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The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Discussion of computer forensics employment and career issues.
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Patrick4n6
Senior Member
 

Re: The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Post Posted: Jan 25, 10 21:11

I know how he feels, and I typed up a whole post about it, but then I deleted it because frankly, the average citizen is better off never knowing what I've seen. To even hear some of it described would make you feel ill. And if you haven't worked CEM or "innocent images" then you may think you know what we're talking about, but you really don't unless you broke a few laws yourself.

I had a good friend work online engagement for over 7 years with only about 6 months off. In the end he went out psych. I believe towards the end that his agency actually mandated pysch visits every few months, but you're also up against the paramilitary, suck-it-up culture so counseling is not always effective.
_________________
Tony Patrick, B. Inf Tech, CFCE
www.patrickcomputerfor...s.com/blog
www.twitter.com/Patrick4n6 
 
  

rrwashing
Member
 

Re: The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Post Posted: Jan 25, 10 22:49

" I 'felt' there was more to find and carried on after finishing the original work request. Because of that work further arrests were made and a little girl was taken out of a situation of abuse. "

I hear ya.

The hard part of that statement is that we ALL know that you get a "feel" for the user(s) after sifting through their garbage, but the author of the article is so constrained and hampered by SOP's, Management, overbearing rules, training, etc that he would never have been allowed to add value to a case based simply on "feel".

That is the reason I (and 27 other people) left that place.  
 
  

jhup
Senior Member
 

Re: The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Post Posted: Jan 25, 10 22:59

I pray every day not have to find things like that . . .

Sadly funny how I have the "paranoia" and the appropriate stuff in my basement.  
 
  

CforPro
Member
 

Re: The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Post Posted: Jan 25, 10 23:40

I have not had to view any of these types of images but we did discuss it amongst classmates. There were a few that wanted to get in to the corporate side because of this. I have always had the feeling that I need to help people. While I 'think' that my mind is solid enough that I could do the work with the thought that I am helping those that can't help themselves, I can't help but think that a person would be changed by constant viewing of such images.
I guess if/when I come across a case such as this, I'll deal with it and make the decision afterwords if it is worth continuing on in that capacity. I guess my thoughts are that somebody has to do this.  
 
  

Patrick4n6
Senior Member
 

Re: The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Post Posted: Jan 26, 10 00:00

One of the questions that you may get asked in an interview for a LEO that does a lot of this work is likely to relate to whether you have an issue with dealing with this kind of material. An "I'll see after my first case" response won't be viewed favourably by the selection panel.

Funnily enough, when I was asked by my friends outside of law enforcement how I did the CEM stuff, the answer that I gave was a lot like what you said: "I can deal with this stuff, I'm good at what I do, and I'm contributing to putting the bad guys away".
_________________
Tony Patrick, B. Inf Tech, CFCE
www.patrickcomputerfor...s.com/blog
www.twitter.com/Patrick4n6 
 
  

Wardy
Senior Member
 

Re: The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Post Posted: Jan 26, 10 02:46

We all have different tolerance levels and different coping strategies. Some people may last around 2 years, some far less, some far more.

If you don't/can't cope for very long, or aren't even inclined to deal with IIOC etc, it doesn't make you less of a forensic practitioner than someone who does.

Having been in this field for 8 years, can I say it's affected my sense of humour? Nope, not at all. I still know the difference between things I should/can/shouldn't/can't say.

Has it made me paranoid? Nope, it has made me more aware of certain dangers though. No anti radiation pills in my basement....  
 
  

CFP001
Member
 

Re: The darker side of being a computer forensics analyst

Post Posted: Jan 26, 10 05:58

My first case was a nasty divorce. During the initial court hearing the wife claimed she wasn't drinking heavily, wasn't chatting with convicted felons and wasn't sending pictures of herself and their young daughter to strangers on the Internet- all of which was proven to be perjury.
As if all that wasn't bad enough, every piece of evidence--facebook chats, yahoo chats, emails--uncovered another affair she was having. I thought my client was going to loose it more than once.
On court day, I get stuck in the elevator with my client and one of the wife's many affairs.

The whole thing made me think long and hard if I could do this everyday.  
 

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