Digital Forensics and History – Snippets
Digital Forensics is one of the new aspects of an old field of science. Forensic science is actually the correct terminology for this application. Forensics is the science of answering questions related to legal issues.
In the old Roman civilization a criminal charge was presented in the forum. Both parties the accuser and the accused person presented their version of the case. The best argument and performance would determine the result of the case. This is actually the origin of the now widely used term forensic.
It is said, that Archimedes was the first person to use a non destructive forensics method to obtain the density of a supposed to be pure golden crown that contained silver added by fraudulent intent of the goldsmith. Yes, indeed Archimedes proofed that the crown contained silver.
Criminal investigations back in the old times relied heavily on talk: from witnesses and confessions of the accused, although confessions were often obtained by use of force.
The Renaissance was a huge push for examination of nature and produced a tremendous amount of scientific knowledge. Medical doctors and universities obtained information on the cause of death. This knowledge was refined by the French surgeon Paré and two Italians, Fidelis and Zacchia and layed the base for modern pathology.
Rodolphe Reiss founded the „Institut de police scientifique“ in Lausanne as the first forensic science school in the world.
The modern world features an abundance of movies and TV series with „nerdish“ and sometimes weird people that solve the most mysterious crimes within less than 24 hour only slowed down by tedious analysis apparatus that do magical things. It seems that the displayed character of the actors are the prerequisite to become successful in solving „post mortem“ or „post incident“ mystery. Most stories center around clever disguised killings and very clever digital forensics methods.
The field of forensic science has quite broadened. Besides pathology and and dactyloscopy nowadays the DNA analysis is trying to compensate the education of an alleged criminal doing everything he/she learned from crime stories to keep the cover on the event and get away with it. More and more computers are involved with crime and the need for digital forensics was obvious.
So, in the beginning digital forensics were performed by the same people, that wrote the operating systems and programs. They traced the wrongdoing of the other group of developers that tried to tweak the systems for their advantage. Criminal „hackers“ use the data processing systems and platforms to commit so called white collar crimes. Over time the law enforcement had to learn to trace and read digital evidence.
But in order to uncover the incident of a criminal act most of the times all aspects of criminalistics are employed. Criminalistics is the application of a number of procedures to collect, exam and compare biological evidence, trace evidence, impression evidence, illegal substances, ballistics, weapons evidence, of course in modern times digital forensics and more.
The often overlooked task of documentation is part of an experts daily life. All aspects of the examination have to be documented in an easy to read and understand language. The described methods and results need to be reproducible.
Digital Forensics Information Technology (DigForIT)
Our field of our expertise is mainly information technology. DigForIT Bürogemeinschaft (Association) provides expert evidence for courts, public prosecution services, corporations, and civil clients. The focus is on:
- data mining and data research
- extortion and harassment
- computer fraud
- white collar crime
- bankruptcy analysis
- possession, dissemination and circulation of media in relation with child abuse
Our services include all aspects of forensic analysis of data processing and data storage media.