Cyber Forensics is a branch of computer forensics that focuses on the analysis of malicious code and payload. It also involves the recovery of deleted emails, calendars, contacts, and call logs. This branch of computer forensics can also investigate mobile devices. It recovers data, including call logs and SIM contacts.
Stochastic forensics is a type of computer science technique that helps fraud departments reconstruct digital activity without relying on digital artifacts, which are unintended alterations of data. This type of analysis is especially useful in data breach investigations, since attackers who pretend to be insiders may not leave behind any digital artifacts. Stochastic forensics also has applications in investigating insider threats, as it can help investigators determine the identity of the perpetrator.
Stochastic forensics draws its inspiration from statistical mechanics, a statistical method of analyzing complex systems. By contrast, classical Newtonian mechanics tries to determine the exact position and momentum of each particle in a system, which is impossible to do with large numbers of molecules. Instead, stochastic mechanics analyzes complex systems without attempting to study the individual particles.
Less formal digital forensics
Digital forensics is the application of investigative methods and computer science to gather, analyze, and present digital evidence. It is used in a variety of criminal investigations and civil cases. These investigations may involve computer fraud, illicit use, child pornography, and a variety of other types of computer intrusions.
The process of digital forensics begins by establishing a need assessment. This needs assessment will help determine operational requirements and capabilities. For example, a police department in an area that experiences a large number of traffic accidents may need to hire a digital forensics expert to analyze the hard drive of a driver involved in an accident. This expert will be able to determine whether the driver’s mobile device was in use before the collision and whether it was used afterward. The digital forensics expert may also use this technique to discover whether the suspects left behind digital evidence during the incident.
Oftentimes, police departments are understaffed. This means that police executives need to identify key employees who possess the required technical expertise and key skill sets. For these reasons, some agencies consider utilizing alternative staffing sources, but these must be vetted. For example, some departments may seek to use reserve officers or employ unsworn forensic specialists. They may also grant unpaid investigators special deputy status, which gives them some police powers.
Methods of acquiring data
There are many ways to obtain information for fraud departments. Computer forensics can help them recover data that may have been deleted, overwritten, or damaged. They can even retrieve information that was deliberately hidden by the owner or stored outside of the normal storage areas. These types of evidence can be essential to fighting fraud.
Cyber forensics is an investigation technique that uses digital evidence to identify cyber attackers, and sometimes it is used to recover lost or stolen data. These techniques are used to fight fraud and online harassment. Many law enforcement agencies have cyber cells that use these techniques. All of these departments use a variety of methods to detect unusual military activity and to investigate the source of criminal activity.
The use of forensic tools can help investigators gather evidence, analyze digital copies, and report on the findings. The purpose of this process is to collect data and information and present them in a legal proceeding or in court. The data recovered from a compromised system can help investigators prove their case.
Applicability in civil proceedings
Although the Department of Justice’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative is new, the first case it has resolved under this program, against Comprehensive Health Services, reveals important lessons for prosecutors. First, the DOJ pursued a FCA claim against CHS despite the lack of evidence of a cyberattack. Second, cyberattacks are a heightened concern in federal litigation, and the new initiative will help the government pursue those responsible for fraud.
DOJ announced its Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative last fall, a new division focused on bringing criminal charges against government contractors and federal grant recipients who fail to follow cybersecurity laws. Recently, two settlements under the FCA were announced by the DOJ in False Claims Act cases. In one, a defense contractor agreed to pay $9 million to settle FCA allegations. Another case involved a healthcare provider who claimed to have performed cybersecurity audits on behalf of its customers but didn’t do so.