My busy week continued with preparations for my computer forensic practical. I had attended a guest lecture last week by Dr. Rita Esen, a Nigerian expert in computer forensics and UK legislation. She was able to highlight in her presentation and discuss at great length all necessary steps to be taken when conducting a computer based forensic investigation as an expert which would be presented in a court of law.
I had been briefed on the crime scenario i needed to investigate and wasted no time to get to the scene. An alleged perpetrator, a staff of the University, who has been under observation for buying and selling of academic essays and the distribution of digital music which is in breach to the Academic Acceptable Use policy and the violation of the ethical code of conduct for academic staff of the University. The staff had denied any wrong doing but the IT services department had indicated that web history on the subject’s PC indicated a crime could have been committed and needed the help of an investigator to recover such evidence.
The stage was set for the big day. The staff office had been sealed off with police tapes and secured to avoid contamination of any evidence that could be recovered at the crime scene. I had obtained a search warrant to enable me conduct the investigation and seize all related evidence i could find at the scene once i arrived. This is one of the most important steps in conducting any forensic investigation. The evidence to be recovered will then be analysed to prove the case as a criminal matter and subsequently taken before a court of law which will be conducted by an academic panel.
I was tensed but yet needed to act professionally. It was something i had seen in the movies and my favorite crime and investigation network channel but right there i was conducting the search myself. I had brought in a digital camera to take pictures and sketch the crime scene given only half an hour to conduct, collect and seize all evidence i could find.
My computer forensic tutor, Susan, was present at the scene as well. She was documenting and recording on camera my forensic evidence gathering as i carefully collected all evidence i thought necessary could help with the investigation before transporting them to the crime laboratory. I had my forensic tool kit intact and collected all evidence in sealed evidence bags, labelled correctly before my time ran out eventually.
In the end i was quite satisfied with all evidence i had gathered. They will be taken to the lab next week and carefully analysed to find out if a case could be established and brought before an internal panel which may be sent to trial in a court of law.
I also took the chance to smile for the camera on a successful day in building my career here at Edge Hill University. Whatever the outcome of my investigation would be, i am certain i had learned something valuable only a University like this could offer with such an opportunity to excel.
Just like the University motto written in Latin “In Scientia Opportunitas” which simply translates “In Knowledge there is Opportunity”.