The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Alabama state officials unveiled today the National Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover, Ala., that will assist in the field of computer forensics and digital evidence analysis. The institute will be developed by the U.S Secret Service and is partially funded by the departmentâ€™s National Cyber Security Division. It will serve as a national cyber crimes training facility where state and local police officers, as well as prosecutors and judges, will be offered training and equipment…â€œThe same technologies that are a part of every-day life in the twenty-first century are routinely used by criminal groups for their nefarious activities,â€ said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. â€œThis institute will turn the tables on these criminal groups and equip law enforcement with sophisticated skills to use the same technologies in combating criminal activity.â€
Law enforcement agencies routinely encounter computer or digital evidence and the level of training for state and local police departments is diverse. The National Computer Forensic Training Institute will provide training and tools for state and federal law enforcement to meet the challenges ahead.
â€œTodayâ€™s high tech environment presents new challenges to law enforcement as cyber criminals exploit computers and the Internet to threaten our banking, financial and critical infrastructures,â€ said Secret Service Deputy Director Brian Nagel. â€œAs a result, law enforcement has been propelled into technologically non-traditional terrain requiring highly specialized skills and innovative applications of traditional investigative strategies. It is imperative to address the changes in technology by providing training on cyber-investigative techniques and by sharing current expertise among federal, state and local officers.â€
The facility will include classrooms, a computer forensic lab with an advanced research and development area, an evidence vault, storage and server rooms, public education exhibit space, and a conference room. Training will be based on the current U.S. Secret Service curriculum and include: basic electronic crimes investigation, network intrusion investigation and computer forensics.