Computer Forensics Classes: Solving Crime in the 21st Century

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Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Technology has grown rapidly in the past few decades, for good and for bad. More advanced methods of crime scene evidence collection have allowed crimes to be solved faster and even for closed cases to be reopened and solved by using technology that just wasn’t available before. Unfortunately, technology has also been helping criminals to commit crimes in new ways. By taking computer forensics classes and getting into digital forensics, law enforcement can better solve these cyber-crimes.

What Is Computer Forensics?

Computer forensics, also known as digital or electronic forensics, is in many ways similar to traditional crime scene forensics. This subfield of forensics is specifically related to finding evidence stored in digital formats, such as on a computer or smartphone. In recent years, crimes such as identity theft, stalking, and the spread of child pornography have been made easier through the use of computers and hacking techniques. Evidence left behind on computers can also be used to help solve crimes such as kidnapping and murder, as it is possible for ransom notes to be sent via email or for a perpetrator of a crime to do research prior to the crime or even discuss the crime through email or text messages. It is easy enough to delete files but computer forensics specialists can use a variety of methods in order to recover files and information that are deleted or hidden within a system.

There are many different methods and tools used in computer forensics. Computer forensics may involve getting into a physical laptop and retrieving files from it, using data found in email and photo files to gather information related to a crime, or even remotely logging in to a computer network in order to retrieve data. Even if you don’t want to pursue a career in computer forensics, learning some of the methods and programs used can help you to better secure your own computer or even just retrieve some files you accidentally deleted.

How to Find Courses

Now that you know what computer forensics is, how do you go about finding courses to learn more? One site that offers a variety of classes on this subject is Udemy. Udemy has helped over 30 million students gain skills in all kinds of subjects and industries. They also offer programs for businesses to train their teams in order to help employees be as successful at work as possible.

If you’ve ever worried about not having the time or money to learn new skills, for work or just for fun, Udemy is a good option for you. There are hundreds of thousands of courses, ranging from beginners courses to highly advanced ones. Read any of the reviews, of the website itself or of individual courses, and you’ll see that the reason behind Udemy’s success is their commitment to providing quality courses to as many people as possible.

Hacking and Solving Crime

Not many people even know that computer forensics is a thing, let alone computer forensics classes. If you know absolutely nothing about computer forensics, taking a course like Computer Forensics Fundamentals is a good place to start. All you need to take this class is basic computer knowledge. You will begin by learning what exactly computer forensics is and how it is used to investigate crimes. There is one hour of video lecture in this course and a variety of different hands-on exercises and quizzes to help you test out your newfound skills as you move through the course.

You’ll get a fundamental understanding of hashing and hexadecimal after your intro to computer forensics. From there, you will learn about how hardware and files are used in computer forensics. You’ll also learn how to acquire, mount, and explore images from a system. In the end, you’ll go through a guide on how to be a first responder to a computer-related crime scene and how to begin collecting evidence.

Another good way to learn the fundamentals is by taking Computer Forensics and Investigation: Using Open Source Tools. This course is designed to go through the process investigators use for solving cyber-crimes, step by step. You’ll learn all about the legal procedures, as well as things such as chain of custody, lab setup, and incidence response. The course goes over some open source tools that are available to use for digital forensics. These tools aren’t just great for investigation, you can also use them to recover files on your own computer and test your own system security.

The class will teach you all about different types of electronic crimes, as well as different methods of gathering evidence. The course even goes over “anti-forensics” or ways that hackers and other criminals can try to erase evidence and keep computer forensics specialists from being able to find it. There are a variety of subcategories that fall under computer forensics and you’ll go over some of those as well. Even if you don’t end up wanting to go into computer forensics, you’ll be able to use the tools you’ve been given to protect your own computer system and recover data and files you thought were gone forever.

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Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Want a more intensive introductory course? Learning Computer Forensics with Infinite Skills may be a good choice for you. This course has eleven hours of video lectures and it goes over some information not covered in the other intro classes. Your intro to what computer forensics is will go over not only the fundamentals of the subject but also what career fields would need this type of forensics. The course also goes over legal issues and ethics surrounding computer forensics and acquiring evidence. You will learn about how to prepare for an investigation and about different software and tools used for gathering evidence.

You’ll also learn about different operating systems, including but not limited to Windows, Mac, and Linux. Image and Network acquisitions are also covered in this course, as well as how to find and recover hidden or deleted data. You won’t just learn about recovering data from desktops and laptops, either, as there are lectures on mobile forensics. By the end of the course, you’ll have down all the basics of computer forensics and be able to move on to more advanced courses.

If you are already fairly skilled with using Windows and want a course that offers a bit more of a challenge, try the IFCI Expert Cybercrime Investigator’s Course. You’ll go through the whole process involved with cyber-crimes, from first response to data analysis. If you are already in law enforcement, network security, or other related fields, this may be a good way to boost your career and get into solving cyber-crimes.

There are over sixteen hours of video and fifteen different hands-on activities based on real-world scenarios. One example of a hands-on activity you may do is using computer forensics to help solve a kidnapping case. You’ll learn how to use email headers from emailed ransom notes to figure out the IP address and location of the computer they were sent from. You’ll also learn how to extract data from photos in order to find information like location and date taken.

Other skills you’ll learn in this course are how to analyze different system artifacts, system logs, and registries, how to retrieve network and IP data, and malware analysis. After you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to take the IFCI exam and become a Certified Cyber-crime Investigator.

You probably already know what hacking is but did you know the same methods used to illegally hack a system can be used for computer forensics? In IT Surveillance and Computer Forensics from Scratch HACKING+, you will learn different methods of surveillance and collecting evidence. You will watch 5 hours of video lectures and read a few downloadable handbooks to guide you through this course. You’ll learn how to transmit evidence after you’ve evaluated a system, how to analyze data from web browsers and email headers, and how to access information that is protected by a firewall.

The course also goes over different methods of acquiring files and other information: from email files, browser histories, raw disk fragments, and more. The course isn’t designed to teach you how to hack in an unethical way and in fact it goes over the risks of being a “black-hat” hacker. You’ll learn how to examine your own systems for potential security risks, how to build tools for added security, and how to restrict access to websites and your computer. By the end of the course, you’ll not only know methods of collecting data from computer systems but ways in which you can better secure your own systems.

Start Investigating

There is a lot involved in computer forensics and you couldn’t possibly learn every single method and skill in just one class. There are many computer forensics classes and if you want to get into the field, you’re sure to find one to suit you. Even if you just want to become more tech-savvy and learn a few skills to help in your day to day life, try out a class and see where it takes you.

 

 

Comments 6

  • What an intriguing topic, Ernst.  

    With the rise of cyber-crime there’s always a vague sense of paranoia that you, too, will end up getting hacked by somebody or other.  It’s just another fact of swimming in the cybernetic world we’ve made, I suppose.  (Kinda like the feeling you got jumping into the ocean after watching the movie “Jaws”.) 

    I do agree that learning more about how cyber-criminals do things can make you more aware of the sort of precautions it would be wise to take.

    Thanks for a very interesting read.

  • Great Job on your fabulous review on Computer Forensics Classes, it would have been great if the defence system such as FBI and the rest make this course mandatory to some parts of their team, it would so much enhance the way crimes are being approached and make it even easier. 

  • Very nice and informative post you got here. I have heard about Forensics but not so much about Computer Forensics which got me to click on your website. And I have to say, I have learned so much about Computer Forensics that I’m thinking about taking it as a minor degree (Since I’m currently in college) 

    Moreover, I never knew the methods used in hacking computers could also be used for computer forensics. Which is quite fascinating, to say the least.

    Thanks so much for sharing really appreciate it.

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