SEARCH Unveils Four New Guides for Cybercrime Investigators

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For investigators struggling to keep current with the latest tools and techniques to thwart Internet crime, SEARCH Training Services offers four new guides on topics ranging from MySpace searches to computer game investigations to capturing the volatile data on a running computer.

These guides, published in October 2007, debuted at the 6th Annual Internet Crimes Against Children National Conference in San Jose, California, Oct. 15-18. They are available on SEARCH's Web site, but are limited to law enforcement investigators who submit an online request (see below).

"These succinct, easy-to-read publications provide useful information and direct instructions to investigators that they can immediately apply during an investigation," said SEARCH Deputy Executive Director Kelly Harris. "In this war against online criminals and child predators, having instant, targeted, relevant information on conducting high tech investigations is critical."

Prepared under funding from two U.S. Department of Justice agencies: the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the guides are:

Using the MySpace Friend Mapper to Build Connections for an Investigation, by Computer Training Specialist Lauren Wagner. This guide discusses the value of a new tool that enables investigators to build a visual diagram of connections between an individual's MySpace profile and his or her top "friends." It also provides details on how the tool works, and how it should be used.

How to Effectively Search MySpace.com: A Guide for Investigators, also by Ms. Wagner. This guide provides instructions on how to effectively search profiles stored in the popular social networking site MySpace.com, and how to sift search results.

A Guide to Online Gaming for Law Enforcement Investigators, by Computer Training Specialists Steven Bolt CISSP, A+, Network +, and Earl Door, EnCE, Network+. This guide provides an overview of video games, specifically game consoles and online gaming that provides for network play, such as Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii. It also outlines the concerns that these application-specific computers hold for investigators, and how to set up a simple capture system.

Methods for Capturing Volatile Data, by Mr. Bolt. This guide provides instructions for how to use a variety of tools to capture volatile data on a running computer when seizing it for forensic analysis. Volatile data is data that is lost once a computer is shut down, but which might provide critical evidence to investigators. It is a companion document to Collecting Evidence from a Running Computer: A Technical and Legal Primer for the Justice Community, published by SEARCH in 2006.

SEARCH's other high tech crime publications are available online, and a library of our many other publications in areas including information sharing, criminal history records and other topic areas dating back to 1992 is also available.