The world of forensics is changing, and more and more law enforcement agencies are relying on computer forensics to help catch criminals. While other areas of forensics, such as crime scene analysis and ballistics are still very important and can provide physical evidence, the sophistication of the techniques used by computer forensic specialists is amazing. They are able to find evidence tucked away in hidden corners of computers, tablets, phones, thumb drives, and even cameras.
Many times, a criminal will believe that they’ve deleted the files that could incriminate them. The computer forensics specialists have tools and techniques that are able to retrieve that data, and find hidden files. They can decrypt files, find information in cell phones, retrieve deleted photos, and more. Specialists have been able to retrieve data from devices that have been underwater, burned, and otherwise thought destroyed. As this area of forensics advances, it would appear that the techniques are getting even better.
The specialists have been able to find videos of people talking about their crimes, including murder. They’ve found illegal photos, search histories on a computer that could implicate the suspect in a crime, and more. They are doing quite a bit with phones now since so many people have cell phones and smart phones. This is a challenging area because there are so many different makes and models of phone available. One criminal even kept notes on his PDA that detailed his visits to people that he was extorting. Criminal genius certainly seems to be a misnomer in many cases!
Criminals aren’t going to disappear, and more and more of them are using electronic devices. These electronics have ways to implicate and even exonerate suspects, and those who have training in computer forensics will be on the front line making sure that the real criminals spend some time behind bars.