Computer Crime Investigations

Today nearly every crime has a digital footprint—meaning computer technology was used in some way to facilitate or commit the crime. In addition, the anonymity and ease of use that the Internet offers helps fuel criminality and exploitation. New cases of harassment, credit card fraud, and identity theft facilitated via computer technology arise daily.  Clearly, strong computer skills are an important part of any investigator’s toolkit.

Computer technology now encompasses mobile devices, tablets, laptops, desktops, and more. As an investigator, you need a working knowledge of this technology, its application to criminal activities, and the issues associated with investigating these cases. 

Our core skills course introduces you to computer hardware components, shows you how to use the Internet to your advantage, teaches you search and seizure techniques, and promotes digital officer safety. Once you master these skills you’ll be ready to learn how to investigate peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and see how they are used to share child pornography. 

SEARCH also offers other resources, such as investigative guides and assistance related to computer crime investigations—whether it’s a question that we can answer via email or phone, or direct assistance in active cases.

Additional Resources

Courses

Instructor-led Training

Core Skills for the Investigation of Mobile Devices
Network Investigation and Digital Triage
Online Investigations: Tools, Tips, and Techniques
The Investigation of Computer Crime
Peer-to-Peer Investigations

Resources

ISP List
SEARCH Investigative Toolbar
High-Tech Crime Publications
Podcasts
Calendar

Questions About Computer Crime Investigations
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High-Tech Crime Publications

These are law enforcement-sensitive documents, and their distribution is limited to law enforcement investigators. Please fill out the following information to request a copy of any of these documents. We will contact you soon regarding your request.

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Karen Lissy

Ms. Karen Lissy is a Justice Information Services Specialist for the Law and Policy Program of SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. In this position, she provides assistance to state and local justice and public safety agencies to collect, curate, and use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data and computerized criminal history record (CCH/CHRI) information for policy analysis and development.

She also guides justice and related organizations in how to craft and implement laws, policies, practices, and technology applications to effectively collect and use CCH and related justice/public safety data; address legal, policy, and regulatory issues associated with CCH data; better manage and operate criminal justice information and identification systems; and develop security and privacy policies that protect justice information sharing systems.

Ms. Lissy has nearly two decades of research and data analysis experience, having led projects and tasks in support of two agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice), as well as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and multiple foundations, including Ford, Annie E. Casey, and Hewlett. Prior to joining SEARCH in October 2020, Ms. Lissy served as a Social Science Researcher at RTI International, as a regional Crime Analyst for the Redmond (WA) Police Department, and as Director of a research program with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Beginning in 2012, Ms. Lissy’s work has focused on improving data in law enforcement to answer policy questions and improve community/police relations.

Ms. Lissy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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