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Cybercrime and Computer Investigation

1. Executive Summary

This document defines policies on the use of evidence derived from digital devices and provides guidelines to the high-tech crime unit (HTCU) on the situation and context of when to employ this evidence from digital devices in crime-situations on the island of Gallardia. In line with government requirements and with view to the rapid development of IT infrastructure, this document aims to assist senior police officers integrate the cybercrimes investigative operation of the HTCU within the existing investigative process.

O Ciardhuain investigative model is something that has been tested and is a valuable benchmark to work against for HTCU. The police investigators in Ireland specialising in computer crime found the model was excellent at capturing the crime investigation process. Furthermore the backtracking built in to the model was valuable since real investigation did not proceed in a linear manner as in other models, however, they felt that there should be a cohesion between information control and dissemination due to concern of information 'leakage' during the process of the investigation which could compromise it and this is something that we have outline in the previous paragraph.

Despite the increase in computer crimes, according to Zeviar-Geese (1997-8) computer crime statistics do not reflect the scope of the crime and are a "dark figure", so called by criminologists as there are computer crimes that are undiscovered or unreported. This maybe due to the operational speed and storage capacity of data that makes criminal activity difficult to detect, law enforcement may not be equipped with the necessary technical expertise to deal with the criminal activities in the digital environment or many victims of computer crime do not have contingency plans to deal with computer crime. Furthermore, once detected many businesses are reluctant to report computer activity to avoid embarrassment, loss of goodwill, investor loss, adverse publicity or economic repercussions. Preventive action, contingency plans and good security will help to reduce cybercrime, however it will always be a challenge that needs to be dealt with.

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