, you can even start your own consulting agency or private practices.