Typical Computer Forensics Cases

Data Theft – Confidential and Client Information Breach

We were asked to investigate a case by an international recruitment agency to conduct a forensic examination of the company laptop and mobile phone of a senior employee who had left the company. The company suspected that this employee had forwarded contact client information and confidential data to his personal e-mail address and copied a large amount business critical files onto his memory stick shortly before his departure and used this information to set up a rival company. A forensic investigation into his laptop, mobile phone and memory stick revealed that prior to deleting his e-mails and resetting his laptop, a large number of files and sensitive client database entries has been taken away. Using the digital evidence provided by Computer Forensics Lab investigators, the employee was found in breach of his employment contract and legal proceedings were taken against him. The employers managed to successfully take him to court and sought damages.

Harassment

A senior member of the management team of a financial institution was experiencing a series of distressing occurrences of unsolicited worrying emails and text messages from, what appeared to be, someone within their own organisation. Computer Forensics Lab were commissioned to investigate the circumstances and find out the potential trail of evidence that might lead to the identification of those involved. Even though the email headers had been forged, it was quickly established that the distressing emails were not originating from within the recipient’s organisation. In fact the messages were originating from a rival financial institution member of staff who used to work for the client’s organisation. Our findings resulted in the prosecution of the offender involved.

Impersonation & Financial Fraud

The client was approved for a mortgage and he had hired a solicitor in order to handle the purchase of his dream house. After meeting the solicitor in her office, the client was given all the paperwork and it was agreed that he pays the house deposit to an escrow account provided by the solicitor. They agreed to exchange emails from that point onwards. After several email exchanges, the client received an email from the solicitor requesting to pay the deposit to a different account which was not the one provided in the paperwork. The email appeared to be from the solicitor with all her usual signature and contact details and there was no reason to make our client suspicious. He paid £55,000 to the new account and called her the next day to ask whether the solicitor had received the house deposit. To our client’s disappointment, the answer was no and the solicitor said she had never requested a change of bank accounts by email. Forensic investigation of the client and the solicitor’s email address provided evidence that the solicitor’s computer had a trojan virus and a fraudster located in Abuja, Nigeria, had gained access to her email system and had in fact impersonated the solicitor.

Invasion of Privacy and Domestic Abuse

We handled the case of a wife who was subject to bullying and domestic abuse by her husband who happened to be a senior IT technician specialising in computer security and this was quite a tricky one because the husband knew everything about hiding his identity and covering his tracks using proxy chains and had managed to infect his wife’s mobile, tablet and personal computer with trojans and thereby had full control on all the electronic devices she used. The family had an ultrafast internet connection and this enabled the husband to do full audio, video and computer surveillance on the wife using her mobile, tablet, personal computer and unusually, the family smart TV and used that information to bully and intimidate her. The wife was completely unaware of this for over 4 years and due to her lack of IT skills, she did not know anything about her husband’s spying activities.

The husband’s controlling behaviour subjected the wife to constant domestic abuse making the wife extremely scared and isolated. As a consequence, she wouldn’t trust anyone with her family secrets fearing that the husband might find out and this could cause even more trouble for her. By pure coincidence, she found out that she had been spied on all these years and she was extremely upset and distressed and confronted him. This just led to more abusive behaviour. Eventually she plucked up the courage to talk about it to a close friend who persuaded her to approach a computer forensics expert. She came to us for help and we asked her to provide us with all the devices that she had including mobile phones, tablet and personal computer. This gave us the opportunity to collect all digital evidence that was required for the court. As a result of our investigations, the husband was cautioned for his actions by the police and was later convicted for the invasion of privacy his wife. Some of the digital evidence we had gathered helped her case to bring domestic abuse charges which led to serious court sanctions of the husband and a divorce with her custody of the children.

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