Digital Gumshoes – Computer Forensics on the Rise

Today was the official grand opening of the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (NMRCFL) located at the University of New Mexico. The role of the NMRCFL is to provide online and technological investigative services of the highest caliber to regional law enforcement.

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Participating agencies include the Albuquerque Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico State Police and the FBI-Albuquerque Division. The NMRCFL website describes its ability to assist with forensics related to terrorism, child pornography, homicide, fraud, theft of intellectual property and other criminal activities.

With the constant influx of digital inventions and technologically-savvy users, it’s no surprise that the New Mexico centre is now the sixteenth Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in the U.S. run by the FBI.

In related news, Jim Carden officially started Digital Blue Solutions, a computer forensics company in Sacramento, California a few weeks ago. Carden began working as a sworn peace officer for the Fairfield Police Department in 2000. Six years later, he became detective after completing Criminal Investigations Training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia. As detective, Carden started the computer investigations program for the department; he received intense training in digital forensics at the California Department of Justice. Carden continues to work part time for the Fairfield Department. He and his fellow investigators, all former or current technical specialists with law enforcement agencies, assist companies, law firms and individuals to find legal and relevant evidence on computers, smart phones, cameras and more. They also offer to serve as expert witnesses in court.

How about an example of computer forensics at play: Last week the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit made its 298th arrest since it began in 2005. The suspect is Randy D. Sailer, a 59-year old man who is presumed to have sent pornographic material and make sexual advances over the Internet to a 13-year old girl, or so he thought. The female victim was actually one of the unit’s undercover agents. The Attorney General Child Predator Unit works with an affiliated Computer Forensics Unit that examines all digital devices as part of ongoing investigations; the same is currently being performed in the case of Sailer.

Does a computer forensics job interest you? Do you wish to recover vanished files that could prove to be crucial evidence or crack down on cyber terrorists? Then a, or even a Cyber Security Program, may be your next step to realize your dream job.