Category Archives: Computer Forensics

Have You Been Considering A Career In Computer Forensics?

Careers in forensics are diverse and growing to be increasingly more sought after, in particular, those in computer forensics. Computer forensic investigations consist of cyber forensics and computer security forensics and these disciplines naturally have a certain level of cross over in between them.

Computer technology has advanced considerably throughout the past decade and has led to the need for a dedicated branch of forensic investigation to be created. Many people tend to think of fingerprinting and crime scene analysis once they think of forensic science, but forensics has had to move with the times and utilise technologies to help their challenging job.

Even though some do, it’s a fact that numerous criminals don’t have a lot of understanding of the operating systems associated with using computers and as such, leave them self wide open to getting caught by the specialists. Pedophile networks are a excellent example of the skill of computer forensics being utilized. Even when information is believed to be deleted, it can remain for years on the hard drive unless it is overwritten and it’s feasible to retrieve it by the use of forensic data recovery software.

Computer hacking is a well-known practice that requires computer security forensics experts to find the hacker in cyberspace. Hacking may involve using someone else’s e-mail account to spam a large number of individuals, to place a virus, to steal cash or alter individual particulars or merely to crash servers for some purpose. Each one of these practices are against the law and may cause a great deal of harm to business and individuals.

A computer forensics professional can also access mobile phone technology to retrieve information and contact details of suspected criminals. Indeed, an entire network can be rounded up from the foolhardy use of cellular devices utilized by one person.

However, importantly, a computer forensics expert must be in a position to demonstrate in court that any material retrieved was actually present on the phone or computer when a crime was committed because it could be all too simple to plant that material at a later date. Consequently, as with hard evidence, the chain of custody should be kept ultra-clean and secure when using computer forensics.

Careers in forensics need a lot of initial and on-going education and is definitely a lifelong career demanding a great deal of dedication. The pay might not be great for a few years, but job satisfaction is, so if you’re considering specialising in one element of forensics, then computer forensics is definitely a rewarding one to follow.

Above is not an exhaustive list but is designed only to offer you an notion of computer forensics. Should you be considering careers in forensics, you will discover more information at www.careersinforensics.com.

Computer Forensics

Has your network been compromised? The IT Forensics in Houston, Texas investigate all areas of computer and cyber forensics, breach in data security, hackers and vulnerabilities in servers, wireless networks, mobile devices and more. We discover and recovery any critical data with our dedicated expert teams of investigators. We have the experience, skills, expertise and specialty tools needed making us your one stop solution to the problem.

Our computer forensics team will discover and recover your critical data while eliminating the problems of entry from intruders. Whether your need is litigation based or investigative, our team of specialists are the one stop solution to capture and control the situation at hand. We are highly experienced as witnesses in computer forensic testimonies in courts all across the great state of Texas and the United States. We help industrial, corporate and residential users to recover their electronically stored information (ESI) making their life less stressful.

Computer forensics investigators are on call 24/7 to meet and exceed your expectations of recovery and to secure your network from intruders keeping your valuable information private at all times. Mobile devices such as smart phones, laptops, tablets and iPads store critical data in which we are able to retrieve even when deletion has occurred accidentally. We have the ability to recovery text messages with our digital forensic analysis.

At IT Forensics in Houston, confidentiality and security is a main focus. We are able to review, access and rebuild the security designs already established for corporations, industrial, financial, retailers and residential and provide a comprehensive strategy securing all valuable data and recovery of critical data. We are the crme de la crme of computer digital forensics leading the industry with our established innovative technology techniques and highly skilled engineers.

Wireless network security assessments utilizing our expert engineers experience will create a safe environment to access the network from any location. Configuration and review of the wireless access points preventing intruders from penetrating the network will be analyzed and captured creating a security network against any vulnerability. We are the specialist leading the industry in IT Forensics, Houston, Texas based to get the job done right the first time.

Learn more about Computer Forensics Houston. Stop by McCann E-Investigations site where you can find out all about Cyber Investigation Houston and what their services can do to protect your business.

A Career In Computer Forensics

Computer forensics, also known as cyber forensics, involves computer security as well as computer forensic invesigations. This is just one of the latest developments inside fast moving field of forensics, obviously because of the probably faster advancements in computer technology and also the ability of some to manipulate this modern-day tendency with regard to their own gains.

Whereas more traditional forensics involves microscopic investigation of physical properties of any crime, computer forensics requires the minute investigation of computer files and the tracking and movement of those files as well, the hijacking of sites and the sites that people visit. While it can be a misconception that deleted files are not recoverable, a lot more people have become aware of the fact that they can. What this means is that new software keeps emerging that ‘shreds’ those files more finely making it harder for computer forensic experts to piece them back together.

The good news is that as quickly as the developers put out new software, or come up with more advanced techniques to completely remove files, some criminals are just not that savvy or, they don’t have the time to do this properly. Furthermore, some of the best computer forensic experts in the world are on the right side of law and are frequently one step ahead. Whereas normally, the only method to permanently delete files is to overwrite them completely – who knows exactly what the future will bring!

We are not just talking about a desktop or laptop computer here. We are all aware of how mobile phone technology has also advance with the likes of the iphone and similar devices, some are now used to store data files as well as names and contact numbers of the user. This level of detail can be extremely useful to police officers and the recovery of this data can be vital to furthering a case.

Most people have now heard of ‘hacking’ into computer accounts for various reasons including identity theft. As said, the modern-world relies heavily on storing data, including personal details as well as some really leading-edge government security measures. Not only can someone steal your identity, they can change it with another more unfavorable one! However, one of the most common illegal uses for hackers is to hijack other people’s websites with regard to their own uses, including sending millions of unsolicited spam emails through other people’s accounts. I very much doubt there is anyone who has ever not been a recipient of a minimum of one spam email! Fortunately, computer forensics experts are constantly on the lookout and tracking individuals who do this kind of thing.

If you are a computer forensics expert, the toughest job is usually to be able to convince a court that the material retrieved was really there and just when it was there. This is indeed similar to all branches of forensics and care must be taken at all times to maintain the evidence following proper procedures.

This site is an excellent source for information about careers in forensics available. Computer forensics is only one career within this field you may get answered here.

Freeware Antivirus Software

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Gen Wright asked:

AVG Free Edition has been one of the most used antivirus software ever by users who need basic protection and convenience but are under a strict or nonexistent budget. The software is rather easy to use and is not resource-intensive, which makes it perfect for older computers that don’t have enough power to run the more complex TSR antiviruses in the market. It supports the following operating systems:

– Windows XP;

– Windows 2000;

– Windows NT;

– Windows ME; and

– Windows 98

– Windows 95 is no longer supported by Microsoft, and as such, will not be supported by AVG Free Edition

There are lot of free antivirus programs available on the net and out of all of them, only a few proved to be helpfull to users. The AVG Free Edition has an intuitive and user-friendly interface, which is a definite advantage for non-techies and novice users. It does not take long to download and install the whole package. With the estimated download and setup time being estimated to clock in at less than 10 mins (slower depending on the Internet connection speed) While AVG Free Edition has always been one of the top competitors when it comes to freeware antivirus software, it’s performance is still good enough to allow it to go toe to toe with the most expensive PC Security suites. However, support is limited when it comes to free antivirus software and there are certain features that will not be available compared to the paid version.

Free updates are also available for AVG Free Edition, which can be set to allow the software to automatically update itself through the Internet at regular intervals. This helps the computer stay protected from new kinds of viruses and other malicious programs, even 0 day threats that become more and more prevalent these days. Aside from being able to scan the computer in normal mode, it is also available for use in safe mode. This would be a great help when accessing the computer in normal mode is impossible, which can be the case with some of the more advanced malware and viruses.

Here are the main features of AVG Free Edition:

1. Resident Shield: This is responsible for monitoring incoming or present threats on the computer. In case there are threats found in the computer then a notification will be displayed for the user. Though, it just merely notifies the user about the threats and does not remove it.

2. Email Scanner: As the term implies, it checks every incoming and outgoing emails for viruses that might be attached to it. The E-mail scanner works with most popular E-mail software such as outlook and Thunderbird.

3. LinkScanner: This feature will check if the link directs you to a malicious site and if it does it blocks the website and notifies you about it.

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Freeware Anti-spyware Software

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Gen Wright asked:

In these days of mass computer virus distribution by computer hackers and spammers, no educated internet user can think of using the internet without having an anti-spyware program installed. It used to be that one of the most off-putting aspects of Anti-Spyware programs is that the effectiveness of these types of security software is usually heavily dependent or reliant on the amount of cash you pay for their license. Fortunately, these past few years have seen the rise of fully functional and extremely secure freeware Anti-spyware programs. One of the most critically acclaimed is Ad-Aware 2008 Free.

Ad-Aware 2008 is able to scan the registry of your computer, RAM, external storage device and hard drives for tracking, advertising and data-mining activities. This helps you keep your privacy at a higher degree while you are surfing the Internet.

Ad-Aware 2008’s most recent iteration has been greatly improved when it comes to removing rootkits, which are known to cause some of the worst security compromises in modern desktop systems. Ad-Aware 2008’s automatic updates have been also made faster, which is a great boon for people with slower Internet connections. In tandem with Ad-aware 2008, Lavasoft’s ThreatWork will also enable the user to submit suspicious files for analysis. Not only will this allow users to take advantage of the extensive data collected amongst various Ad-Aware users all over the Internet, it will also help combat future threats. Additionally, the software is now compatible with Windows Vista 32- and 64-bit, an OS that has difficulties with other freeware security software.

The main features included in Ad-Aware 2008 Free are:

1. Greatly improved threat detection algorithms. Threats that are being detected by this software are:

– Adware, Spyware, Hijackers and Trojans

– Illegitimate applications and Fraud tools

– Key loggers and Password Stealers

– Drive-by downloads, hostile javascript, activex controls, and other malicious code that is prevalent on the Internet these days.

2. Improved rootkit removal system. The removal methods for rootkits have been greatly improved and enhanced to help combat highly advanced and complicated rootkits that are made regularly by malicious programmers.

3. Automatic updates are faster than usual and the scan is finished in several minutes. Alternatively, background scans are also unobtrusive and will not interfere with your current work.

4. CPU load and usage has been significantly reduced to allow the user to perform other cpu-dependent tasks without worrying or thinking of how fast the computer would go during system scans.

5. The download and installation time are optimized and only takes a few minutes to finish.

6. Malicious files can be sent to Lavasoft laboratory to be examined. After the file has been examined, a report will be uploaded to the users especially when it is about a new threat.

7. Multi-language support. Ad-aware 2008 supports a wide variety of languages, such as English, Dutch, French, Flemish, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

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Free Software Download

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Gen Wright asked:

uses computer technology nowadays. For students, computers take the place of typewriters in writing their reports or term papers. For office workers, they find that computers automate the manual processes, which they used to do. In this day and age, computers are used in almost every industry and by everyone. A person doesn’t need to own his/her personal computer. If he/she needs to use one but doesn’t have their own then they can easily go to a computer rental shop and use the shop’s computers for a price.

Because of this growing number of computer users and because the major computer applications may seem expensive to some, there are some people who take matters into their own hands. Armed with knowledge on computer programming, they set about making their own programs designed to handle the processes which they want the program to do. An example of this is the different text editors which have come out which can be used as an alternative to Word.

The programs which people create to make things easier are often available for download over the World Wide Web. There are two types of software programs which may be downloaded. These are the shareware software programs and the freeware software programs.

Shareware software programs are programs, which a person can download over the Internet. Its main difference from a freeware software program is that shareware software programs are often trial versions of a program. Trial versions often expire after a given number of days, hours, or after a given number of uses. These trial versions may also have only a limited number of functions available for a person to use when compared to the full version. Once the trial version expires or if a person wants to utilize the program in its full capacity, the person should buy its full version in order to continue using the program.

Freeware software is software, which can be downloaded off the Internet for free. This means that a person doesn’t need to pay anything in order to download and use the program. Some people may find it more practical to use this kind of software since this lessens expenses. Free software downloads may also include the code used in making the program. This helps the computer user understand how the program functions if he/she has knowledge about programming. It also works for the benefit of the developer since making the code easily accessible may lead to further development and improvement with regards to the programs’ growth.

Open-source software is also known as freeware. This is because open-source software was created to be shared with others and for the public’s use. The code that was used to create the program is often included once a person downloads an open-source software since this may lead to further improvement for the program. There are many types of open-source software programs. There is an open-source text editor (which functions like Word) and an open-source picture editor among others.

If a person is interested in a freeware download then he/she can easily avail of such software programs on various sites over the Internet. However, people are cautioned in exploring these different sites. Some sites may be infected with spyware or viruses which may infect the person downloading the freeware program. It is therefore recommended freeware from only trusted sites.

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Freeware Antivirus Software

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Gen Wright asked:

Nowadays, the sheer number of malicious programs and software exploits has made it so that no computer is ever considered Internet worthy without an antivirus program. This is further complicated by the fact that antivirus softwares tend to be either expensive or not effective. Luckily, there is Avast 4 Home Edition, an antivirus that is as effective as the most expensive PC security suites, yet available for download free of charge.

There are lot of free antivirus programs on the net but only few does the job that is needed to prevent viris and clean it once it gets infected. Avast 4 Home Edition has a lot of features that a user hopes needs to have in his anti-virus software. There are a lot of things that has been included in this software and Avast is intelligent enough to know where it should check, such as the overlooked places where viruses and other malicious files can possibly enter. These places include the following:

– Web traffic;

– Mail;

– Peer-to-peer programs; and

– Instant Messengers.

Avast 4 Home Edition is very easy to configure which is especially beneficial for novice users or people who have no prior knowledge of how to set up antivirus programs. It also includes an Outlook Express archive unpacker which scans email attachments from Outlook Express, perfect for helping you weed out harmful attachments from real attachments that came from friends and family. This also gives you a much needed sense of security as you feel free to open any attachments without worrying if the person who sent the mail to you is infected.

The main features included in Avast 4 Home Edition are:

1. Real-time protection:

2. On-Demand Scanner:

3. Web Shield: this monitors the incoming traffic from the Internet.

4. Email real-time protection: It monitors the incoming and outgoing emails from any SMTP, IMAP4 and POP3 email client.

5. Peer-to-peer programs: Checks the files being downloaded from Kazaa and BitTorrent. Also files from IM messengers specifically ICQ and Miranda are checked together with NNTP newsgroups.

6. Automatic Updates: Like other free antivirus software, this application checks for necessary updates. The updates are needed to make the application more robust when it comes to dealing with viruses and other malicious files.

7. Log viewer: The user will be able to review the threats that were detected by the software and the action taken.

8. Virus Chest: This is where the viruses and other malicious files are placed or quarantined when it is not removed or cleaned. This prevents further infection and also allows avast to collect more information about the thread, making other PCs safer in the future against the threat in question.

9. Boot Time Scanner: The application scans the disks at the same time Windows does CHKDSK.

10. Antivirus Screensaver, which allows Avast to run and scan your system everytime you let your computer idle.

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Freeware Antivirus Software

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Gen Wright asked:

Avira Antivir Personal Edition is becoming more and more popular and is being recommended by either corporate or home users. This is because aside from being absolutely free for download and personal use, Avira Antivir is also powerful and functional enough to go toe to toe with expensive commercial PC Security suites. Avira is also fast and easy to install; when it comes to installing the program, the computer does not need to be restarted and you do not need to put in so much personal information.

The main features of the Avira AntiVir Personal Edition are listed below in brief:

1. Real-time protection: This means that when there is an incoming threat the program will immediately deal with it and notify you about it. Upon notification, you will have the option to block, quarantine or even allow the process. You an also configure Avira to make the choice automatically for you. The software effectively guards the computer against computer viruses, worms and Trojan horses.

2. On-demand Scanner: It lets you scan a file before opening it especially when it comes to compressed files. All you need to do is right-click on the file then choose the option to scan the file. This is very effective against hidden Trojans or viruses that are put inside compressed archives and set to run upon extraction.

3. Auto-Updater: This feature will immediately check for updates applicable to the software using a predetermined schedule. It will also notify the user about the new updates. The updates help in protecting the computer from newly discovered threats. It has been said that there are several updates for VDF files in a day to make sure that the application detects all possible threats at the soonest possible time.

4. Quarantine for detected viruses and malicious files: If there are viruses or malicious files that were not removed or cleaned it will be placed in a quarantine area. If there are already updates that will allow Avira to heal or clean the file then it will perform the necessary removal or cleaning. Quarantined files are also recorded into the database to help gather more information about unknown threats, which allow Avira to safeguard against them in the future.

5. Scheduler: The user can set the time when the software will perform the scan automatically. This is very helpful for people who leave the computer on all the time and have no time to manually perform a system scan regularly

6. Email Scanner: The software will be able to scan opened emails and emails attachments, which is one of the main avenues for Trojan, virus and spyware infections. You don’t have to worry about receiving attachments anymore because Avira will protect you from malware masquerading as zipfiles, scripts and even executables.

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Freeware Firewall Software – Zonealarm Pro

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Gen Wright asked:

There are 2 types of computer firewall. One is a network firewall and other is personal computer firewall. A network firewall is basically the skin of your system; it is considered the first line of defense for your network. That is, it absolutely serves as a guarding system for both incoming and outgoing traffic that happens in your computer system. The main purpose of a firewall is to keep unwanted and uninvited guests from browsing and checking your network, as well as install malicious code that could further compromise the network’s security. This can be a hardware device or either a software application and usually is placed at the outskirts of the system to operate as the gatekeeper for all incoming and outgoing traffic.

ZoneAlarm Pro makes sure that it performs all the jobs a firewall should do. According to reviews, ZoneAlarm Pro is one of most powerful and functional firewall software available. Here is why it has won-over thousands of users:

1. Protects the computer from incoming or outgoing illegal transmission. In case a hacker was able to enter the computer he is prevented from stealing personal or confidential information, which essentially negates the purpose of invading your system in the first place. Some of the more savvy hackers tend to ignore systems that they know is protected by ZoneAlarm Pro.

2. Idle port blocking: This means that when the ports are opened during transmission they are guarded thoroughly. So, when the ports are done doing its job ZoneAlarm Pro turns it off to avoid any exploit. This will prevent hackers with port scanners from entering your system using unused or idle ports that were accidentally left open, or opened for use by other software.

3. Stateful inspection: The software examines the packet and port information to prevent the system from spoofing-style invasions, which compromise systems by masquerading as friendly or expected communication signals.

4. Full-stealth mode: This means that the software makes sure that the ports of the system are invisible during scanning of ports, which negates any attempts by hackers to trawl the net and scan for open ports that may be vulnerable to brute force attempts.

5. Self-protection: The software has the ability to defend itself when a malicious program is trying to harm it, particularly in the case of malware that tries to modify or tamper with the program codes of security softwares. ZoneAlarm Pro will automatically block any attempts to modify its source, both in memory and at the disk.

6. OSFirewall: Tracks harmful and suspicious activities observed at the operating system area.

7. MD5 spoof protection: Hackers are prevented from taking advantage of valid programs from being used as a host or carrier of malicious files.

8. Behavioral rootkit detection: Blocks any rootkit programs depending on the behavior instead heuristics or signatures.

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Freeware Anti-spyware Software-wincleaner Antispyware

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Gen Wright asked:

Chief among the biggest annoyances on the Internet is its high risk when it comes to security, what with all the spyware running amok on open. A computer can get infected by spyware, and all the sensitive info it contains can be compromised while doing normal, and seemingly safe activities such as browsing the internet.

WinCleaner AntiSpyware software can be downloaded absolutely free of charge and it effectively helps safeguard Microsoft Windows from the harm that spyware poses to the system. It also blocks or prevents pop-up advertisements, improves sluggish performance of the computer, and lessens the risk of identity theft by getting rid of malicious programs.

The Real-time protection of the application makes sure that it detects incoming or present threats entering the system. This is very useful when the computer is connected to the computer everyday. Connecting external storage devices such as USB can also carry spyware or other malicious programs and the real-time protection feature will also make sure that devices are clean. It does distract the user and only uses minimal system resources.

The WinCleaner AntiSpyware software boasts of the following features:

1. Knowledge base that contains almost all kinds of information about spyware and adware. This knowledge base is constantly updated to reflect the updates and enhancements made to the program regularly. Removal instructions are also included for the user to follow.

2. Detection and scanning of spyware and other malicious programs are done quickly but efficiently. These activities of the software do not affect the performance of the computer in any way.

3. Robust real-time protection shield. You will never have to worry about accidentally infecting your PC with spyware, WinCleaner AntiSpyware monitors your PC constantly and catches malicious code even before they get a chance to infect your system.

4. Automatic updates for better scanning and cleaning performance of the software. Wincleaner is constantly updated in order to keep up with new iterations of spyware and Trojan, which means you never have to worry about unknown spyware again.

5. Boot-up time for the computer is faster. On of the problems with most freeware anti spyware programs is that they take a lot of resources, resulting in slow PC performance, particularly during boot-up. With WinCleaner AntiSpyware, resources used are minimal, resulting in less or no slowdowns, allowing you to use your PC almost immediately after boot-up.

The Wincleaner Anti Spyware software is compatible with various operating systems like running Windows 2000, XP and Vista 32-bit. Internet Explorer must be version 6 that has Service Pack 2 or later. The user can upgrade to the full or complete version of WinCleaner AntiSpyware. The complete version has added features that can be useful to the user.

If you want to browse the internet with peace of mind, then you know you have no choice but to protect yourself.

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