Monthly Archives: May 2012

Computer Forensics Investigations Uncover Truth (and Evidence)

Computer forensic experts are in high demand now and that demand grows greater every day. Why? Twenty years ago, many people could go weeks or months without ever touching a computer. Today, few people or businesses go minutes without logging on and reaching out into the digital world of the Internet. Computers are the way we communicate, store information, make plans and organize our lives. So it just makes sense that whenever something is amiss or suspected, one of the first places to gather evidence is from the bad guy's computer or his mobile unit - his cell phone. Bad guys often think they have their big secrets hidden well enough or deleted to escape discovery. As computer forensics experts here at , we know [...]

5 Signs a Spy Might Have Control of Your Mobile Phone

Cellular forensics is a term people are starting to hear and say in conversations across the nation. That’s because more cell phones are being targeted with spyware and cellular malware. Why? Because spyware and malware software is becoming more available and less costly through the Internet—even though it is illegal in the United States—and people can use it to monitor other people. It is not limited to corporate or political espionage or to people who are wealthy and powerful. When someone suspects their spouse or partner is not being true, or someone wants a relationship that the object of their affection does not want, they may want to spy to “learn the truth.” It could be your co-worker or a neighbor in a minimum wage [...]

Finding Hidden Assets is Like Asking, “Where’s the Beef?”

Every day there is someone coming up with another way they think will be successful in hiding assets from a former spouse, litigants or even their partners. There is a practice becoming more and more common. We call it a “practice” because no matter how often someone does it, it won’t be perfect and eventually, they always get caught. The practice is providing a wrong social security number by switching two of the digits when opening an account. The bad guy figures if he gives an inaccurate social security number, no one will find out – even if someone does an asset investigation searching for hidden bank accounts or stock accounts. But someone WILL find out—it could be an investigator, the attorney or the authorities—and [...]

Smart Phones Aren’t Smart Enough to Prevent Cell Phone Spying

Truth be told, smart phones can have spyware downloaded to them through websites, Bluetooth connections, multi-media messages, opening attachments to e-mails or even by opening photos with secret information embedded in it! In fact, the “smarter” the cell phones, the easier it is to hide spyware on your cell phone. Unless you take specific steps to password protect your phone – and require the password for every call you make or take and every Internet access you make – you can be a target for cell phone spyware. Spyware programs can collect the following information and possibly more: Access to incoming and outgoing messages (phone, text, email), GPS location access phone calls, e-mail, text, multi-media messages and webpage histories ability to listen to conversations not [...]

Asset Investigations and Recovery Make a Difference for Families

Jim (not his real name) was a good guy. He and his wife of 6 years, Cindy (not her real name), had just bought a house and they were busy getting their two children settled into the house and new school. Everyone was doing well. The house was becoming home and the family was starting to turn its attention to the yard. Cindy wanted a mailbox at the street with a flowering vine, so Jim was out at the street’s edge digging out the hard Indiana ground with a spade. In the next moment, their lives changed. A car came around the corner and hit Jim, knocking him off his feet and landing him on the driveway, where he hit his head on the concrete. [...]

Divorce is Challenging – so is Finding Hidden Assets

When one spouse is blindsided with a divorce, life gets turned upside down for them. Discovering that behind the request is a well-thought-out plan makes it even more difficult. Taken completely off-guard, the responding spouse is simply trying to get their footing and deal with the situation when they realize that their (presumed) partner has been planning a divorce for some time– and that means that many steps have been taken to get to this day. One of the most common steps is the hiding of assets. If the decision to divorce has been in the works for some time, the spouse initiating the divorce has had time to hide money, stock, and other financial assets. So when the interrogatories outlining marital assets in a [...]

Computer Forensics Specialists Can Remove Spyware From Mobile Worker’s Machines

Over the last few years something has happened in the business world – workers have become mobile. Unfettered through computers and use of the cloud, the old 9-5 doesn’t have to be within the confines of office walls. With that freedom have come other issues. One of the biggest issues is the protection of corporate assets. While workers have become mobile, they are carrying confidential corporate assets in the form of information with them on their computer and laptops. Those assets could include many things: actual computer hardware (theft from cars, restaurants, airports, etc.) client lists sales data financial data product research and development employee personnel information Computers and laptops are routinely stolen. But the thefts of hardware are usually just to get the computer [...]

Is Your Surge Protector Housing Eavesdropping Devices?

We worked with an attorney who was convinced that his office, phone, or both were bugged. He was in the middle of a case and the “other side” seemed to know every position, jab and parry he had planned and was prepared to counter him in the courtroom. It was just too much of a coincidence. He was convinced there was some sort of phone tapping or covert surveillance going on in his office. He tried to do some of his own bug detection—looking under his desk, around the windows, pictures and door frames for something, but he found nothing. So he called us.  We did a bug sweep and lo, and behold, he was correct. Inside the surge protector power strip at his feet [...]

Oh, the Secrets a Computer Reveals in a Computer Forensic Examination

We recently had a client who came to us unhappy – and angry. The business owner was unhappy because he had lost a key employee in his company. But worse than that, he was angry because the employee had started a competing company and the owner suspected the new company was started not only while the worker was still employed by him, but using his firm’s trade secrets, equipment and resources. He just couldn’t prove it. At least not with enough evidence for his attorney. Of course, the employee denied it when confronted. Through a computer forensic examination, we were able to uncover documents and communications (e-mails and reports) that brought the truth out. The employee had started his new company before leaving the old [...]

Why Would Anyone Tap MY Phone?

We hear that question a lot. There’s a really simple answer. You have information someone else wants. And they know you won’t tell them if they ask, so they figure out a way to get it without asking – they steal it. The information they want could be many different things found in a wide variety of settings: What is being included in a grant application at a competing university; What sales strategy is being implemented to move into a new market; The development of a new product that would “squash” the competition; How a client is being defended in court; Whether a spouse is having an affair. All of these bits of confidential information could have big dollar impact on another person or business, [...]

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