Digital Forensics, also known as Computer Forensics, can be broken into two terms – Computers and Forensics.
Forensics can be defined as scientific tests or techniques used in the investigation of crimes.
So, we can say that Digital (or Computer) Forensics is the study of computers and every related aspect in order to solve crimes.
With human forensics the human body is studied inch by inch and digital forensics is much the same.
It involves studying the computer as a whole,including it’s storage devices, the data stored in it and even the study of data transfer packets between computers.
Digital forensics can be split into several branches, such as –
- Network Forensics
- Data Forensics
- Firewall Forensics
Digital Forensics, Criminal Investigation And Reverse Engineering
Digital forensics was originally designed for the investigation of criminal cases.
Later, however, it became a part of reverse engineering of computer systems, in order to design better computers.
Digital Forensics was also used by some to steal data too.
The discipline is also becoming more and more popular with companies that manufacture computer peripherals as such study helps them to improve the overall efficiency of their components.
Digital forensics can be a delicate issue as it may well involve the breaking of peoples’ privacy.
For that reason there are many associated legal implications.
If an agent is planning to perform digital forensics during the investigation of any case then it is likely that he will need permission from senior officials or the court system within their jurisdiction.
Complexities Of Digital Forensics
One cannot simply dismantle and then re-assemble the computers whilst undertaking digital forensics.
It is a complex procedure that requires a methodical approach.
It starts with preparing yourself with all the required tools and then starting the process.
Since the main aim of digital forensics is to collect data, it should be done with extreme care.
Once the required data is collected, you need to properly study and analyze the set of data without harming the actual source of data.
And once a complete report is ready, the agent is required to pass that report to more senior officials.
As a number of criminals and terrorist organizations may be looking for such confidential data it should be stored with optimum care and in a highly secure location.