Oh yes, it is a small world – especially when you connect the dots on the Internet. Bloomberg writer Vernon Silver illuminated what happens when spyware is installed on a person’s computer. It’s done so quickly and almost without notice that the victim doesn’t realize until later that they have become a victim.
Computer forensics experts here at have said that the incidence of spyware on computers is indeed rising. In addition to computer forensics investigations delving into files on the computer, our certified computer examiner is being asked to complete digital forensics and forensic computer analysis as spyware detectors and subsequently for spyware removal.
The victim in the Bloomberg article was a law student who was a political activist. The spyware was installed on an email attachment that he thought was coming from someone he knew. Once he opened it and saw it was scrambled data, he knew something wasn’t right.
His email account was hacked and his whereabouts were being tracked. He was even physically assaulted twice, although he is not certain the assaults and the hacking are really related, except that his whereabouts were known.
The source of the spyware was traced around the world and the number of users vulnerable to inadvertent installation of spyware is unknown – but huge.
As a provider of computer forensics consulting, we are seeing spyware and its use move from mostly being seen in corporate or organizational espionage to individuals being targeted by disgruntled co-workers and between individuals in troubled relationships or during break-ups and divorce. Computer forensics services are even being performed in cases of stalking, child custody and nasty fights between friends.
When situations move into attorney’s offices, our computer forensic investigators are called upon to perform a computer forensics analysis. When an attorney goes to court with evidence we have been able to provide, he knows he has a computer forensics expert witness on his side.
You know the problem is growing when the mainstream media is reporting it. Be cautious and don’t be afraid to call on a computer forensics specialist if needed. Better safe than sorry.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations