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Electronic Evidence Recovery

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 66 Issue: 2 Dated: February 1999 Pages: 37-38-48
L Pilant
Date Published
7 pages
Computer crime cases have increased dramatically in recent years, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has established a program to conduct computer forensic examinations.
The FBI's Computer Analysis Response Team program takes a two-pronged approach: (1) the field examiner component has more than 100 individuals helping FBI agents with investigations and supporting State and local law enforcement agencies on an availability basis; and (2) highly trained personnel at FBI headquarters conduct laboratory examinations of digital evidence that field agents are not trained to do. The biggest difference between traditional, tangible evidence and computer evidence is its fragility. Computer evidence can be altered, damaged, or destroyed simply by turning the computer on or off at the wrong time. This means the field of computer forensics requires special training and skills and highlights the need to be aware of the possibilities of digital evidence. Suggestions are offered for law enforcement agencies when investigating computer crimes. The importance of adequate police training in how to respond to computer crimes is addressed and the establishment of cybercrime police units are discussed.