What is Forensic Computing?

16.03.2020 Read
What is Forensic Computing?

Forensic computing has been around for quite some time. Have you ever wondered what it exactly is? If so, keep reading!

Forensic computing (also known as the computer forensics or cyber forensics) refers to the practice of investigation and analysis in order to gain knowledge from a specific computing device regarding a legal case. Forensic computing aims to gather necessary information through a well structured, proper investigation and find out what exactly took plane on a specific computing device and who was before the device.

As a prominent branch of the digital forensic sciences, forensic computing looks for evidence stored in computers, smartphones, tablets and other digital storage media. The evidence unveiled by the forensic computing professionals can be referred to in court settings and provide necessary information to steer a case.

Even though forensic computing is often mentioned with the investigation of serious computer crimes, it can also be a strong and useful ally in civil life as well.

When is forensic computation techniques are used? How?

Forensic computation can be applied to a wide array of areas. In fact, we can name only few areas where forensic computation techniques cannot be useful. As a result, forensic computation practices have been a dependable ally for many, including the law enforcement officers. As a matter of fact, law enforcement forces and agencies were one of the earliest adapters of forensic computation. That is why forensic computation is closely tied with law enforcement and its development is often both supported and encouraged by them.

In some instances, computers can offer very important information regarding the legal cases. And in other instances, computers are the actual crime scenes where illegal action took place. Denial of service attacks, hacking, cracking and such cyber crimes take place in the virtual realm and when we need to find out who carried out these heinous actions, we often need to take a closer look at the suspects’ computers and internet history. There we can find valuable information like chats, e-mails, browser history, pictures and various other files that offer relevant information regarding serious crimes like fraud, drug trafficking, murder and such.

In addition to the files themselves, investigators can also gain access to the metadata of these files. A user’s actions are recorded and kept in various places within a computer, including but not limited to the note taking software, logs, photo editing software, internet browsers and such.

With a thorough forensic examination, experts can find out when a specific file appeared on the device, where it came from, when was the last time it was viewed, edited, saved or printed. Moreover, the experts can also pin down which user happened to carry out these actions.

In addition to solving serious and heinous crimes, forensic computing can be referred to solve or offer valuable information regarding the following cases:

Forgeries, spurious bills, counterfeit documents

Regulatory compliances

Intellectual property theft



Disputes regarding employment

Inappropriate use of email and internet in the workplace

What are the stages of a forensic computing examination?

There are six different stages of a forensic computing examination. You can find these stages below.

  1. Readiness
  2. Evaluation
  3. Collection
  4. Analysis
  5. Presentation
  6. Review
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