Category Archives: Digital Forensic Service

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be criminals

vm escape
Let’s put this simply to begin: you don’t want your children to search the deep web or dive in the dark net. These would be, generally speaking, bad things.
In recent years, though, it’s gotten progressively easier to hide on the dark web. The code for The Onion Router (TOR) is getting a revamp in 2017, with the goal being stronger encryption — and letting administrators easily create full dark net sites that can only be discovered by a long string of essentially-unguessable characters. This could signal a next generation of hidden services. In the past, some of these sites have used a .onion address and declared that to hidden service directories. Now, it appears there will be an unique cryptographic key, and said key will be given to TOR hidden service directories. It’ll be a way for the dark net to become a bit easier to stay dark.
In the context of all this, how do you best protect your family? While some dark net sites are primarily in existence to avoid censorship in countries like China, there is a lot of non-family-friendly material on the dark web. You don’t want your children seeing a good portion of this content. How do you ensure that?
There is a fine line in these discussions, because it does involve some monitoring of your children’s activity online — and some parents don’t want to cross that line. But because of an increasing amount of pedophiles and illegal drugs on the dark web, vigilance is crucial. Some approaches include:
  • Be aware of what your kids search for/talk about with their friends
  • Check with their school to see how Internet research is being taught and monitored
  • Use the right software and trackers (I can be asked about some good options if you’d like)
  • Talk to them about the different types of content one comes across on the web
  • Explain to them explicitly what the dark web is vs. the “normal” web
  • Talk to them about the realities of cyber-bullying, which often occurs in dark web formats
Also bad, although less-discussed: many students use the dark web to cheat their way through high school, so have realistic discussions with your kids about what is happening in all their classes and how they view it contextually. If they don’t have good answers or backgrounds about what they’re learning, ask how they’re completing some of their work. If they stumble over those answers, there’s a chance dark web sites might be involved — and then you know it’s time to look at their histories.

Why I like Forensic ToolKit (FTK)

James FTK

Sometimes I get asked what software I use most in computer forensics. I promise I’m not a paid spokesperson here, but I’m a big fan of AccessData’s Forensic Toolkit (FTK). I’ve been using different versions since about 2001, and I consider it the primary workhorse in my forensic tool arsenal. The current version is 6.1, which was released in October 2016. (Well, it’s the current one as of the initial posting of this article in February 2017.)

A couple of the key aspects of FTK I enjoy:

Multiple installations: FTK can be installed on multiple computers. To operate on a specific computer, you need a security dongle that you physically attach to that computer. If you want to work on another computer that has FTK installed, though, you can move the dongle and do it — it’s very easy. A lot of computer forensics programs don’t make this easy, which I think is one of the bigger value-adds of the FTK software.

Consistent search results: If you’re in the investigating phase or performing document review — and if you’re searching in FTK or a program like Summation — you can get consistent search results delivered quickly. This is a huge time-saver.

Fairly simple: With so many different tools on the market (for anything, really), I keep coming back to the idea that simplicity is key. FTK is powerful, but it’s deceptively simple. For example: all digital evidence gets shared in one case database. Anyone who needs to access the information has it all in one place. With some other forensics programs, there are multiple datasets — which increases the time and complexity you need to deal with, especially if you’re looping new people or new teams into the process.

Support and training: Their training and support options are world-class.

Visualization: We supposedly live in this era of “Big Data,” which I think is mostly true. But one of the things we miss about Big Data is that when we’ve put together lots of information, we still need a way to present it to people effectively. Many human beings are visual creatures, which makes the visualization aspect of FTK a huge value-add. I can automatically construct timelines and graphically illustrate relationships among parties of interest in a case; I can also use cluster graphs, pie charts, and geolocations. When I’m done with the different visualizations, I can then generate reports that are easily consumed by attorneys, CIOs or other investigators. This is absolutely amazing — and makes the back-and-forth aspect of this work much easier.

That’s my vote, then: FTK. I’ve been around it almost two decades and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Had a different experience with FTK, or have another forensics program you want to extol the virtues of? I’d love to hear.

 ICFECI: The Best Digital Forensic Service Provider

A mix of competence, skill, knowledge, integrity, and reliability is what you will get once you put your trust in what ICFECI does. In a world where digital evidence gets increasingly sought after, they will help you get the help you need in a manner most professional. With a list of credentials and positive reviews Dan James, the founder is the man who mobilizes a team that works night and day just to collect data that helps prove your case. He is a certified cell phone examiner and fraud examiner. Most importantly, he deals with computer and cell phone forensics, criminal investigations, federal rules of criminal procedure as well as criminal justice services. Thus, if you have a case related to any of these, Dan’s company is a necessary additive to your legal team.

Computer and cell phone forensics: the company does everything as per Title 18, USC, Sec 3006A. Mind you; forensic science has proven quite steadfast in helping solve cold cases within short periods of time. Other than the mainstream child pornography and corruption, drug-related cases and sex violations; ICFECI goes further to provide unique solutions as pertains to alleged fraud cases linked to securities, tax evasion, mortgage, misrepresentation, healthcare and email scams.

Criminal investigations: other than being the only organization of its kind in northern Texas, the company boasts a well-equipped computer lab. It, therefore, has the capability of transforming complex data extracted from computers and mobile devices into simpler, easily interpretable formats presentable in courts of law.

Federal rules of criminal procedure: other than collecting, analyzing and summarizing data for use by the courts of law, the company goes ahead to provide experts as witnesses if need be. They are committed to ensuring that clients get fully represented in line with what the law provides. They can go as far as providing conducting interrogations and discreet surveillance. All in a bid to help acquit you from any accusations leveled against you.


Here is a summarized list of what ICFECI offers to its wide range of clients.
Computer and cell phone forensic examinations.
Consultancy on sex crimes, child pornography, assault, murder, and crime of violence.
Certified fraud examinations in the healthcare, insurance and tax centers.
While collar frauds, Ponzi schemes, civil frauds, bank frauds, and criminal litigation cases.
Criminal Justice Act services where applicable.

However, what matters most is the manner in which your case gets handled. In collaboration with your defense team, the experts involved have only one goal in mind. Theirs is to come up with compelling, yet reasonable evidence. The technique has been proven to work as cases, which almost seemed unsolvable got brought to conclusive ends in favor of clients. You too can solve a case with their help, just like others did. Furthermore, if you do not trust the reviews, you can always put your confidence in the resources and highly self-trained individuals who have known nothing but mining data most of their lives.