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)

 

Gaming:

 

           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.

 

 

Encryption:

 

          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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