Private Investigations

HR Due Diligence Checklist Routine for Hiring

Not only do logos get updated to keep up with the times, so do those little sayings that come out of the mouths of parents beginning when their children are at a very young age. They apply to work as well as life and are a call for everyone to conduct some level of due diligence.

For instance, consider “Watch out for a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” No longer is ours an agrarian society so the adage updated to “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Now, we have “stranger danger” and a general suspicion that means “trust must be earned.”

Now items are routinely ticked off the HR due diligence checklist as applicants are considered. Now, the interviewing process can include a background check. What [...]

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    Computer Forensics Consultant First Line of Defense Against Spear Phishing

Computer Forensics Consultant First Line of Defense Against Spear Phishing

Chances are if you hear a conversation these days about spear fishing, it is not about someone’s exciting experiences on an exotic vacation. You are probably hearing about SPEAR PHISHING and the need for a computer forensics investigator. It may sound the same, but you or your organization are the targets instead of a game fish.

Spear phishing is an attack targeted very specifically to one simple point of contact – an inconspicuous email crafted to entice the receiver to click a link that opens malware or connects to a site that can compromise the recipient’s network – including intranet business network contacts.

Computer forensics firms are seeing more and more evidence of the spear phishing technique as the bad guys are honing their infiltration skills [...]

Security Starts with TSCM

International Investigators got a call from a CEO who was concerned about an upcoming board meeting. The board would be discussing some very confidential matters including the terms of the sale of the company. If news of the sale was leaked, it could damage not only the negotiations, but the financial health of the company and the employees. He wanted to be certain that the conference room was completely secure.

He asked that we complete Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), or as it is often called, a bug sweep. He felt relatively confident that there were no eavesdropping devices or other surveillance equipment in the room, but he had to be absolutely certain.

Usually listening devices are not evident to the casual observer. That’s why counter surveillance [...]

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    Sometimes It’s Not Spyware Found During a Computer Forensic Examination

Sometimes It’s Not Spyware Found During a Computer Forensic Examination

A very frustrated woman brought the family computer to International Investigators because she was convinced spyware had been installed on it. Our computer forensic investigator began the spyware detector process. In this instance, the analyst started with the open ports and he did indeed find something, but it wasn’t spyware.

He found a Trojan, which is an application that can open a port like a remote desktop – and it does it without your permission. Malware like Trojans can crash the computer or send you advertisements. It’s not necessarily spying on you – but it does make your online life miserable. This Trojan was causing the problems she was having and once removed, she was good to go.

On occasion we discover that people do things [...]

2 Secrets to Criminal Defense Using Cell Phone Forensics

Teachers are always encouraging school children to look for patterns – that’s because patterns are so revealing. And it’s not only true in math and science; it’s true in investigations, too.
No. 1 Secret – Patterns Tell a Story in Mobile Phone Analysis
With years of experience in the field, the investigators at International Investigators know how to cast a wide net and look at a case and situation as a whole. During a mobile phone forensic analysis, we look at records before an event or crime occurred and then after the event. Changes in patterns – habits – can be quite revealing.

Not only do the changes throw up flags, the background prior to the event or crime helps with the cell phone investigation. People who [...]

Cell Phone Forensics Might be the Best Defense

Cell phone forensics at International Investigators is more than mobile phone forensic analysis. It can include mobile phone spyware detection or cell phone hack detection and sim card forensics, but it includes many other aspects when it comes to defense in a criminal case. For instance, to provide admissible evidence to support a defendant, we employ a variety of tactics which may include:

Cell mapping using cell tower location and cell tower triangulation (to finite longitude and latitude locations)
Cell phone tracking
Ping expert analysis when evidence includes the pinging of a cell phone and testimony as a ping witness

Even when restricted or blocked calls are uncovered during a mobile phone forensics investigation, we can peel back blocked calls. Of course, to subpoena records for a blocked [...]

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    Suspect Embezzlement? Hire a Personal Asset Search Investigator

Suspect Embezzlement? Hire a Personal Asset Search Investigator

We have talked a lot here in the International Investigators’ blog about being asked to find hidden assets in divorce situations, but we don’t want you to think that is the only time money is hidden away from the sight of others.

Today I want to talk about another instance when we are called in to complete an asset investigation. An attorney representing a business calls when there is suspicion that an employee is embezzling money from their employer.

When suspicion is aroused in the company, one of the first calls the company management makes is to their attorney asking for advice on how to handle the situation. When we begin such an investigation we might not be finding unknown accounts or even hidden bank accounts [...]

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    Geography has a Role in Due Diligence Investigations and Background Checks

Geography has a Role in Due Diligence Investigations and Background Checks

We live in a time when it is not uncommon for a person to live in several states throughout their life. When International Investigators is called in on a due diligence investigation or background check, we see that trend.

If a subject has lived in a number of counties and states, that could be a major stumbling block for online search companies. Sometimes the subject has not divulged every place they have lived and that omission can result in incomplete or inaccurate information in the end.

For example, those who provide due diligence services know that there is no main comprehensive database that includes total state or national records.   There are 3,140 counties and parishes in the US.  And county records must be researched county by [...]

Cell Tower Triangulation Provides Evidence of Innocence

Another interesting case International Investigators recently investigated was centered in a child custody battle. A police officer and his wife in Iowa were divorcing and both wanted custody of their two children.

The wife accused the officer of harassing her by sending threatening text messages. He was on the verge of losing any custodial rights as well as his job when his attorney contacted us.

Proving no harassing activity on his phone was moot in this situation because it could be alleged that he was using prepaid phones, not his, for the messages.

Our team went to work. First, through cell phone forensics we were able to identify the source of the calls then we requested the records data for those phones from the service providers. At [...]

Who is Safe from a Mobile Spy?

In a recent discussion with one of the cellphone experts at International Investigators, I learned that the Blackberry is probably the least “hackable” phone out there.

A cell phone forensic analysis can include what is called a password bypass. In fact, we have been asked to uncover passwords that had been lost or forgotten. That is possible for just about any phone – except the Blackberry.

Instead of letting someone into the phone, it destroys data on the device. That explains why Blackberry is the preferred device for CEOs, political leaders (like the President), military and government agencies. Any organization that requires the most secure confidentiality opts for the brand.

Users complain about the functionality and usability, but for the security of data, Blackberry is the way [...]