Thursday, 28 January 2016

Be careful what you text!

Couples who may be heading toward a nasty break-up should always be extra careful when they send SMSs or WhatsApp messages. These messages could end up as evidence against them in divorce court!

In the past years, because of advances in digital forensics, there has been a huge spike in the number of cases using evidence from iPhones and other smartphones.

With emails, you can always think about what you’re writing and rewrite them. There is a windows of opportunity to rethink what you are saying, however with instant messaging, it is immediate. Many people send out messages without even thinking.

This is described as “spontaneous venting” and it can come back to haunt you! These instant messages can be recovered at a later stage to reveal your thoughts, actions and intentions.

SMSs, WhatsApp messages and other instant messages have been the most common form of divorce evidence taken from smartphones, followed by emails, phone numbers, call history, GPS and internet search histories.

Divorce lawyers advise their clients not to use Facebook to send messages or post inappropriate statuses, as it is the main source of divorce evidence from social media. However, only about half the couples actually follow their advice.

Anything that is in writing, you have to assume that someday a judge is going to see it. So, if it is not something that you don’t want a judge to see – don’t write it down!

You can always erase your messages, but that doesn’t mean they erase theirs.

With the latest tools and forensic software, the digital investigators at DLA are able to assist investigators and attorneys from their Cape Town offices on a national basis.

At DLA, it is possible to forensically acquire material from basic handsets to the latest smartphones, from all mobile and cell phone manufacturers using a range of advanced forensic and data recovery techniques.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

This gruesome murder case was solved by computer forensics after 30 years of searching

For more than 30 years, the case of the BTK serial killer went as one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in America. Police spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars trying to figure out the identity of this man, who killed 10 people in and around Wichita, Kansas, between 1974 and 1991.

But, on the 16th of February 2005, in a few short hours computer forensic specialists accomplished what police had failed to do for more than 30 years – they identified the BTK killer as a man named Dennis Rader! This case remains the most famous ever solved by computer forensics.

The case started on the 15th of January 1975, when Dennis Rader killed four members of the Otero family. Over the next 15 years, he would admit to killing six more female victims.

As he was committing these murders, Rader would taunt police by sending them bizarre notes. His first note was found in the Wichita Public Library; in it he claimed responsibility for the Otero murders and provided details only the police would know. He also promised that he would kill again and suggested a nickname for himself – BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill).

Rader went on to write numerous letters to the police, including twisted poems, puzzles and pictures. Sometimes he would send the letters straight to the police and other times he would mail them to the media or hide them somewhere.

Local police worked with the FBI and spent thousands of hours studying these communications. They hired the best criminal psychologists, followed up on every possible lead and interviewed thousands of people. Even with so much evidence and effort, police were still unable to tie any of the murders to Dennis Rader.

It was not until 2004, after 10 years of silence from the BTK killer, that police finally caught a break. That year, Rader resumed his communications with police. He sent them a Word document on a floppy disk that computer forensic experts immediately examined.

By using special forensics software, police were able to pull up a Word document that have been deleted. The document revealed a clue – it had last been modified by someone named Dennis at Christ Lutheran Church. A quick search of the church’s website revealed that Dennis Rader was actually the president of the church’s congregation council!

Police were then able to quickly link Rader to the BTK murders.

Today, computer forensics is used more than ever to solve crimes, such as murder, kidnapping, fraud and embezzlement. Forensic investigators are able to dig up information that was thought to be long gone on cellphones, computers, laptops, hard drives and chats. The tools these experts use are growing more and more advanced every day.

Looking for professional forensic investigators to find the digital evidence that you need? At DLA, two seasoned investigators join and use the latest technologies to weed out the result's that you're looking for!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Use these 3 pointers to fly through your first computer forensic interview

Have you always wanted to work in computer forensics and now finally you’ve been invited to an interview. But how should you prepare? Well, the first thing to do is to get the interview into perspective and develop the right mindset.

Computer forensic job interviews take all sorts of different formats, with some being very technical while others are a mix of technical skills, competencies and personality.

Here are 3 pointers to help you fly through your interview:

1. Technical Questions

The technical level you need to demonstrate differs depending on the job and organisation. Just make sure you do all the obvious things beforehand, like researching the mentioned areas in the job description, reading forums, etc.

The golden rule here is to not try and bluff your way through when you don’t know the answer. If you are not technically strong enough for a role, there really is nothing you can do about it on the day.

2. Competencies

Most interviewers will focus their questions around the following competencies: Interpersonal skills, problem solving and decision making, planning and organizing, information handling and analysis, written/oral communication skills and team working.

The best thing to do is to prepare two/three examples of each before the interview. This preparation should avoid you having to desperately think of new examples under pressure on the day.

3. Personality

Always remember, if the interviewer doesn’t like you then it is very unlikely that you will be successful. When answering technical questions it can be easy to become almost robotic with your answers and that often leads to people failing in computer forensic interviews because they don’t allow their personality to come through.

If you don’t land the computer forensic job you were hoping for, it really isn’t the end of the world. So learn from experience and make sure to use these 3 pointers to land the job you’ve dreamed of!

Prepare well, be yourself and good luck!

DLA (cellular and computer based forensics) is based in Cape Town and combines the professional skills of two investigators with the latest technologies to get you the digital evidence that you need - Contact us today and let us follow the electronic trail for you.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Cracking the case with digital forensics

In the world of law enforcement, digital forensics is a game changer nearly as important as DNA testing.

When two 13 year old girls went missing in September 2014, the first place detectives looked for clues was on their iPods, smartphones and other digital devices. The digital evidence led them to the girls and they were found in the basement of 23 year old Casey Lee Chinn. He is now being charged with felony criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and solicitation of a child.

Digital forensics – the examination of cellphones, tablets and personal electronics in criminal investigations – is dramatically changing the way cases are worked and solved. While technology has created new portals for predators searching for victims, it is also leaving telltale trails for police.

Law enforcement say that digital forensics has become an investigation imperative. With majority of adults carrying a cellphone, the devices have become the one constant in many people’s lives. Your cellphone has become everything you need throughout the day – your alarm clock, camera, phone line, email, social media terminal and so much more. Police use that almost constant phone activity to verify a suspects or witness’ statement and provide a log of a person’s movements and activities. Smartphones can even be an eyewitness by recording a crime in progress.

Electronic devices are just a treasure trove of information. The digital evidence is one of the first thing investigators look at because they leave footprints all over the place – who you were talking with, where you’ve take your photos and even who you’ve been tweeting.

It’s true; technology leaves a telltale trail for law enforcement and digital forensic investigators.

DLA is based in Cape Town and combines the experience of two seasoned investigators with both criminal and civil backgrounds with the latest technologies to achieve the digital evidence that you require.