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armresl
(@armresl)
Senior Member

I am curious why people think that computer science is the gateway to computer forensics?

IMHO an investigative background is much more important.

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Posted : 28/03/2005 9:54 am
keydet89
(@keydet89)
Community Legend

I am curious why people think that computer science is the gateway to computer forensics?

IMHO an investigative background is much more important.

Well, to be honest…it's just an opinion.

My experience has been that Electrical Engineering, even focusing specifically on computer architecture, isn't going to provide you with the background knowledge you need for something like this. However, a CS degree, with it's math background, seems to provide better venues for learning the material and skills needed for forensics.

An investigative background is definitely important, as it provides an understanding of why certain procedures are followed, as well as how the data can be used.

H. Carvey
"Windows Forensics and Incident Recovery"
http://www.windows-ir.com
http://windowsir.blogspot.com

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Posted : 28/03/2005 1:23 pm
andy1500mac
(@andy1500mac)
Member

Computer forensics can encompass more than just examining a hard drive and producing a report based on third party software and I believe all will agree that coming from a law enforcement/investigative background guarantees that you are half way there if you are interested in the field.

Keep in mind computer forensics can and does entail many network/intrusion related exams which can prove quite complex and thus a thorough understanding of networking protocols, ports, firewalls, routing, access control lists and the such can be extremely helpful….and thus a computer science/networking background can come handy.

I see two schools of though…with equal arguments for both.

Andrew-

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Posted : 28/03/2005 11:17 pm
andrewsco
(@andrewsco)
New Member

Well I am hoping that I degree (Well Masters) in Computer Science will give me an insight into the business of forensic computing. I have been toying with the idea of joining one of the armed forces (police or RAF) and working somewhat in this field.

The problem i am facing with the police is, that as far as I know when you join for the first 2 or 3 years you have to work on the beat. Now I dont want to do that, I only want to work with computers etc, don't mind police duties, but only really do to with computer cases.

I have no idea how to get into it privately, and am guessing most jobs are appointed to current employess, who are asked to investigate something?

Anyway if anyone has any ideas on how to get into forensics I'd love to hear it. PS my first degree was Law of which I got a 2:2 (currently getting a high merit in Msc)

Andy

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Posted : 30/03/2005 8:12 pm
Andy
 Andy
(@andy)
Active Member

Hi Andrew, joining the police is not as easy as one would think. There are a myriad of hurdles to jump before you are accepted and swear your attestation. The recruitment process has changed slightly over the years, and in the rigmarole has become nationalized in the UK. When I joined the police (15 years ago), the entire process took 18 months from first filling in the application form, to standing in front of the magistrate swearing the oath.

There is then a two year probationary period, where you are tutored and monitored carefully by a number of training staff/police officers. If you do not perform and display the skills necessary – your appointment can be terminated.

Getting a post in a High Tech Crime unit/Computer Investigation Unit is again difficult. Many employ officers who display or can evidence an investigatory background – those with a number of years in the Criminal Investigation Unit are prime candidates (obviously with an I.T. background/passionate interest in computing). Again the process of becoming a substantive Detective takes time.

If you want to join the police, you should really put FC in the background for the time being and concentrate on being a successful officer. My personal feelings are that this is the most rewarding time you will ever experience.

Some police forces employ civilian investigators, so there is an avenue open.

Some private FC practices take on juniors, to groom and develop. There is an opening at Cy4or in Manchester for such a position (advertised on this forum).

Andy

P.S. If you are serious about wanting to join the police I don’t mind providing some advice if you want to PM me.

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Posted : 31/03/2005 9:54 am
andrewsco
(@andrewsco)
New Member

Hi thanks for getting back to me.

i certainly wasn't suggesting that joining the police would be easy…quite the contrary actually. I know a friend who joined, and the application form itself was practically a book, with some very difficult scenario's to answer.

I wil certainly look into Cy4or as I will be graduating in a few months after my exams and it is the sort of field I would love to get into.

Its interesting that you mentioned the high tech crime unit, as my partners father works for the Manchester CPS, and he was going to try and get me a couple of days working alongside on of the staff in there, in order to help out my dissertation. He also mentioned how it is difficult to get into, and also mentioned how many people are highly qualified, (one person had worked alongside the FBI) but yet are still on a relatively low wage, and have to work up the ranks.

As I say though, the police is a serious option, and Andy if I decide to apply over the next few months, I may PM you for some advice.

Thanks
Andy

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Posted : 31/03/2005 3:54 pm
fatrabbit
(@fatrabbit)
Active Member

andrewsco, a quick warning about joining the RAF to become a forensic investigator. The only trade that specialise in this field is (unsurprisingly) the RAF police, however, only a small amount of policemen actually do this job and they don’t get much 'hands on' as this tends to be sub contracted to civilian contractors. Also if you were lucky to land one of these jobs it’s usually only for around three years before you get moved on to do something else.

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Posted : 01/04/2005 6:07 pm
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