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UNIT 08:
Investigating Cybercrime; Digital Evidence

Cybercrime, Cyberterrorism, and Digital Law Enforcement
Professor K. A. Taipale (bio) (contact)

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UNIT 08:
Investigating Cybercrime; Digital Evidence


The computer as "witness".

Digital Evidence and Computer Forensics.

Digital Evidence is electronic records -- that is, any data that is recorded or preserved on any medium in or by a computer system or similar device and that can be read or perceived by a person or computer system, including by display, printout or other output -- that may be evidence of a crime.

Computer Forensics is the scientific examination and analysis of data held on, or retrieved from, computer storage media in such a way that the electronic record can be used in a court of law.



Orin S. Kerr, Digital Evidence and the New Criminal Procedure," pp. 221-245 in Cybercrime, (Jack Balkin, et al. eds., NYU Press 2007).




Ryan Blitstein, "Online crooks often escape prosecution: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DECLINES NEARLY THREE OF FOUR CASES," Mercury News (Nov. 18, 2007) (" Even as online crime has mushroomed in the past few years into a multibillion-dollar problem, federal prosecution of Internet crooks nationwide has not kept pace, a Mercury News analysis shows. In nearly three of four cases, federal prosecutors are choosing not to pursue the computer-fraud allegations that investigators bring them. And whether a case is prosecuted appears to vary widely, depending upon where the crime is committed or who the victims happen to be.")

Digital Evidence, Computer Forensics, Investigations:

Declan McCullagh, "Feds offer cybercrime tips to local cops," Cnet News (Jan. 16, 2007) ("The department's Office of Justice Programs on Tuesday published what amounts to a manual for tech-challenged gumshoes, covering everything from how to track suspects through an Internet Relay Chat network to targeting copyright thieves on peer-to-peer networks.") [download PDF manual]

Kroll Ontrack, "One Year Later: The Most Significant Electronic Discovery Cases Under The New Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure," (Nov. 28, 2007). Electronic Discovery Resource Page

Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide for First Responders, Second Edition, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, April 2008.


Terrorist Use of Anti-forensic Methods:

Jeffrey Carr, "Anti-Forensic Methods Used by Jihadist Web Sites," eSecurity (Aug. 16, 2007) ("As international law enforcement, intelligence, and military agencies step up their efforts to monitor [Jihadist] Web sites (which now number in the thousands), Muslim extremists are turning to both low tech and high tech solutions to maintain their operational security").


Open Wireless Defense:

Eric Bangeman, "Child porn case shows that an open WiFi network is no defense," Ars Technica (Apr. 22, 2007) ("A Texas man who was convicted of possessing child pornography tried to use his open WiFi network as a defense, saying that someone else could have used the same network to traffic in pornographic images. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit didn't buy his argument and upheld the conviction.")

"Open Wi-Fi proves no defence in child porn case," The Register (Apr. 25, 2007).


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Course Outline/Class Units

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  1. Overview, What is Cybercrime?
  2. Computer Intrusions and Attacks (Unauthorized Access)
  3. Computer Viruses, Time Bombs, Trojans, Malicious Code (Malware)
  4. Online Fraud and Identity Theft; Intellectual Property Theft; Virtual Crime
  5. Online Vice: Gambling; Pornography; Child Exploitation
  6. International Aspects and Jurisdiction
  7. Infrastructure and Information Security; Risk Management
  8. Investigating Cybercrime: Digital Evidence and Computer Forensics
  9. Interception, Search and Seizure, and Surveillance
  10. Information Warfare, Cyberterrorism, and Hacktivism
  11. Terrorism, Radicalization, and The War of Ideas
  12. Trade Secret Theft and Economic Espionage
  13. National Security
  14. Case Study: CALEA, VoIP

Course Information



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