Those of you who know about my work in digital forensics will probably be aware that I got into the field because I’m very passionate about child protection, so anyone who champions that cause is someone I’m probably going to like. Magnet Forensics has been doing this for years, but recently I became aware of Griffeye, whom I somehow hadn’t heard of before.
Controversy has been raging around ISO 17025 ever since the standard was adopted for digital forensics back in October 2017. Although many people who work in the industry agree that standardisation is advisable and probably necessary if we are to keep moving forward, there have been many criticisms of ISO 17025 and its effectiveness when it comes to digital forensics.
The baseline of the problem seems to be that ISO 17025 was not specifically designed for digital forensics; instead, it takes the standards of ‘wet’ or traditional forensics and applies them to computing devices. This has a number of issues, not least the fact that technological advances are constantly happening; in a field where most large apps are being updated a couple of times per month as a minimum, it becomes very difficult to properly standardise tools and methodologies.
Another concern for many people is the cost associated with accrediting a lab and keeping up with ISO 17025. Reports of accreditation costing in excess of £50,000 have made some practitioners nervous about applying.
Flashpoint, a business intelligence agency specialising in the deep and dark web, recently published a report on the economy of criminal networks online. The report looks not only at where criminals go to communicate on the internet, but also how their communications are structured, and the ways in which online communication has changed the criminal landscape.
Far from the kind of jack-of-all-trades portrayed in TV dramas, today’s cybercriminals structure their operations much like a business, each person having their own specialisms and reporting to the people above them. This helps to ensure that every member of the network takes on tasks that don’t overwhelm them, and often also ensures that the level of communication is kept to a minimum. Each party is only in contact with the level directly above, thus decreasing the likelihood of breaking up the entire network if a single individual’s identity is uncovered by law enforcement.
The other day I interviewed John Patzakis, Executive Chairman at X1 Discovery, about an article he’s written about a new amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 902.
Subsection (14) will come into play this December, and will mean that all electronic data will be required to be “self-authenticating”.
People have always asked me how I manage to fit all the various things I do into my life. In the past, the answer was that I was a workaholic who could get by on four hours’ sleep a night.
Nowadays, however, I’m in my late twenties, and while that means I’m still young (right? RIGHT?!), it also means I’ve started making those little noises when I get out of chairs or bend to pick something up, and also that going to bed at a reasonable hour instead of stumbling drunkenly through the streets of Dalston at 3am seems like a perfectly good nighttime pursuit.
Yesterday, Sarah Von Bargen of YesAndYes (a blog you should definitely be following!) interviewed me about my work as a private investigator.
Does what we see on TV bear any resemblance to real life as a private investigator? Are you really tapping phones and going on stakeouts? Today, a working P.I. tells us about her strangest cases, how she finds missing people, and how long cases usually take (you’ll be surprised!)
I am a private investigator. By definition, that means I investigate things that are… well, private. I snoop around in people’s business to find out what’s going on, and then I present the evidence back to the client.
I am also a privacy advocate.
Some parts of becoming a private investigator are weirder and more confusing than others. I suspect that some of the experiences listed below have something to do with being a young, female, alternative-looking person, although considering that I have no other point of reference, I might be wrong about that.
I became a private investigator three years ago, and six things have stood out repeatedly over the years, so I thought I’d share them.
I’ve been doing some work in my study over the past couple of weeks: crowbaring up the carpet tack rails around the outside, clearing everything, trying to get underlay to lie flat, putting down some of the flooring and then realising the rest required an electric saw and calling someone to come and finish it for me.
I think I always knew I wasn’t cut out for a 9-to-5 job behind a desk at someone else’s office. I did it for a while anyway, spending several years climbing the corporate ladder in an advertising agency before I realised that the nagging feeling that I was missing out on life just wouldn’t go away.
So I left to work for myself instead. So far, so normal: the freelance life is one that people seem to be choosing more and more, and in that respect, I was one of many.