About Computer Forensics
Computer forensics is a branch of forensic science (forensics for short). As you likely know, forensics is the scientific analysis of people, places and things to collect evidence during crime investigations, that helps to prove innocence or guilt in court.
Computer forensics, sometimes called digital forensics, has a like purpose. But it specializes in the scientific analysis of computer communications and the data on computer storage devices, such as disks and CD-ROMs. Typical applications of computer forensics are listed below.
- Investigate and uncover evidence of illegal activities conducted via computer, such as credit-card fraud, intellectual-property theft, pedophilia, terrorism and computer system intrusion (hacking). Illegal activities conducted via computer are generally referred to as "computer crimes" or "cyber crimes".
- Investigate and uncover evidence of crimes that weren't directly committed via computer, but for which the accused might have stored evidence on computer data storage devices
- Detect and close computer system security holes through "legal" hacking
Consequently, computer forensics experts are often called "Cyber Cops", "Cyber Investigators" or "Digital Detectives". Many are self-employed consultants.