ou are an employee at D&B Investigations, a firm that contracts with individuals, companies, and government agencies to conduct computer forensics investigations. D&B employees are expected to observe the following tenets, which the company views as the foundation for its success:
Give concerted attention to clients’ needs and concerns.
Follow proper procedures and stay informed about legal issues.
Maintain the necessary skill set to apply effective investigative techniques using the latest technologies.
Your manager has just scheduled a meeting with an important prospective client, and she has asked you to be part of the team that is preparing for the meeting. The prospective client is Brendan Oliver, a well-known celebrity. Last night, Mr. Oliver’s public relations team discovered that someone obtained three photos that were shot on his smartphone, and tried to sell the photos to the media. Due to the sensitive nature of the photos, Mr. Oliver and his team have not yet contacted law enforcement. They would like to know if D&B can provide any guidance or support related to the investigation—or, at the very least, if D&B can help them prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. At this time, they do not know how the photos were acquired. The public relations team is wondering if a friend, family member, or employee could have gained direct access to Mr. Oliver’s phone and obtained the photos that way, although the phone is usually locked with a passcode when Mr. Oliver is not using it. In addition, Mr. Oliver emailed the photos to one other person several months ago. He has not spoken with that person in the last few weeks, but he does not believe that person would have shared the photos with anyone else.
Your manager plans to use this initial meeting with Mr. Oliver and his public relations team to establish rapport, learn more about the case, and demonstrate the firm’s expertise. The company sees this as an opportunity to build future business, regardless of whether they are retained to help with the investigation of this case.
To help the team prepare for the meeting, your manager asks you (and your colleagues) to consider and record your responses the following questions:
What is the nature of the alleged crime, and how does the nature of the crime influence a prospective investigation?
Based on the limited information provided in the scenario, what is the rationale for launching an investigation that uses computer forensic activities? Would D&B and/or law enforcement need
additional information in order to determine if they should proceed with an investigation? Why or why not?
What would you share with the client about how investigators prepare for and conduct a computer forensics investigation? Identify three to five key points that are most relevant to this case.
What sources of evidence would investigators likely examine in this case? Provide concrete examples and explain your rationale.
What should the client, investigators, and others do—or not do—to ensure that evidence could be used in a court of law? Using layman’s terms, explain laws and legal concepts that should be taken into account during the collection, analysis, and presentation of evidence.
What questions and concerns do you think the client will have?
What questions should the team ask the client to learn more about the case and determine the next steps?