When you’re called to a crime scene, you never know what you’re going to find. But no matter the scene, it’s important to recover as much evidence as possible. Sometimes we get so caught up in looking for DNA and other obvious evidence that we overlook other evidence that can be just as important. Collecting impression evidence is definitely worth the effort — once you do so, you have duplicate evidence that can help make your case.
I recently interviewed Lt. Owen McDonnell of the Caddo Sheriff’s Office, Crime Scene Investigations Division, an expert in the field, to get his perspective on CSI certification. Certification in any field gives you more credibility and professionalism in court, provided the certification program is independent and reputable. Prosecution and defense attorneys look for the credentials of the individual and the certifying body.
Autoclaves are such a common and familiar piece of lab equipment that it is easy to overlook the associated hazards. If we do not think about what might go wrong, sooner or later we will get burned. By following our simple three step program of training; testing/monitoring/maintenance; and record keeping, you can avoid mishaps and potential significant damage or injury.
With recreational and/or medical marijuana now legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia as of April 21, 2014, according to CNN US, one might wonder if forensic facilities can begin to scale back resources dedicated to the drug’s testing and storage. We believe that this may not be the case.
When compared to a typical hard drive, SSDs are totally different in design and functionality which leads to some difficult issues to deal with pertaining to their forensic analysis. The SSD’s use of flash memory for data storage rather than rotating magnetic discs is the cause of the forensic issues.
Today’s world is becoming more and more mobile every day. In fact, 91% of all people own a mobile device and 56% own some type of smart device. It is no surprise that today there are more mobile devices on the earth than there are people! Equally impressive is that the amount of data we consume is becoming increasingly focused on mobile devices.
We often focus on the need to learn about emerging technologies and educate ourselves on new methods and skills, but sometimes what we really need are new ways of looking at—and applying—old tools and techniques. This issue presents some ideas along these lines.
Your business doesn’t run itself. The quality of your organization depends on the quality of your team — a motivated, energized staff is the key to companywide success. You want A Players, those colleagues who contribute disproportionately to the advancement and profitability of the organization.
At a crime scene involving arson, proceed like it’s any other scene: find and collect any evidence that could possibly be relevant.
Network investigations can be far more difficult than a typical computer examination, even for an experienced digital forensics examiner, because there are many more events to assemble in order to understand the case and the tools do not do as much work for the examiner as traditional computer forensics tools.
In order to effectively investigate crimes involving social media, it is imperative that law enforcement understand “how” social media is stored, “where” such information is stored and found, and “how” to obtain such information using forensically sound procedures. Social media requires a different mind-set to traditional investigative and current forensic methodologies.
Forensic field investigators are prime candidates for slips and falls. Processing a crime scene places personnel in proximity to many hazards.
Often at a crime scene, a member of the public or the first responding officer will try to protect the dignity and privacy of the victim by covering the body with whatever sheet or blanket is readily available from a residence or vehicle. While this impulse is understandable, it can create problems.
The premise that an effective digital forensic examiner must be able to validate all of the tools that he or she uses is universally accepted in the digital forensic community. I have seen some less-educated members of the community champion a particularly insidious, and I will argue, invalid method of tool validation, often referred to as the two-tool validation method.
The digital forensics profession has endeavored to provide examiners with a framework within which the digital forensics examiner must not only recognize, classify, and manage ethical dilemmas, but also respect boundaries and honor obligations. This framework is the code of ethics. This article will continue the discussion from the last issue on the need for and contours of these codes.