I’ve really got your attention now, haven’t I?
Believe it or not, we have indeed been asked to prove human/alien adultery. However, having thrown out that teaser, I’m going to save it for a future post (no spitballs, please).
First, I want to thank my ankle-biting blogging friends for nipping at my heels for so long that I finally succumbed to the inevitability of becoming a fellow blogger. Without the encouragement of friends like Jim Calloway, Tom Mighell, Reid Trautz and Dennis Kennedy, I might never have ventured into the blogosphere. So, thanks boys, and I’ll stand the next round when we meet again.
There really didn’t seem to be anyone doing on-the-ground computer forensics who was blogging, so there was a vacuum waiting to be filled. I hope, through this blog, to help folks understand more about electronic evidence, and to avoid the worst of the “geekspeak” that makes it seem so incomprehensible.
You might wonder about the title of the blog – why “Ride the Lightning?” I got that phrase from the inestimable Robert Heinlein, who once cautioned the U.S. government, after the atomic bomb had changed the world forever, that it must “ride the lightning and ride it well.” Heinlein foresaw the remarkable proliferation of nuclear knowledge and the speed at which that knowledge would increase. “Ride the lightning” struck me as a fitting analogy for the ED world – a world that did not exist at all mere decades ago. ED assuredly does move at the speed of lightning – certainly the technology does, with the law limping behind, doomed never to catch up with the blitzkrieg that is the electronic era. Those of us who live in this world 24X7 do indeed “ride the lightning.”
I welcome your input, ideas, and questions as this blog moves forward. When all is said and done, in spite of the books I’ve penned, the hundreds of articles I’ve written and lectures I’ve given, no single person is a true expert in all aspects of electronic evidence. Working in this field is a constant lesson in humility. You can scarcely turn a corner without learning something you didn’t know before. But, ah, the adventure of it all!
And now, to the first two substantive items, one serious and one that caused paroxysms of laughter around our office.
Sedona has spoken again on the subject of ED. The principles issued by this venerable think tank remain much the same, but there are many more explanations and comments attempting to explain those principles in light of new technology. The Sedona Principles Addressing Electronic Document Production, Second Edition (June, 2007) may be found at http://www.thesedonaconference.org/dltForm?did=TSC_PRINCP_2nd_ed_607.pdf
Thieves Google for help. In a believe it or not scenario, thieves attempting to rob an entertainment center in Colorado got inside the premises with the passcodes for the two safes but were unable to open them. Luckily for them, an employee had left a computer on (no password protection obviously) and the thieves simply Googled for information using the search term (what else?) safe-cracking. This brought up a site called “How to Open Safes” and away they went with $12,000. How do we know that they Googled? In an apparent attempt to obfuscate the monitoring camera lens that they knew existed, they sprayed it – but not with the customary paint. For unknown reasons (sheer stupidity being the best guess), they sprayed the lens with WD40, which did nothing to obscure the camera’s vision and showed the criminals as they Googled for help. Geniuses they may not be, but they remain on the loose with their booty. For security as well as performance reasons, don’t leave work computers on at night!
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