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tracedf
(@tracedf)
Active Member

You know forensics tools are very expensive. I am new in this field and I can not afford to buy them at the moment. However there are some forensics tools around whose dongles are emulated or which are cracked.

I know it is illegal to emulate dongles or crack but my question is a bit different.

As I am newcomer to forensics field I wonder if the courts interrogate used programmes for reports are licensed or not.
Must I refrain to use such programmes or not?

Regards

I saw video of the voir dire of an expert in a murder trial where they did ask him whether he had a license for EnCase. It turned out that he had used someone else's license. It might have been legal, I think he went to their facility and used their computer, but it did lead to some uncomfortable follow-up questions. So, you could get asked and it's going to look really bad if you have to say you pirated it.

The opposing counsel could use the piracy to impugn your honesty and undermine your testimony. They could also use that to raise questions about the validity of your examination. E.g. was the software up to date? Is the software authentic? How do you know? Since you didn't get it from the vendor, how do you know that the program you used is actually a fully-functional copy of EnCase, AXIOM? Did you receive training on the software? [Unlikely since you didn't buy it]. Do you have access to the help and support resources that paying customers have? [if not] How do you know that you're using the software correctly? How do you get assistance if the software doesn't behave properly?

If you can't afford commercial programs, use free/open-source tools to start with. Build some of your own tools (many DFIR books include scripts and programs that you can modify or extend). If really want to get your hands on some commercial tools to learn and experiment, request a demo version or take a class at a college/university that has access to one or more of them.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 26/11/2018 7:33 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

How do you get assistance if the software doesn't behave properly?

… AND you are capable of noticing that it doesn't behave properly …

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 26/11/2018 7:41 pm
bshavers
(@bshavers)
Active Member

Consider this, especially if you work or want to work in the legal profession, as in digital forensics

1-Pirating is illegal (it is a crime, because it is stolen software).
2-Cracked software is broken (because you can't trust it, since it is broken).

Do you really want to commit a crime (by using pirated software), while investigating a legal matter with broken software (that may potentially give inaccurate results), all of which will have an impact on a defendant's due process?

As far as arguing whether or not cracked/pirated software is reliable (maybe it is, maybe it isn't), you will lose a legal argument, simply because the software is broken, and for any legal purposes, it is stolen property.

All it takes is one time in court to ruin your future of ever coming to court again as a reliable witness, which practically is the end of a digital forensics career.

Just sayin' D

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 11:09 am
hectic_forensics
(@hectic_forensics)
Junior Member

Consider this, especially if you work or want to work in the legal profession, as in digital forensics

1-Pirating is illegal (it is a crime, because it is stolen software).
2-Cracked software is broken (because you can't trust it, since it is broken).

Do you really want to commit a crime (by using pirated software), while investigating a legal matter with broken software (that may potentially give inaccurate results), all of which will have an impact on a defendant's due process?

As far as arguing whether or not cracked/pirated software is reliable (maybe it is, maybe it isn't), you will lose a legal argument, simply because the software is broken, and for any legal purposes, it is stolen property.

All it takes is one time in court to ruin your future of ever coming to court again as a reliable witness, which practically is the end of a digital forensics career.

Just sayin' D

PREACH!

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 1:33 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

1-Pirating is illegal (it is a crime, because it is stolen software).

Technically piracy is not theft

wink

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 1:34 pm
bshavers
(@bshavers)
Active Member

I understand the humor in that perception, but I believe that we do a grave disservice to those trying to enter the forensic field when we advocate or imply that breaking laws is OK.

I cannot imagine any college program that is teaching this field is telling students that pirating software, especially digital forensics software they will be using in their jobs, is OK if they cannot afford it, or because it "is not really stealing" because information (software) should be free.

Imagine an attorney explaining to a judge that they hired a digital forensic examiner who used pirated and cracked software because the examiner (1) couldn't afford buying it or (2) doesn't believe in software legal agreements are lawful, and (3) even though the software is broken, it still works good enough to analyze evidence that can put someone in prison.

There is a solid legal line between "digital forensics examiner" and software pirate, with no light in between.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 4:14 pm
azrael
(@azrael)
Senior Member

1-Pirating is illegal (it is a crime, because it is stolen software).

Technically piracy is not theft

wink

jaclaz

Oooh, confuse that one slightly more in certain areas of the UK …

Theft in Scottish Law is defined as ‘the taking or appropriating the property of another without the true owner’s consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of that property.’

As there is no intent to deprive the owner of the property, software piracy isn't theft by a legal definition !

Anyhoo, we digress …

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 5:26 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

I understand the humor in that perception, but I believe that we do a grave disservice to those trying to enter the forensic field when we advocate or imply that breaking laws is OK.

Sure ) , as a matter of fact what I implied in my earlier posts was that in a forensic career not only piracy is illegal, it is also essentially stupid.

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 5:33 pm
bshavers
(@bshavers)
Active Member

You know forensics tools are very expensive. I am new in this field and I can not afford to buy them at the moment. However there are some forensics tools around whose dongles are emulated or which are cracked.

I know it is illegal to emulate dongles or crack but my question is a bit different.

As I am newcomer to forensics field I wonder if the courts interrogate used programmes for reports are licensed or not.
Must I refrain to use such programmes or not?

Regards

"However there are some forensics tools around whose dongles are emulated or which are cracked."
You are implying that since someone left their door unlocked, you can legally walk in and take what you want, just because it is there.

"I know it is illegal to emulate dongles or crack but my question is a bit different."
As you know it is "illegal", it appears as if you are asking permission to break laws.

"As I am newcomer to forensics field I wonder if the courts interrogate used programmes for reports are licensed or not."
Yes. Not every time. But yes. Anytime and sometimes. I always recommend to any attorney that hires me to have EULA questions be one of the first questions asked of the opposing expert, for as sure as a witness testifies personally to violating laws, the evidence validity and the witness's credibility just tanked.

"Must I refrain to use such programmes or not?"
Abide by the End User Licensing Agreements of the software you use. This should not even be a question.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 6:12 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Community Legend

"However there are some forensics tools around whose dongles are emulated or which are cracked."
You are implying that since someone left their door unlocked, you can legally walk in and take what you want, just because it is there.

Actually no. 😯

A valid comparison would be that "someone actually locked his door very safely but someone else made a copy without being authorized of the key to the lock and that you managed, after having looked for this copy of the key in several places, found it and used it to open the locked door and take what you want once the door has been opened".

Your example describes a "crime of opportunity", the above is that of a crime with (a lot of) premeditation.

jaclaz

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 7:34 pm
bshavers
(@bshavers)
Active Member

That's actually much better than my example )

ReplyQuote
Posted : 17/12/2018 7:38 pm
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