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Q: Growing Use of Computer Forensics ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Growing Use of Computer Forensics
Category: Computers
Asked by: chris_h-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 13 Mar 2004 10:38 PST
Expires: 12 Apr 2004 11:38 PDT
Question ID: 316369

I am looking for at least one news article that discusses computer
forensics and its growing use in civil legal proceedings and business
in general. The article should:

   -	be from a US news source and be focused primarily on computer
forensics in the US
   -	be written for the common person; not too technical
   -	be written within the last year; the more recent the better
   -	be focused on civil legal proceedings and/or other business
areas; some examples - fraud, intellectual property, employment
disputes, workplace harassment, employee theft, divorce, etc. I am not
interested in articles that focus primarily on computer forensics in
criminal cases.

It may help to know that I plan to use the article to help me market
my business. The idea is to have a news story that reinforces the
business argument for the growth of the computer forensics industry
and helps people understand why they need my services.

Subject: Re: Growing Use of Computer Forensics
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 13 Mar 2004 13:20 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Chris, and thanks for posting such an interesting question.

A Google search on the term "computer forensics" (in quotes) returns
about 135,000 hits, certainly suggesting that the field has "arrived",
at least in terms of its internet presence.

There is also no shortage of articles on computer forensics, although
-- more often than not -- they involve sensational criminal charges of
spying or child pornography, and crimes of that ilk.

There is also a great deal of CF activity in civil case law as well,
but it?s necessary to dig a bit deeper to find it.

I've provided, below, a number of up-to-date links on CF stories and
related information.  I cannot post the complete articles here due to
copyright restrictions, but I have provided relevant excerpts.  For
the most part, I've kept to your request for U.S. stories on civil
matters, but if I came across a particularly interesting document that
didn't quite meet these criteria, I included it just the same.  Hope
you don't mind.

If anything here is not clear -- or if you find you need additional
information -- please let me know before rating this answer.  Just
post a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist your

Best of luck with your new business.



[Here?s a simple overview of recent laws and developments affecting
computer forensics...not a news article, but worth noting just the

February 12, 2004

Legal and Regulatory Requirements for an Effective and Compliant
Computer Investigation Infrastructure

Over the last two years there has been a wave of information security
legislation and regulation. Lawmakers have focused anti-fraud and IT
security laws on digital evidence. This web seminar will provide an
introduction to relevant sections of Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as other
statutes such as:  GLBA, California SB 1386 and regulations under
FISMA. These regulations address the importance of internal computer
investigations and detail why companies must establish a technical and
procedural infrastructure to perform such investigations.


[Though the headline is about "crime", the article covers civil suits as well]

Cracking Down On Crime 

Feb. 23, 2004 

...So corporate felons beware: Those files you thought you erased can
and will be used against you in a court of law. Investigators today
possess software tools that search PCs, servers, and networks for
evidence such as text files, images, and E-mails that can be used to
ferret out white-collar criminals...

Computer forensics is a combination of science and art. "It's a
marriage of technology and good old-fashioned detective work," he

...In one case, a client sued a brokerage firm, alleging that it had
denied access to its Web site, preventing the client from executing a
large trade in 2000. By the time the case came to trial 2-1/2 years
later, the firm assumed that all relevant electronic files had been
deleted. Using sophisticated search tools, however, the center was
able to find Web-site records to prove that the client had indeed
visited the site on the day in question. The case was thrown out of


[Although it's from the UK, this looked like a good article just the same]

London Free Press

IT sleuthing increasingly significant

Determining the truth in an administrative, civil or criminal
proceeding increasingly requires evidence from digital media. Computer
forensics methodologies have applications in all kinds of probes, such
as computer misuse in the workplace, fraud, theft of trade secrets and
labour and harassment complaints...


March 09, 2004

CoreFacts Wins With EnCase; Leading Computer Investigation Firm
Expands Use of Guidance Software's Award-Winning EnCase Software

...Electronic discovery and computer investigations company CoreFacts
LLC announced today that it has widely expanded its use of Guidance
Software's EnCase(R) Forensic Edition on its computer forensics
investigations and for use by its expert witnesses...CoreFacts had
great success using EnCase in its computer forensics investigation on
behalf of the Four Seasons hotel management company. In the widely
reported federal case of Four Seasons v. Consorcio Barr, 267 F.Supp.2d
1268, (S.D. Fla. 2003), in which Four Seasons was awarded a verdict at
trial of nearly $5 million, Ashley credits EnCase with helping him
find the evidence that swayed the court. "EnCase helped us in locating
evidence that was critical to the case. We always strive to use the
highest grade technology available in servicing our clients."


[Again, the headline is on crime, but fraud and other misuse is covered as well],10801,90932,00.html

Inside the DoD's crime lab 

MARCH 09, 2004

Whenever U.S. government agencies investigating a crime or a
cybercrime have digital evidence that's too difficult to analyze, they
send it to the Department of Defense computer forensics lab...The
purpose of the lab is to analyze evidence gathered at crime scenes
involving the military. Whatever crimes occur in the civilian world,
you also see in the military. It could be homicide, child pornography,
identity theft, counterfeiting, misconduct, terrorism, espionage,
contractor fraud or misuse of government property.


[The most notorious case, at the moment, is the computer-theft of U..S
Senate files.  Computer forensics played a role in this case as well]

Government Computer News

Lax security left Senate files wide open 

...The problems came to light in a three-month investigation by
Sergeant at Arms William H. Pickle about leaks of Democratic memos to
the press late last year. The apparent intent was to embarrass
Democrats by revealing political strategies in opposing conservative
judicial nominations. But the investigation exposed partisan spying by
several GOP staff members.

...In what was described as an unprecedented investigation, the
sergeant at arms hired an outside computer forensics firm to help in
the investigation.


[There's an entire book on the topic in its second edition, already]

Incident Response & Computer Forensics - 2nd Edition

This book is arguably the best I have read on the subject. Incident
Response is in larger print on the cover, but much of the book, and in
my opinion the best and most important parts of the book, comes from
the Computer Forensics side. I highly recommend this excellent book.


[This company is a CF firm that publishes regular newsletters on CF
cases of interest]

Kroll Ontrack Computer Forensic Newsletter

December 2003 - Volume 1 Number 11


In a patent infringement action, First USA Bank v. PayPal, Inc., 2003
WL 22071558 (Fed.Cir. Aug. 21, 2003), the Plaintiff subpoenaed the
Defendant?s former chief executive officer, specifically requesting
the court to compel his deposition and to require him to produce his
laptop computer for forensic inspection. The former-CEO had used the
computer while employed by the Defendant and subsequently purchased it
from the Defendant when he left its employ. Despite objection, the
magistrate judge ordered the former-CEO to be available for deposition
and approved a search protocol. The search protocol allowed electronic
evidence consultants to create a forensic copy of the computer's hard
drive, identify any potentially relevant documents, and, if such
documents were found and identified, allow the former-CEO to create a
privilege log.


Other issues of the Computer Forensic newsletters from the same
company can be found here:


[Kroll also has a document 30+ pages long that is replete with
summaries of cases that involved CF.  Most of these appear to be civil
cases.  The language is a bit on the legalistic side, but these will
certainly get the attention of potential clients or backers, just the

Electronic Discovery and Computer Forensics
Case Law

[here's an example of what two of the cases looks like]

Renda Marine v. United States

...a government contract suit...The court directed the Defendant to
produce, at its expense, backup tapes created after such notice and to
provide Plaintiff with access to the requested hard drive.

York v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co.

In a case alleging bad faith in processing an insurance claim, the
Defendant opposed Plaintiff?s 30(b)(6) deposition request on the
subject of Defendant?s use of a claims adjusting software program
called "Colossus." The Court found that the Defendant failed to
demonstrate that the "Colossus" program was proprietary or
confidential and ordered that the Plaintiff should be given the
opportunity to discover what data was inputted into "Colossus"
concerning her claim.


[A company called the Center for Computer Forensics also sumarized a
case it's been involved with]

...As a result of CCF's irrefutable expert findings, the Court
concluded that the plaintiff intentionally attempted to destroy
evidence, dismissed the case, and awarded the defendant costs and
attorney's fees incurred in the defense of the lawsuit.


Another article that might be of interest is listed below.  I found it
through a Lexis-Nexis search, so it's not readily accessible on the
web, but most libraries should be able to assist you in getting a copy
of the article:

The Legal Intelligencer
October 1, 2003

EDD Services' Growth Rate Is Staggering

The market for electronic data discovery services is expected to be
$500 million by the end of 2003 and reach $2 billion by the end of
2005, reports Socha Consulting and Gelbmann & Associates.

The legal industry is now knee-deep in vendors offering EDD: data
collection, data conversion, data archiving, data filtering, data
hosting, computer forensics and electronic discovery consulting. It
seems the acronym already is overused and stretched beyond its
original meaning.

Computer forensics deals with the non-invasive recovery of all
available information including deleted files, file fragments, and
temporary data from hard drives and data storage devices. Computer
forensics is driven by the clear court mandate that computer evidence
be collected in a forensically sound manner. Companies like Guidance
Software Inc., in Pasadena, Calif., and New Technologies Inc., of
Gresham, Ore., are training thousands of new forensic examiners each
year, looking to be a part of the forensic gold rush.


Also note that the New York Times ran a major story in their Sunday
magazine on computer viruses and the people (kids, mostly) that write
them...the article mentions the role of computer forensics:

February 8, 2004, Sunday
The Virus Underground 
By Clive Thompson
NYT Sunday Magazine, Page 28 , Column 1 


Again, if you need any additional information, just let me know, and
I'm at your service.


search strategy:  

Searched Google, Google News, and Lexis-Nexis for [ computer forensics ]
chris_h-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Thanks very much. Your research was extensive and very helpful.

Subject: Re: Growing Use of Computer Forensics
From: pafalafa-ga on 15 Mar 2004 08:24 PST
Thanks so much, Chris.  I appreciate the thoughtful (and generous!)
feedback, and wish you all the best in your business venture.

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