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Examples of Bad Computer Forensics  

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bjgleas
(@bjgleas)
Active Member

I'm preparing some materials for a computer forensic lecture, and would like to include some video clips from shows like CSI and Law & Order, as examples of good, bad, realistic, or unrealistic examples of computer forensics.

For example, in CSI, season 5 episode 3, they appear to be examining a missing child's computer system by opening IE and accessing some webservers and the ie history, without appearing to be using any kind of forensics tool.

In the show InJustice, season 1 episode 8, they do some forensics on an old Mac - and printout what appears to be hundreds of boxes of paper - then proceed to read the printouts looking for clues (when it would have been much easier to use a search tool). But I like this because the boxes of paper are a good visual depicting amount of data that needs to be examined.

Can any of you point me to other specific examples? I know in CIS there was one where they find an iMac with a bunch of CDs and start tossing the CDs in the iMac to see what is on them, and another where they turn on a computer, and is acting "strange", so they open it up and find the murder weapon. If anybody know which specific episodes these are, or know of others, it would be appreciated.

bj

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Posted : 25/03/2006 8:16 pm
debaser_
(@debaser_)
Active Member

Although i dont have any good examples, I do think it is a good idea to start a lecture by showing the difference between tv and reality. The bad thing is that it will not change - but should it? Television shows are there to entertain people, and the details are often boring. (to the average viewer) The more I learn about technology the farther I get from the initial amazement I had when I bought my first PC.

On the other hand, by keeping people in the dark when it comes to the actual limitations of technology we may be doing them a disservice. Tech has become a large part of our everyday lives, and will continue to creep into our laws. We do not want people to make laws concerning technology they know nothing about. IIRC Kevin Mitnick was denied the use of a phone when arrested because they thought he could launch nukes? This is what i have heard, so take it with a grain of salt, but this would be a good example.

Thats my rant for this morning wink

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Posted : 25/03/2006 9:27 pm
bjgleas
(@bjgleas)
Active Member

Debaser_

As it has been reported, the "CIS Effect" has had an impact on the viewer. But myt plans isn't to change TV, but to make them, in part, educated viewers. So I would like to show some of these clips, and then have them do a critique of them - what did they do write, what did they do wrong, etc.

Thanks for the rant,

bj

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Posted : 26/03/2006 9:09 pm
datacarver
(@datacarver)
Active Member

I think its a good idea for this reason.

I tell people my profession all the time. And I get the same response 90% of the time, "Oh, so you do like all that CSI stuff." Many people who are not in the industry do not have the knowledge of computer forensics and do not know the importance of tested methodologies and practices. They think of what we do much like the TV shows, we sit at the computer and look around. We all know that all of our cases would be thrown out if we conducted our investigations in that fashion.

I think from a teaching standpoint, showing some clips would show the students, "See this example, if it went to court, it would most likely be thrown out". It will show them the importance of the tools, hardware, procedures and methodologies we use.

But, if I were teaching, I probably wouldn't spend an entire lecture showing clips, and probably wouldn't have them write a paper about it because, while I think it would be a good segway into "The Importance of our tool/procedures….", I do not think the clips are substantial enough. The TV shows that you are going to get clips from are not about computer forensics, so the any clip involving this may be 5-10 seconds long. And I really don't think you'll find anything "right" in any of them. Like a said, I think it would be a nice segway into other discussions. Its a good way to appeal to the students. Its nice to get away from Powerpoints! )

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Posted : 03/10/2007 11:39 pm
ronanmagee
(@ronanmagee)
Active Member

Dont forget, these shows have to fit into 1hour of prime time TV … try imaging a machine, doing an investigation, saving the world and acting cool in that space of time!! Horatio makes a good stab at it thou.

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Posted : 04/10/2007 1:03 am
datacarver
(@datacarver)
Active Member

Dont forget, these shows have to fit into 1hour of prime time TV … try imaging a machine, doing an investigation, saving the world and acting cool in that space of time!! Horatio makes a good stab at it thou.

hahaha. I know two individuals that could do that…Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris

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Posted : 04/10/2007 1:13 am
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