August 24, 2015

Digital Forensics Moving Closer to the Center of the Clinton Email Drama

As questions continue to swirl around Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email account, and the possibility classified information may have been put at risk, attention is shifting to the digital forensics investigation being conducted by the FBI, highlighted by a recent article in The Washington Post. With so much national focus on the matter, GDF’s founder talks about some of the ways digital forensics can get to the truth about digital correspondence, and beyond.

In a world where professional and personal lifestyles are so interconnected with technology, it should come as no surprise that digital evidence can often become the game-changer when the truth about exactly what happened is being sought, and whether it’s a presidential candidate, a criminal or just a suspect employee who had access to sensitive business information, the tales data can tell can and do change futures every day. And as reported in The Washington Post in this article published on Thursday, August 20th, “A federal judge told lawyers for the State Department on Thursday that they should 'establish a dialogue' with the FBI to learn whether federal records remain on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail server.” For better or for worse for Hillary Clinton, digital forensics experts are on the clock, and the world is watching.

Welcome to the sometimes high stakes world of digital evidence, a world very familiar to Joe Caruso, founder and CEO/CTO of Global Digital Forensics (GDF), a premier national provider of electronic discovery (eDiscovery) and digital forensics solutions headquartered in New York City, who says, “When it comes to digital evidence, especially correspondence, there are many things about the unique situation that need to be considered, but it all starts with correctly dealing with the identification, acquisition, analysis and production of digital evidence, or eDiscovery (Electronic Discovery), in a proper, documented, repeatable and defensible manner. There are no shortcuts, especially if even the possibility of future legal action is part of the equation, for businesses and presidential candidates alike.”

“There are so many things digital forensics analyses can tell us,” says Caruso, “from finding a smoking gun in black and white, like if the FBI were to find an email or emails actually marked classified in this case, to the actions which may have been taken by a user to cover their tracks, because sometimes what’s not there can tell a whole story on its own. For instance, there are plenty of utilities available that allow a user to 'wipe' a drive so deleted data is overwritten on the media to render it irrecoverable, but those kinds of things leave trails of their own. We can often find out when a wiping utility was installed, when and how often it was executed and what user profile was active at the time. We can also often access certain system log records which are untouched by the wiping process that can lend valuable insight into what transpired. Sometimes there can be file fragments left which can be recovered, there can be traces left on cloud storage or webmail accounts, and remember, when it comes to email there is a sender and a recipient, so sometimes the other side of the 'conversation' can yield treasures too, you just have to have the experience and expertise to know how to find and follow the breadcrumbs the right way. We can also authenticate emails to verify nothing shady went on, like someone trying to plant bogus emails to incriminate someone, and much more.”

When digital evidence goes beyond email

Global Digital Forensics is a formidable ally when it comes to the identification, acquisition, analysis, production and expert testimony relating to electronic evidence, always using only industry proven and accepted methods and procedures so any evidence found remains pristine and admissible. GDF’s experience and savvy in dealing with some of the most complex ESI situations imaginable and unrivaled expertise during those initial and crucial tone-setting steps, like the meet and confer or discovery conference, will ensure the best chance for litigation success. Because with Global Digital Forensics on the job, those are opportunities to seize an early advantage, not a burden to be endured. And because Global Digital Forensics is highly experienced in virtually any type of digital media, should the trail lead to networks, smartphones, tablets, mainframes, webmail or even social networking sites, GDF can seamlessly transition to help clients find and make the most out of virtually any type of electronic evidence involved, wherever it resides.

*Global Digital Forensics is a recognized leader in the fields of computer forensics, eDiscovery, cyber security and emergency incident response. To speak with a digital evidence specialist about your unique situation, or any other computer forensics, eDiscovery or cyber security needs involving Electronically Stored Information (ESI), call 1-800-868-8189 anytime 24/7, the call and the initial consultation are free.

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