Crime digital devices. Child pornography and Sextortion are

Crime
has always been an issue and with advancing technology, it is becoming more
complex. As technology progresses and crimes become more intricate, so must the
tools and resources used to solve criminal investigations. Cybercrime is the involvement
of devices where criminal activities are carried out on, like computers or mobile
phones. Digital Forensics is the recovery and investigation of material found
in the digital devices. Child pornography and Sextortion are terrible and fast-growing
cybercrimes. Digital Forensics is one of the most important fields of forensic
science that can solve these crimes.

Crime

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There
are multiple cybercrimes that digital forensics can solve, but child
pornography is one of the most widespread ones. Most people already understand
that child pornography is illegal and how horrible it is, but it is still being
produced. Child pornography is a crime that was birthed with the expansion of
the Internet. The Internet allows images of child pornography to be available
almost anywhere and everywhere. Internet forums, social networking sites,
file-sharing sites, and other media that allows communication are ways it
spreads. The Internet allows these offenders to connect with each other. This
is how child pornography has become one of the most widespread crimes.

Consequences

The
consequences of being convicted for child pornography vary and can be very
severe. The Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and
possession of any images that depict child pornography. It is a serious crime
and there are severe penalties. Depending on the offense and whether this is
the offenders first offense or not. First offenders can face a fine and jail
time from a minimum of 5 years to 30 years. If the offender has been previously
convicted for the same crime kind of crime, then they can face up to life in
prison. Life in prison is a severe consequence that these offenders are willing
to take.

Effects

The
consequences are not what make child pornography a horrible crime, it is the
lasting effect that it has on its victims. Each victim is a victim of sexual
abuse. Due to the nature of the crime, it is only found out after the child
pornography has been distributed. This means that the victim could be in the
situation for months or years. Often the offender might give a false sense of
security that makes the child think what is happening is okay. These things can
impact the victim, psychologically, for the rest of their life. While still a
child, the victim can begin wetting the bed, eating problems, and problems at
school. As an adult, the victim can experience anxiety, alcoholism, and drug
abuse. Being sexually abused as a child can ruin their adult relationships
forever, feel betrayed, angry, and even turn them into offenders of the very
thing that ruined their life. Child pornography emotionally ruins its victims,
making it one of the worst crimes ever committed.

Sextortion

Another
awful crime related to child pornography is sextortion. Sextortion is a type of
exploitation that blackmails a victim into sexual favors by threatening to
spread sexual images or videos. Usually the offender will coerce girls into
sharing explicit photos that are then used to blackmail the girls into “taking
it to the next level” by threatening to send the photos to their friends and
family. Blackmail used against the victims can also include threats against their
loved ones or people from their community. Holly V. Hays from Indystar.com
says, “From October 2013 to April 2016, the tip line received more than 1,400
reports of sextortion. Of those cases… average age: 15. The youngest:8.” The
tip line refers to the NCMEC CyberTipline and the reports they gave suggest
that sextortion is often used against girls still in high school or even middle
school. NCMEC stands for National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. One
of the most important ways for parents to prevent this crime to happening to
their children is by keeping a healthy communication with them, so their child
feels comfortable enough to approach them if the situation occurs. Parents
should also ensure that their children are not sharing too much information
online.  Sextortion can be closely
related to child pornography, but not always.

Forensics

            There are multiple
ways to catch someone that has saved or distributed child pornography, but
digital forensics is the most significant. The offenders are always finding new
ways to distribute child pornography. They use encryption techniques and the
Dark Web to hide their images and videos. Some offenders belong to criminal
organizations that sometimes have security instructions that are used to evade
law enforcement. Offenders also keep files in an unallocated space on their
device, so when recovered there are no dates, times, file names, and an original
location of where it was before it was deleted. Whatever is done on a digital
device is always recorded and can almost always be recovered. Therefore,
digital forensics is so important.

One
of the most recent examples of digital forensics being used to convict someone
was when a 18-year-old woman was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer was accused of deleting
messages on the woman’s phone. The phone ended up being disabled due to numerous
failed attempts by family and police officers trying to guess the password to
the phone. A digital forensics company called Cellebrite Services, had
extracted the information from the phone with the proof of the deleted text
messages. There would not have been a case without the deleted messages. Every
time a case is solved like this, the manufacturer of the device tends to take
note. The manufacturer will begin developing a new way to make their
information more secure and harder to access. This means that digital forensic
experts will also have to develop new ways of obtaining information from devices.

            When technology progresses, so does digital forensics. Therefore,
more people are coming to the digital forensic field and it is needed. With the
advancement in technology, criminals are finding new ways to break the law and
it is the job of a digital forensic expert is to keep up to date with tools and
technologies. The tools used are considered to give active or live analysis of
a device. Sleuthkit.org says, “Autopsy® is a digital forensics platform and
graphical interface to The
Sleuth Kit® and other digital forensics tools. It is used by
law enforcement, military, and corporate examiners to investigate what happened
on a computer. You can even use it to recover photos from your camera’s memory
card.” The investigator must be able to perform various tasks, such as recover
data, trace hacks, and gather and maintain evidence. All these things require
that the equipment and knowledge to use them is up to date.

A Growing Field

The
use of computers and other technology is growing throughout the world and it isn’t
stopping soon. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for
Forensic Science Technicians is expected to grow 17% from 2016-2026. This is
just one job out of the entire field and it is above average. It is generally a
small part of the digital forensic field, but it is expected to create 2,600
jobs within a 10-year period. Computer system analysts and information security
analysts are expected to grow by 22% through 2012-2022 with 120,000 new jobs
created. As these fields grow, the number of cases that can be worked on and
the integrity of the evidence gathered will increase.  

With
the digital forensic field growing and the use of technology increasing, the
need for high performance equipment increases. The digital forensic market is estimated
to reach over 1 billion dollars between 2017-2022. Majority of the businesses
that provide these machines are huge companies like AccessData Group LLC,
Paraben Corporation, CISCO, Guidance Software Inc., NUIX, Binary Intelligence
LLC, IBM Corporation. These tools are needed to increase security. Along with
the rise in a need of security, a rise in other jobs have occurred, including,
banking, health care, information technology,
law enforcement, and education.

Conclusion

            Cybercrime has risen at an alarming rate with the advancement
of technology. In parallel, so has digital forensics. Child pornography, Sextortion,
and any other data on a digital device that needs to be recovered in cohesion
with law enforcement are tasks that digital forensics takes care of. Digital forensics
uses various tools and techniques that allow the recovery of data. Anything on
a computer leaves a “footprint” that can be seen, essentially everything is
recorded and can almost never be erased. The digital forensics market is
becoming more lucrative and is amassing very quickly. Jobs are only going to increase
as long as the use of computers is being increased. With cybercrime like child
pornography and sextortion, digital forensics will always be one of the most
important sciences in the forensic field.  

 

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