Computer forensics is a branch of forensic science pertaining to legal evidence found in computers and electronic storage media. Computer forensics is also known as digital forensics.

The goal of computer forensics is to explain the current state of a digital artifact. The term digital artifact can include a computer system, a electronic storage medium (such as a hard disk or CD-ROM), an electronic document (such as an email message or JPEG image), a digital file or even a sequence of data packets moving over a computer network. The goal of the forensic examination is to be able to state what information is present and in some circumstances an explanation as what is the sequence of events responsible for the present situation?

There are many reasons to employ the techniques of computer forensics:

  • In legal cases, computer forensic techniques are frequently used to analyze computer systems belonging to defendants (in criminal cases) or litigants (in civil cases).
  • To prepare corporate e-documents or digital properties for business, legal or compliance purposes
  • To recover data in the event of a hardware or software failure.
  • To analyze a computer system after an intrusion, for example, to determine how the attacker gained access and what the attacker did.
  • To gather evidence against an employee that an organization wishes to terminate.
  • To gain information about how computer systems work for the purpose of debugging, performance optimization, or reverse-engineering.

Forensic Investigators building a case for prosecution must be particularly careful when conducting a forensic investigation as the results will probably need to be used in a court of law. One of the most important measures is to assure that the evidence has been accurately collected and that there is a clear chain of custody from the scene of the alleged crime to the investigator, and ultimately to the court.

CENTINEL has among its team of Forensic Examiners two of Hong Kong’s top experts. These experts have been responsible for much of the forensic training in Hong Kong.