It is also common knowledge that cybercrime has been increasing in magnitude each year. However, another interesting development has been the number of electronic devices that show up at crime scenes as either belonging to the victim or having been dropped or left by an alleged criminal.
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It is, therefore, imperative that corporate and law enforcement investigators learn how to examine such devices for pictures after they are lawfully seized for an investigation.
It is important to realize that cell phones, digital cameras, and other digital picture devices often use a FAT 32 or ext 3 file system that act as a small hard drive. That means that if a device has wireless, infrared, or Bluetooth capability, then a person could have covertly placed the picture on that device. The resolution or color schema of the picture may prove that the camera or phone in question could not have taken the picture.
Sometimes people will intentionally delete pictures from a digital camera. On other occasions the hardware or operating system will fail and delete the pictures. No matter the situation, it’s important to understand how to retrieve digital photographs.
There are many recovery software packages that work well. One used by the authors is a program from www.RecoverMyFiles.com employed to recover 550 pictures from a young lady’s camera. The camera owner was in the U.S. studying cybercrime. The process took approximately three hours. However, she said there were about 600 pictures and 50 that were recovered were not visible. The authors then used another program called Data Lifter 2 with its utility File Extractor Pro and uncovered the other 50 pictures in about two hours. That utility is excellent at taking fragmented pictures and assembling them.
So in investigations, it is helpful to learn something about digital evidence collection and picture recovery.
The portability of the aforementioned devices has obviously become both a blessing and a burden. For the good and honest parts of the world population, the advent of digital and wireless technology serves to enhance the quality of life. However, the criminal paradoxically could say the same thing about his or her high-tech ability to expand an illegal enterprise.
The challenge for private security and criminal justice is that the technology most often changes to the advantage of the bad guys.
They only need to think of one way to abuse a given technology. The investigator is put in the position of having to sift through the various combinations and permutations of that same technology to unravel the crime. The answers are not easy. At the least, it would take a higher level of cooperation than currently exists from tech manufacturers to thwart the furtherance of criminal activities in the areas described herein.