Computer Forensics - Internet Child Abuse
nternet child abuse is one of the most socially damaging forms of Internet crime covers the two main headings of child pornography and Internet child abuse. The Internet has enabled paedophiles easy access to many kinds of illicit resources as well is the ability to network and communicate with other like-minded individuals. Through the Internet paedophiles are able to work relatively anonymously, and it requires advance computer forensics techniques to track them down.
Statistically it's been proven that this form of computer crime has been growing steadily, although the statistics are somewhat governed by data regarding the quantity of perpetrators who are caught. As investigative techniques have improved so more people are actually captured. However, actually capturing the perpetrator is just the beginning of a long process that needs to be completed before solid evidence can be presented to a judge and jury. Once a suspect has been detained a thorough forensic investigation of their computer hardware will need to take place to prove or disprove their guilt.
Interrogating computer hardware and storage in this fashion requires specialised computer forensics techniques, many of which have been developed especially for Internet child abuse cases. First a forensically clean disk image will be taken of the data on the suspects PC. Once this image has been created it will be interrogated, searching for child pornography or other media related to Internet child abuse such as e-mails to and from other known child abusers and website history which proves that the suspect has visited child pornography focused websites.
Another rather specialised form of child abuse investigation comes in the form of investigating chat room logs and instant messenger history. Many paedophiles use these interactive environments to entice and attract new victims for their child abuse activities. It is vitally important that this interaction is documented historically and forms part of the eventual evidence presented.
The findings of this investigation will be presented in a report that can be used as part of either the defence or prosecution of the suspect, and is supplied in easily readable format which can be understood by the judge and jury involved in judging the case.