COMPUTER-BASED SECURITY AND MONITORING SYSTEM FOR FORENSIC EXPERTS
1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The world is becoming a smaller place in which to live and work. A technological revolution in communications and information exchange has taken place within business, industry and homes. Most developed and developing countries are substantially more invested in information processing and Management than manufacturing goods, and this has affected their professional and personal lives. We bank and transfer money electronically and we are much more likely to receive an E-mail than a letter. It is estimated that the worldwide internet population is 349 million (Commerce Net Research Council 2000).
In this information technology age, some traditional crimes especially those concerning finance and commerce, continue to be upgraded technologically. Crimes associated with theft and manipulations of data are detected daily. Crimes of violence also are not immune to the effects of the information age. A serious and costly terrorist act could come from the internet instead of a truck bomb. The diary of a serial killer may be recorded on a floppy disk or hard disk drive rather than on paper in a notebook. Just as the workforce has gradually converted from manufacturing goods to processing information, criminal activity has to large extent also converted from physical dimension. There calls a need for computer forensic experts and computer based monitoring and security system for easy capture of evidence of intruder who compromises a network or computer.
This project dealt with the design and implementation of a computer based security and monitoring system for forensic experts, an ideal way for tracking the activities of an account user and also for recovering digital evidence of crime committed in a computer system.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
With the evolution of computer and the internet which has made the world a global village, so has criminals also taken advantage of this technological advancement to engage in different forms of cyber crime ranging from terrorism, internet fraud to the release of sophisticated viruses which is difficult to trace the perpetrators due to lack of sophisticated software that can retrieve information of such activities. This led to the design of a computer based security and monitoring system for forensic experts which will help in tracking the activities of internet users and for recovery of digital evidence of crime committed in a computer system.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The objectives of this system are to:
(i) Design and implement a computer based security and monitoring system for forensic experts.
(ii) Realize a system for capturing, collecting, analyzing, preserving and presenting evidence of computer crime in an acceptable manner.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This application when implemented will be able to monitor the activities of a computer user by taking screenshots of internet activities, process capture and capture the content of the index.dat file which will help forensic expert with substantial evidence to prosecute cyber criminals.
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
This project is designed to monitor the activities of computer users to investigate and fish out cyber criminals. The project employed Java programming language in ensuring the design and implementation of a Computer Based Security and Monitoring system that will aid forensic experts in their investigations and prosecution of criminals.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Most people see security and monitoring systems as an intrusion of people‟s privacy.
A major setback of computer forensics is presentation of evidence in a way that is admissible to the law court that is the Computer Forensic Analyst presenting it in a way to show that it was not tampered with.
Another limiting factor is that the programming language (JAVA) used to implement the system is case sensitive sometimes in JAVA, An executing program may want to divide by zero, and this will display an error message. Run time errors can come up as program runs during the process of programming with JAVA. Fatal runtime error can occur causing the program to terminate without successfully completing its job. Java programs tend to execute slowly because the JAVA virtual machine would execute and interpret one byte code at a time.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Image E-mail – Electronic mail: Electronic mail, most commonly referred to as email or e-mail since approximately 1993, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks.
Image CF – Computer Forensic: Computer forensics is the application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular computing device in a way that is suitable for presentation in a court of law. The goal of computer forensics is to perform a structured investigation while maintaining a documented chain of evidence to find out exactly what happened on a computing device and who was responsible for it.
Image PC – Personal Computer: A personal computer (PC) is a general-purpose computer, whose size, capabilities, and original sale price makes it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator.
Image GUI – Graphic User Interface: Graphical user interface (GUI, sometimes pronounced 'gooey') is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices using images rather than text commands.
Image DOS – Disk Operating System: Disk Operating System (specifically) and disk operating system (generically), most often reveal themselves in abbreviated as DOS, refer to an operating system software used in most computers that provides the abstraction and management of secondary storage devices and the information on them (e.g., file systems for organizing files of all sorts).
Image OS – Operating System: An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a vital component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system to function..