Specialized Investigative Methods

Executive Summary

Security is the gauge of the stability of a nation. It gives the country the ability to excel in trading activities and significantly boost the economic growth. Much emphasis has been laid on land security, while negating the online threats which have emerged in the current generation. Cybersecurity could impede the development of global economies if not tamed early. Terrorists have changed their antics of operations and directed their malicious acts into internet platforms. They target large organizations and strong governmental corporation with the intention of stopping their operations. The small companies are not secure as well because high technology advancement has made it easier for people to access private data through hacking.

The paper will review the rampant cases of cyber insecurity, and the appropriated specialized investigative methods to deal with the problem. The work begins with an introduction, elucidating the general overview of the crime. Further, strategies that can be employed to solve the problems are discussed, after which the techniques for the identification of perpetrators are highlighted. Limitations and strengths of the employed techniques are also identified and the research concludes by stating the importance of advancing the methods used in the investigation process.

Specialized Investigative Methods

The approach of threats from terrorist has taken a new form in the modern world. While the nations are channeling huge amounts of funds to secure the populace, more intelligent investigative units is needed to unearth some of the actions which resultin unprecedented attacks (Wolf, 2000). Developed nations have employed aconsiderable amount of funds to conduct guided analysis on the possible loopholes that the perpetrator can use to intrude into the country. However, efficiency has not been achieved yet. The third world countries have not employed many resources to secure the citizens from external attacks. Due to this reason, there is need to completely look at the issue of security in a new dimension. The United Nations have injected huge support to the poor countries, with the intention of protecting the populace (Bartocci et al., 2014).

Technological advancement has transitioned the way the attackers behave. Traditionally, countries protected themselves against physical attacks.Terrorists could target central governments buildings or any other important asset they think could harm the performance of the economy (Fusco, 1999). In the modern age, things have changed. Cyber insecurity is penetrating in both the government and private sectors. The major intention is to extract pertinent information that can be used to conduct a major damage to the nation. According to Wolf(2000), cyber attackers target the large organizations, either to access confidential information or stall their performance. Hinduja (2004) noted that the terrorist demand for thehuge amount of money, in order to restore the normal operations. When the targets are financial institutions, the monies are wired from the institution’s accounts and directed to the aggressors’ preferred destination.

Cybercrime has been considered high profile by international governments. Although the cases of online attacks have not been reported in many nations, it has been estimated that the crime happens in secrecy and takes time before the victim realizes. The proliferation of the misconduct has been attributed to the improved technology and its accessibility. Again, the tools used for hacking are cheap (Meehan et al., 2001). With a computer, the aggressor can conduct a multibillion theft within a short period of time. Additionally, the act can be conducted from anywhere, without the barriers of geographic distance. It has become difficult to trail such cases, hence the need for thehigh intelligent unit, that is capable of investigating the actions of the enemies. According to the research conducted by Fusco (1999), it was identified that the damage caused by cybercrime was estimated to be $445 billion per year. The releases indicate that the war against online attacks should be heightened, and new ways of dealing with the menace introduced. As technology becomes more available to the people, the higher the chances of intrusion.

Special units to deal with cybercrime

Dealing with the terrorist is not achieved by one section of thesecurity team. It is done corporately, with each group assigned a specific role to accomplish. Uniquely trained specialist are prepared to deal with any form of online attacks. The process of investigation is different from the normal manhunt, which is normally conducted in case of a physical attack. Wolf (2000) noted that high intelligence is employed to disclose the motive and the source of hacking. According to Fusco (1999), the process takes longer because it involves decoding complex information and data exchanged between the affected institution and the attacker. Many nations have formed a special force that are entrusted with checking all transactions that are performed over the internet. One of such unit is high technology crime unit, which investigates all crimes conducted against the computers. When the organization’s computers are suspected to have conducted a crime, this unit is allowed to survey the incident, and give a recommendation on the way forward.

Moreover, computer forensic unit collects and analyses all the information that is exchanged with another party. Based on their training, they are able to disintegrate every piece of coded information and derive a meaningful report (Bartocci et al., 2014). The conclusion arrived at is used to judge the severity and the even the location of the perpetrator. Furthermore, the central unit function in unison with other departments. They coordinate and ay strategies to achieve full efficiency in the process of investigation (Hinduja, 2004).Different nations have their own way of dealing with cyber-attacks. It is paramount to employ well-informed police unit to curb the proliferation of cyber insecurity. Failure to employ prompt measured could mitigate economic development. Meehan et al. (2001) notes that investors are scare when the nation is not able to guarantee cyberspace environment. The investigation of online activities should be performed on regular basis, instead of waiting for the incident to happen. It saved both the governments and commercial sectors, the cost of reinstating back the businesses to their initial financial positions.

Investigative strategies to solve cyber-attack offense

The ability to hide identity over internet has contributed to malicious activities that harm organizations. In order to identify the real perpetrator, it is essential to conduct the research of the entire process (Bartocci et al., 2014). One cannot settle on a single observation and conclude the investigative process. It has to be a complete cycle, involving all the respective parties. The very first strategy that should be employed is mobilizing a response team that will embark on interviewing and interrogating the victim (Wolf, 2000). The experts should be able to take all the notes and lead information that can assist in initializing the process of identifying the attacker. They can also try to commence the ping process, to induce the aggressor to send back the signal.

Additionally, maintaining the public relation is important, since it is the huge source of information. For example, if it is the customer who was frauded, he or she can be able to detail how entire process began (Bartocci et al., 2014). There are various methods through which online attackers attract the target. It could be through an email, or connection to a local network, that gives a pathway to access the gadget. The affected organization should be willing to provide all the transactions conducted for analysis purpose. Documentation is an important stage in investigating the cybercrime crime activity (Fusco, 1999). With the support of trained officers, the affected organization is interrogated to give more details concerning the incident. This is done through cataloging and chain of custody, to give more support to the case. Once the actual intruder is recognized, the case is reported to the court and legal implications are taken against the aggressor.

The investigate process should follow the rule of law, without harming or infringing into the rights of the victim. Confidentiality is core while performing the security work. It is both essential for the affected person and the security team as well (Meehan et al., 2001). This is because if the perpetrators realize that investigations are being done, they can heighten their own defense mechanism. The integrity of data is also a point of concern, while on investigative duty. If the professionals are not well trained, they might end up surrendering more information to the attacker. Ethical behavior should be the guiding principle while executing the task

Techniques to obtain and follow leads.

Understanding the actions of the cyber attackers cannot be done with their knowledge. It is a process which involves ahigh level of secrecy and also employing hightechnology thatis able to conceal the identity of the investigator (Wolf, 2000). Most of the intelligence cases have gone incomplete, due to lack of proper coordination. For example, the mega attack of the department of defense in the United States ended up with speculations. The report that was given concerning the issue was not valid, and up to now, there is no conclusive evidence indicating who contributed to the attack.

The first technique is to camouflage, in order to obscure the routes employed to reach the target. The special force trained in this area are able to disrupt the attacker and observe the next move (Hinduja, 2004). If the aggressors are able to access the information irrespective of installing preventive mechanism, then a high analytic method should be employed. It would involve collecting all of all information and analyzing it with specialized software. The results gives a clue of the source of data and location.Again, interviewing the protocol expose more details concerning the problem. The IT department is entrusted with data security in any organization. If information leakage happens, they are responsible foranswering any question related to hacking (Wolf, 2000). The special unit police are able to question the responsible people and use that information to develop a strategy of analysis.

Fundamentals of investigation

There are certain elements which can be relied on to confirm the perpetrator’s actions. The investigative unit is equipped with softwares which are able to analyze the data and give precise information concerning the source codes (Meehan et al., 2001). If the data generated at a given period of time coincides with the aggressor’s information, then it means that he or she is liable to legal actions. According to Fusco(1999), information exchanged via online platforms are difficult to manipulate. What the computer logs indicate at a certain period of time is basically a true reflection of the activities. Data is, therefore, one component that can be employed to prosecute the attacker. Additionally, the severity of the attack is another point of consideration. Hinduja (2004) classifies cyber-attack into two broader perspectives. There is ethical and non-ethical hacking.

Ethical hacking is allowable and is meant to extract information that an individual can use to conduct the research. However, unethical is a crime, which should be dealt with severely. It is, therefore, crucial to separate between the two, before making a conclusion on the nature of theattack(Meehan et al.,2001). The procedures used to carry out the investigation should be put into critical analysis, to determine the validity of the case. A complete cycle of background check involves evaluating the two parties involved in a more open-minded format. In most instances, people believe that the attacker is the problem. However, there are some instances whereby the attacked organization exposes its information, intriguing the third party to consume their confidential information (Bartocci et al., 2014). Considering all those factors would assist in arriving at the best solutions.

Strengths and weaknesses of the techniques

One of the major strengths of the techniques discussed in the previous paragraph is that the investigator is able to get informed views from the victim. Prior knowledge of the whole story assists in determining the best strategies to commence the task of investigation (Wolf, 2000).The affected party can narrate the incidence from inception to the time of theattack. Second, documentation process is important because it serves as areference point, to back up the evidence in a court of law. It mitigates the chances of fabricating information, but concentrate on the facts laid on the ground (Hinduja, 2004). Third, analysis methods are devoid of human errors, because a trusted software gives the real results of analyzed data. It supports the authenticity of the final report.

However, the techniques suffer from several drawbacks. One, it is difficult to identify the perpetrator because of ability to hide personal information. The availability of computers and other technological gadgets are readily available. Singling the attacker from a wide range of users is a huge task which is laborious(Fusco,1999). Second, the process takes a long period of time. Wolf (2000) argues that cybercrime activities are not solved within few days. He argues that the journey is long since investigative officers begin from nascent stages of understanding how the intrusion started. Finally, it is costly in terms of thephysical resources and intellectual strengths. Financing the experts and procuring the analysis tools is expensive.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity is a point of concern for various nations. It has been classified as high profile threat to the economic growth. The measures employed by countries to avert the negative implications of cyber-attacks are not enough to impede possible intrusion. Advancement in technology is a big limitation to the current methods, which in a way have been passed by time. Advanced techniques are needed to go along with the changes in the realm of information technology. While investigative unit assist in identification of perpetrators, they need to be aware of specific procedures which they can employ to generate more reliable reports. Some of the methods used to conduct security searches are; documenting the crime scene, gathering evidence, interrogations, reporting,and implication of the law.

The methods have been in use fordecades, and therefore are more impactful. Advancing their application would give more reliable data. The future of online security is based on the promptness of the governments to prosecute the aggressors who are brought on board for such mistakes. Additionally, it is essential to conduct regular check on all activities that are conducted through computers and other electronic gadgets. Creating awareness to the public and especially the financial institutions would lower the chances of attack.

References

Bartocci, E., Gao, S., & Smolka, S. A. (2014). Medical Cyber-Physical Systems. Leveraging Applications of Formal Methods, Verification and Validation. Specialized Techniques and Applications, 353-355.

Fusco, P. (1999). eBay confirms federal investigation. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from https://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/4_73961.

Hinduja, S. (2004). Perceptions of Local and State Law Enforcement Concerning the Role of Computer Crime Investigative Teams. Policing-an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 27(3), 341-357.

Meehan, A., Manes, G., Davis, L., Hale, J., & Shenoi, S. (2001). Packet Sniffing for Automated Chat Room Monitoring and Evidence Preservation.Proceedings of the 2001 IEEE Workshop on Information Assurance and Security, 285-288.

Wolf, J. B. (2000). War Games Meets the Internet: Chasing 21st Century Cybercriminals with Old Laws and Little Money. American Journal of Criminal Law, 25, 95-117.

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