Can Law Enforcement Investigate Potential Cyber Crimes?

July 1, 2019


            The first technology that has major impacts on both the law enforcement, people and


government is the gaming technology. Since 2008, DHS S&T and the law enforcement


community combined efforts to find solutions to be able to investigate potential crimes being


conducted through the use of modern gaming systems. As you well know, today’s typical


gaming systems have processing, multimedia, and networking capabilities rivaling personal


computers. They can be used to play video games, wireless capabilities enable users to interact


and communicate with other players, browse and purchase items over the internet, and stream


videos onto their systems (Homeland Security, 2012)




           These gaming technology have created gaming platforms that have been increasingly


being used by criminal pedophiles as a tool for identifying and exploiting children.  Because of


their use by criminals, some gaming systems are being seized by U.S. law enforcement agencies


during court-authorized searches (Homeland Security, 2012) Because of these issues, the digital f


forensics industry is exploring the best method to use when investigating crimes committed with


the game systems. Because each gaming system platform uses its own proprietary architecture,


software, and communications protocols, the capabilities to track, engage, and record criminal


activities on these systems and the issues of collecting forensics evidence from game systems,


challenged the U.S. government and U.S. law enforcement agencies( Casey,F., 2011)


With today forensic technology, we still lack adequate  forensic methods for extracting and


analyzing information from game consoles and examiners will need further special trainings,


education and the help from Federal, state and local government laws to be able to collect


evidence from these devices without dealing with the issues of Privacy Laws.





          Another technology is the Encryption, an element of cryptography which is a


methodology for achieving information security, through secretive communications. One of the


most important impacts on digital forensics is the necessity to ensure confidentiality of


privileged information. Unfortunately, it creates loopholes for cyber-criminals 'who bent on


escaping from the grasp of digital forensic investigations.( The direct encryption of data or


indirect encryption of storage devices, more often than not, prevents access to such information


contained therein (Balogun, A., & Zhu. S., (2013) Full disk encryption secures data on disk


drives with a single symmetric key and protects data in all areas of the disk drive, including areas


outside the file system. Such data plays major role in digital forensics as they are hidden files,


swap files, file metadata, temporary files and caches, registry files, and boot sector that forensics


investigators rely for evidence gathering and information security.


           The difficulty in trying to carry on the forensics investigation obviously leaves the efforts


of the forensics investigation team, and subsequently the prosecution, little or no evidence to


work with, in the majority of these investigation cases. One cannot begin to undermine the


validity of encryption technology to information security and digital forensics, because that will


bring unnecessary draw backs to the successes brought by encryption technology especially its


contributions to digital forensics of disk drives (Balogun, A., & Zhu. S., (2013)


            Due to strict regulations and compliances by government and other relevant


organizations, digital forensics examiners battle with the necessity to keep evidence information


within the required confines described by the Federal Rules of Evidence and other components


of Information Security. This is to secure the totality of activities to ensure the protection of


evidence information assets that was extracted as forensics evidence materials, that might wind


up in the courtn systems.  The Chain-of-Custody rules require that evidence collected should be shielded


from risks of data loss, security breaches and the consideration to data contamination. Digital


forensics examiners take encryption very seriously. Relatively, cyber security involves the


consideration to potential loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability as threats to data


collected as forensics evidence and when using functions such as identification, authentication,


authorization and audit of  forensics evidence (Balogun, A., & Zhu. S., (2013) 



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