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Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator
From: "Craig Wright" <cwright () bdosyd com au>
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 08:46:26 +1100


Hi,

First to what I have been saying all along "There IS a distinction
between the two" (incident response, forensics). Agreed as stated. The
argument seems to be gravitating towards one of specialist vs.
generalist

Certified Information Forensics Investigator CIFI was grandfathered by a
large number of people (though now closed).

Encase etc are JUST technical certs for the use of a product - they are
not proof of forensic skills.

CCE and MCCE have no grandfather provision but are otherwise similar to
the CIFI though they are focused on Forensics and not incident response.

SANs for an independent technical point of  view have the best training
and Certificates (esp. at Gold level). Again, Incident response is
separate to Forensics in this and they have separate certs (GCFA, GCIH).


Re ISSFA, "This is one organization that is making a concerted effort to
establish criteria and universally acceptable certification". This is
one of several organisations. It is not the oldest, not the largest. I
have no issues with the ISSFA, but it is not the only one.

PS... What is a "CISM Forensic Specialist"? CISM I know...I have one,
but no one at ISACA has offered this one to me.

Regards
Craig


-----Original Message-----
From: Robinson, Sonja [mailto:SRobinson () HIPUSA com]
Sent: 8 February 2006 2:17
To: Mark Teicher; security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: Spam: RE: Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator

No, not really.  Without getting technical and into strict defintions
because I really just don't have the time at the moment....  In
corporate/private practice, just as in LE, there are "forensics" teams
there are also "investigators".  There IS a distinction between the two
though.  Sometimes one person does both and sometimes they don't.  Good
digitial investigators generally should know both because you should be
doing both at the same time - performing your investigation in a
forensically sound manner.  (Sometimes you as a forensic person are
assisting an official investigator but let's not split hairs. Reality is
that much of the time you ARE the forensics tehcnician AND the
investigator because companies generally don't employ both).  Here is an
example of good investigation/bad forensics.  So if I was a PI (which I
was) and I backtraced a threatening e-mail for my client.  I printed out
the headers and the e-mail.  Then I deleted the e-mail and did not
retain a forensically acceptable copy (don't read into the use of the
word "copy"-you know what I mean).  I may have been very good
investigating the threat and back tracing it to the originating ISP and
locating the perp but I've deleted the evidence.  I can not recreate it
and I can not prove it was not fabricated.  Everything I did for the
victim/client is moot.   Nothing happens to the perp since I have no
evidence, the threatening e-mail turns into a murder/suicide.
Therefore, while I was a good investigator I was NOT a good forensics
technician.  Therefore, my case is dismissed because there is no
evidence other than a print out which can be easily faked.  THAT is the
distinction. But being a great forensics person does not mean you are a
great investigator either.  This is where network security and IT
knowledge comes in.  It makes you better at both.

There really is no one place or body that issues a universally accepted
certificate in "forensics".  There are proprietary certificates such as
Encase, Access Data or NTI.  There are group/organization certificates
for forensics such as IISFA, etc.  But as of yet, there is no "one"
agreed upon certification like the CISSP for instance.  That is in the
works so to speak.  Professional groups are taking steps to try to
define a set of standards that will be required for certifications and
in order to accurately advertise yourself as "forensics".  I would like
to note that the main technical responses have come from 3 people who
hold the CIFI through the IISFA  - Dave Kleinbaum, Bob Radvanvsky and
myself.  This is one organization that is making a concerted effort to
establish criteria and universally acceptable certification. 

In those "books" that you mention and in that persons common body of
knowledge most likely is a good foundation of forensics.  Not
necessarily but most likely.  Investigations and forensics are not the
same nor are the mutually exclusive.


Sonja L. Robinson, CISSP, CIFI, CISA, CISM Forensic Specialist, Digital
Investigations HIP Information Security Group
Tel: 212-806-4125
srobinson () hipusa com


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Teicher [mailto:mht3 () earthlink net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 7:28 AM
To: Craig Wright; Robinson, Sonja; security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: Spam: RE: Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator

So if one has written six books on Internet and Investigations, as well
as a number of articles for various PI magazines, with a CISSP
certification, a NSA IAM certificate, a Private Investigator license and
a certification in email tracing, that doesn't make one certified a
Cyber Crime Investigator?? I still don't understand the difference then
?

/


-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Wright <cwright () bdosyd com au>
Sent: Feb 6, 2006 4:51 PM
To: "Robinson, Sonja" <SRobinson () HIPUSA com>,
security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: Spam: RE: Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator


Hello,
There is a confusion between forensic analysis and incident response.
Although these are related and in fact many people do both, they are
not the same. Incident response teams or personal are needed in many
organisations. Having a good investigative team makes life easier for a

forensic analyst.

They are however different roles. Oft the roles will overlap, but the
primary focus of forensics is obtaining and preserving evidence. This
may go against a corporations aims to have production systems running
as soon as possible.

I am not talking of LE at all. Rather I am stating insolvency support,
litigation support, etc.

Network security does not mean knowing where to look for logs. This is
a technical skill. Again a case where people get the more esoteric
nature of the role confused with the technical skills.

Very few people can investigate a hard drive in a manner that is
acceptable without challenger in court. This is the role of forensics.
General investigation is a role in incident response.

I am sure that this will garnish further comment - but I am a purist
when it comes to definitive terminology. Incident response and
Forensics are separate (though related disciplines). Most of the
comments are asking about the former though stating them as the latter.

Regards
Craig

-----Original Message-----
From: Robinson, Sonja [mailto:SRobinson () HIPUSA com]

Sent: 7 February 2006 1:51
To: Craig Wright; security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: Spam: RE: Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator

I'm Sorry but I have to disagree with some of your statements while I
agree with some others.

1)  Many corporations in the US and around the world are hiring
EXPERIENCED forensic personnel.  I have worked as a consultant and for
private companies doing forensics for over 8 years now.  My start was
private.  I have never been "employed" by LE however, I have been hired

by govts/military for jobs.  You can start entry level Info Security
and get trained by one of their staff if they feel you are up to the
challenge.  I am training a few co-workers myself and am helping them
on the career path.

      Why corporate?  Espionage, sexual harrasment, porn,
assault/murder,
hacking/incident response, identity theft, HIPAA/SOX, resource abuse,
etc. etc.  Believe me, there's plenty of work on the corporate side -
you don't have to go LE if you don't want to.  That's just the tip of
the iceberg.  You must assume that your cases will go to court,
especially if employees are terminated as a result of your
investigation.  Sometimes you work hand in hand with LE.  You can get
more than they can until you become their agent for internal
investigations.  But that's where you need ot know the law aspect.
Sometimes you need their assistance with items such as subpoenas, etc.
Also with the Calif law that is being adopted throughout the US, you
will be working with LE for disclousres.
2)  Network security is essential if you want to perform and
investigation.  How will you know where to look, what logs to obtain,
etc.  You must also know the law in the country, states and other
jurisdictions that the case involves (i.e subpoena in another
state/country).  Nothing personal but with the right tools, most anyone

can investigate a hard drive although they will most likely screw up
the acquisition, chain of custody and legal aspects thereby nullifying
their review.  Point being, it takes a lot of training and experience
and if you can't find your way around a network you;ve got no business
doing an investigation because you will only be looking at a small part

of the picture in many cases.

3)  There is no "one" certification.  There are ones that are more
common, advisable etc. but there is no one stop shopping.

4)  I agree with everything up to the "after incident response".  This
is because, IT people will most liekly trample your evidence.  Ideally
you should be preserving evidence while they correct a problem so it
should be in tandem.  Of course, many time it does occur after IT has
responded and corrected an issue.  Your company should make a decision
before hand wether their primary goal is recovery, forensics or both.
The answer will vary by system, issue, etc.
5)  There are classes you can take, some proprietary/some not.  There
are many groups you can join to learn if you are truly interested.  The

job can be boring and monotonous (i.e. Log reading and correlation) but

it's also a lot of fun.  It's a big game of hide and seek and I think
it's a blast.  It's never the same and you find out a lot about people.
6)  I totally agree with pretty much every other statement of Craig's.
It's work, it's integrity, it's honesty, a lot of good communication
skills, a knowledge of law, operating systems, networking, incident
response and recovery, network security, cryptography/steganography,
and the ability to think like criminals/abusers without actually being
one.
You  must also remember that you can not speculate.  You present facts.
7)  Forensics is a science of processes.  It deals in facts.  There ARE

a lot of people and products who purport to be "forensics" but are not
and are well, we'll just say, "not able to present or be presentable"
in court for a number of reasons.


Sonja L. Robinson, CISSP, CIFI, CISA, CISM Forensic Specialist, Digital

Investigations HIP Information Security Group
Tel: 212-806-4125
srobinson () hipusa com



-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Wright [mailto:cwright () bdosyd com au]
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 5:22 PM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator


First, Computer Forensics is a separate discipline to Computer
Security.
Next, incident response in business is not generally about forensics
nor does it have a lot to do with it.


Other than a low level knowledge of systems (and forget the tools based
- Encase training only - approach). A strong knowledge of law is
required.

Your job/role as a forensic services provider (of any type) is to
provide court support. This is it - full stop.

Your job is;
      1       Investigate. Document Preserve the "chain of evidence",
      2       Document everything. This is for and against. You have
to be impartial.
      3       Be prepared to sit in court and have your life,
experience and training picked apart.
      4       Answer the facts simply and succinctly, no more, no
less. What you are asked you answer. Your opinion only comes into this
when and IF your have been directly asked.

The role is slow and methodological. If you think accounting and being
an auditor is fun, than you may fit into the role.

Complete some courses in English grammar and report writing. This is an

essential skill. Spelling and punctuation can make or break your career

in this field.

Forensics has NOTHING to do with detection of an attack. It comes after

the attack. It comes after the initial incident response process.
Knowledge of incident response is needed to ensure the "chain of
evidence", but it is not generally part of your role as a forensic
analyst.

SANs GCFA is a good preliminary as is CCE. Neither will make you more
than an intern level by itself. You will be judged (at more than an
intern level) on how you handle cases. How you respond in court. Many
prospective employers will expect to view transcripts of cases you have

been involved with to see how you handle under cross.

You want to be top of the field. Many years. Much training. Calm
demeanour. Honesty. Integrity. This is the simple answer. There is a
great deal more as well. You need at least knowledge of the law (a
degree is not necessary, but does help. This is how experience as an
officer of the law aides). Absolutely NO knowledge of information
security is required (in contradiction to popular belief). It does
help.

Familiarity of file-systems is crucial. Learn both Linux and Windows at

the least. Understand how to create a timeline. Know how to extract and

analyse slack space while maintaining evidential integrity. These are
some of the required skills (tip of the iceberg).

There are many people who profess to have computer forensic skills.
There are very few who really have these skills. There are even fewer
who can use their skills in court.


Regards
Craig


      Dr Craig S Wright DTh MNSA MMIT CISA CISM CISSP ISSMP ISSAP
G7799 GCFA AFAIM Manager - Computer Assurance Services BDO Chartered
Accountants & Advisers Level 19, 2 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2001
Telephone: +61 2 9286 5555
Fax: +61 2 9993 9705
Direct: +61 2 9286 5497
<Mailto:CWright () bdosyd com au>


-----Original Message-----
From: mhayden [mailto:mike_hayden () quintum com]

Sent: 2 February 2006 7:46
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: RE: Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator

Koolk3,

I am also looking into this, I don't have much information but this is
what I've gathered:

- There seem to genarally be 2 facets of Forensics:
* Computer Forensics - pouring over someone's harddrive to gather and
document evidence.
* Network Forensics - Alot of what the folks on this list do on a day
to day basis, intrusion protection, detection and analysis.

You can persue one or the other but it sounds like you want a
combination of both.

- It has been suggested to me that if I was interested I should persue
a Law Enforcement career and go at it from that angle.  I have been a
Software developer for almost 20 years, in the US I'm too old for Law
Enforcement (35 yrs is the cutoff in my state) so that option is out
for me.

- Another suggestion was the FBI or CIA as a civilian professional or
if you meet the age/citizenship criteria an Agent.

- There are also private companies that do Computer Forensics and are
hired out by Lawyers or Law Enforcement that need the help when
computers are acquired in crimes.

I have taken a Computer Forensics class at the college level to get a
feel for that but unfortunately that isn't enough to get you in the
door (unless you get lucky).  I also get the feeling that without an IT

background you are out in the cold.

Another suggestion was to join one of the local chapters of the IACIS
(International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists).  I
think you would need to be invited in my an existing member and I'm not

sure if its only open to Law Enforcement folks checkout there website
(http://www.iacis.info/iacisv2/pages/home.php).  There are many
different groups, some are open to civilians and some are not.

Hope this helps a bit.  I look forward to comments from others to help
me in my quest also.

MH




-----Original Message-----
From:
security-basics-return-38141-mike_hayden=quintum.com () securityfocus com
[mailto:security-basics-return-38141-mike_hayden=quintum.com () securityfo
c
us.com]On Behalf Of Koolk3
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 12:21 PM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: Forensic/Cyber Crime Investigator


Hi List,

I tried posting this before, didn't go through. So I am trying again.

I am interested in becoming a Forensics/Cyber Crime Investigator
preferably with any law enforcement agency in Canada. I will graduate
this April with a Bachelor in Computer Engineering. I have some
experince in Forensics and IT security from coop placements and wanted
to take this option as a career.

My questions are:

1) What kind of certification is the most demanding/respected among law

enforcement aganices in Canada/US?

2) If anyone on the list is with RCMP, OPP or any other law enforcement

agency here could you please give me any information on a possible
career path. Where do I start? Are these kind of jobs considered as a
civilian job?

3) Those in the USA: could you please tell me if I can have any
prospect there as a Canadian citizen. I would imagine you would need an

US citizen to work in the law enforcement agencies, but what about
private organizations?

4) Any information in building a career path in this field would be
helpful.

Thanks everyone.

--
KoolK3

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EARN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE - ONLINE The Norwich
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EARN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE - ONLINE The Norwich
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the case study affords you unmatched consulting experience.

Tailor your education to your own professional goals with degree
customizations including Emergency Management, Business Continuity
Planning, Computer Emergency Response Teams, and Digital
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Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards
Legislation in respect of matters arising within those States and
Territories of Australia where such legislation exists.

DISCLAIMER
The information contained in this email and any attachments is
confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use or
disclose the information. If you have received this email in error,
please inform us promptly by reply email or by telephoning +61 2 9286
5555. Please delete the email and destroy any printed copy.


Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender.
You may not rely on this message as advice unless it has been
electronically signed by a Partner of BDO or it is subsequently
confirmed by letter or fax signed by a Partner of BDO.

BDO accepts no liability for any damage caused by this email or its
attachments due to viruses, interference, interception, corruption or
unauthorised access.

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---- EARN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE - ONLINE The
Norwich University program offers unparalleled Infosec management
education and the case study affords you unmatched consulting
experience.
Tailor your education to your own professional goals with degree
customizations including Emergency Management, Business Continuity
Planning, Computer Emergency Response Teams, and Digital
Investigations.

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------------------------------------------------------------------------
---
EARN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE - ONLINE The Norwich
University program offers unparalleled Infosec management education and
the case study affords you unmatched consulting experience.
Tailor your education to your own professional goals with degree
customizations including Emergency Management, Business Continuity
Planning, Computer Emergency Response Teams, and Digital Investigations.


http://www.msia.norwich.edu/secfocus
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------------------------------------------------------------------------
---
EARN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE - ONLINE The Norwich
University program offers unparalleled Infosec management education and
the case study affords you unmatched consulting experience.
Tailor your education to your own professional goals with degree
customizations including Emergency Management, Business Continuity
Planning, Computer Emergency Response Teams, and Digital Investigations.


http://www.msia.norwich.edu/secfocus
------------------------------------------------------------------------
---


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation in respect of matters arising within 
those States and Territories of Australia where such legislation exists.

DISCLAIMER
The information contained in this email and any attachments is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you 
must not use or disclose the information. If you have received this email in error, please inform us promptly by reply 
email or by telephoning +61 2 9286 5555. Please delete the email and destroy any printed copy. 

Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender. You may not rely on this message as advice 
unless it has been electronically signed by a Partner of BDO or it is subsequently confirmed by letter or fax signed by 
a Partner of BDO.

BDO accepts no liability for any damage caused by this email or its attachments due to viruses, interference, 
interception, corruption or unauthorised access.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
EARN A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE - ONLINE
The Norwich University program offers unparalleled Infosec management
education and the case study affords you unmatched consulting experience.
Tailor your education to your own professional goals with degree
customizations including Emergency Management, Business Continuity Planning,
Computer Emergency Response Teams, and Digital Investigations.

http://www.msia.norwich.edu/secfocus
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