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Submission + - "Police blow up foul-mouthed CDs"

FirmWarez writes: CNN is reporting that a bomb squad in Santa Fe, New Mexico, blew up three CD players containing home burned CDs spewing forth "foul language and pornographic messages" in a Catholic church. The CD players had been taped under pews and were louding relaying their audio messages during Ash Wednesday services.

I'm beginning to wonder if somehow the war on terror has been combined with some evangelical Republic an agenda to rid the world of obscene gestures and comments. First "lite brites" and now CD players. With all the "WTF" comments on-line, is your server next?
Data Storage

Submission + - Computer Forensics - A Brief Introduction

Simon Steggles writes: "Computer Forensics — A Brief Introduction li.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; margin-left:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-top:0cm}

Computer Forensics — A Brief Description

Computer Forensics is the function of utilising scientifically proven methods to assemble together and process data found on a digital device, (computer, hard disk drive, mobile phone, memory card etc), and interpret that data for possible use in a court of law or other theatre of investigation. The evidence may assist in the prosecution or a criminal, help in the defence of an accused person, or be of intelligence to an individual who is seeking knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.

The main users of Computer Forensics are law enforcement officers, as a large percentage of crimes in some way utilise digitally stored data. This data could be a phone call made on a mobile phone, (or cell phone), which could place an individual at the scene of a crime, (or of course away from it), accounts for illegal activities such as drug sales, images of paedophilia, human resource issues, hacking, email abuse, unauthorised data duplication, IP theft etc. Corporate organisations are utilising computer forensics more and more now as they often have to investigate incidents such as inappropriate computer use, inappropriate email use, unauthorised data duplication and disloyal employees. Human Resource departments and Internal Security are the biggest users of these specialist corporate services. Private individuals may also use these services. It may be the lover cheating on their partner, or inappropriate internet use by a family member.

Computer Forensics or Cyber Forensics as it is also known, is now taught at many colleges and universities around the world, and is available to both the law enforcement community and private individuals.

What to do if you suspect illegal or inappropriate activity on a computer or digital device:

  1. Turn the power off — Pull the plug out if necessary
  2. Secure the 'exhibit'. Don't allow anyone access to it, security seal it if possible
  3. Contact a Computer Forensics Expert

What NOT to do if you suspect illegal or inappropriate activity on a computer or digital device:

  1. Call your IT manager, or one of your technical staff
  2. Get them to 'see' if the user has been looking at 'dodgy' websites or if any important files are missing
  3. Sack the member of staff

The analogy of the above:

Imaging a body lying in a muddy field. There is a blanket over the body and something petruding from it. By not following procedures, what you will have done is the same as follows:

  1. See the body
  2. Walk up to the body in the field
  3. Take the blanket off the body
  4. Move the body to 'have a look'
  5. Put the blanket back over the body — 'like it was before'
  6. Leave the field

What you have just done:

Entered the scene of a crime, left YOUR footprints all over the muddy field, left YOUR fingerprints on the body and blanket, left YOUR DNA all over the place.

You then expect to call the relevant organisation/authority and have them try and find evidence, which has just been tainted by YOU or YOUR STAFF. This is not a good start, and could make the case in question inadmissible.

Remember that this is a very specialised service provided by experts. Use computer forensics experts to do the job correctly in the first place, then there shouldn't be a problem.

Simon Steggles

Disklabs Computer Forensics"
Data Storage

Submission + - Recovering a Wrecked RAID

Dr. Eggman writes: Tom's Hardware recently posted this article specifying how the professionals at Kroll Ontrack recover data from a RAID array that has suffered a hard drive failure, allowing for recovery of even RAID 5 arrays suffering two failures. The article is quick to warn this is costly, however, and points out the different types of hard drive failures that occure, some of which are repairable. Ultimatly the article concludes that consistant backups and other good practices are the best solution. Still, it provides an interesting look into the world of data after death.
Data Storage

Submission + - Data Recovery - A Brief Introduction

Simon Steggles writes: "Data Recovery — A Brief Introduction v\:* { behavior: url(#default#VML) } o\:* { behavior: url(#default#VML) } .shape { behavior: url(#default#VML) }

Data Recovery

A Brief Introduction

Data Recovery is the process of retrieval of inaccessible or corrupt data from digital media that has become damaged in some way. Data Recovery can be used to recover data from devices as varied as Hard Disk Drives, Memory Cards, Tapes, Mobile Phones, Personal Digital Assistants, Floppy Disk's, CD's, DVD's, Data Cartridges, Xbox's and many more items.

Data Recovery may be needed for reasons as diverse as hardware failure, (the tape has been 'chewed' up, the hard disk drive has failed, the user has maliciously damaged the computer or digital device, or it could have suffered fire or flood damage). All of these instances will require the services of a professional data recovery company if the data was of such value (be it sentimental or financial) that the cost of the services are less than the perceived value of the data which is no longer accessible.

It is not just businesses who are at risk from Data loss. Clients requiring data recovery come from all walks of life, including large corporates, smaller businesses, and the self employed to "joe public" who, with the introduction and subsequent boom in the use of digital cameras etc to record holidays and special occasions may have lost anything from sentimental data to critical e-mails, and personal account details. Students are often grouped under this heading too.

There are numerous ways that Data can be recovered from digital media which can vary greatly, the simplest method can often involve the running of basic software on the storage medium in question. This is always a dangerous idea, because the recovery data could overwrite the very data that is being recovered. More complex commercial software tools are available which will do this job more professionally. No software fix should be attempted prior to the original media being imaged, enabling the recovering company to work on a 'back-up' of the original software. The most professional companies will also take a second image should there be a problem with the first image that is being worked on for recovery.

The next problem is what happens when the hard disk or storage device doesn't work. For the smaller 'Data Recovery Companies', this is a problem, and it is when the more serious Data Recovery Companies get involved, (such as Disklabs, ), who specialise in higher end Data Retrievals. It is always recommended that the most critical work should be sent to a true data recovery specialist, (check out the accreditations — ensure the specialist has ISO9001-2000 Quality Assurance status, and is certified to ISO BE EN 14644 to ensure that their clean facility is at the correct level for intrusive data recovery work, find out how long that company has been trading, and check their testimonials). Once you have found the company that you are happy with, if the data storage device doesn't work, there is a high likelihood that the digital media will require spare parts, this is where organisations such as 1st Computer Traders Ltd, ( ) are of service. Organisations such as 1CT sell spare parts for hard disk drives to organisations such as Disklabs, ( ) enabling them to get the original data accessible for long enough to image the data onto a stable storage device, enabling that data to be duplicated again which in turn allows a safe recovery attempt to be achieved.

The data recovery job is generally finished when a list of all the recovered files is sent to the client. Once the client approves this file listing, they are then shipped the data of an appropriate media. This can be a hard disk drive, floppy disk, CD or DVD. Alternatively, if a file is considered critical, it can be encrypted and then emailed to the client.

It should be noted that in extreme cases it may be impossible to recover any data, however the bottom line is, as soon as you have lost data you should power off your device and send it to a professional Data Recovery Company to optimise your chances of a successful recovery.

Simon Steggles

Disklabs Data Recovery

Disklabs Computer Forensics"

Submission + - Undelete software for photos and pictures

Richard Dulbronski writes: "DeleteFIX Recovers deleted or lost photos in your own computer. This Software undeletes photo files. This software is good for the recovery of:

* Memory cards
* USB recovery.
* Digital cameras.
* Compact flash cards.

This software restores deleted pictures from digital cameras, memory cards and virtually any media. This software repairs files erased before you install the Software. Lets you preview deleted photos in the software viewer. Restores even if have emptied from the Recycle Bin. Restores even when they've been deleted by viruses.

Deleted photo files are recovered to your computer.

You can find out about this software at:

Cimaware Software also offers File recovery downloads for Office (Excel, Access, Word and Outlook)."

Submission + - War 2.0: Open Source IEDs vs. Platoon Wikis

dasbeh writes: OSS, Wikipedia and other forms of net-based "peer production" can help us understand how modern Guerilla warfare is organized — and what the military must do to win War 2.0. At least, that is the argument of a "Web Special" at Policy Review. It shows how the internet has shifted the strategic balance in favor of small, decentralized groups that share tactical information, ideology and military doctrine over the web- and how today's insurgents honor such OSS mantras as "release early, release often", "the permanent beta version" and "open standards". From TFA: 'War's changing character is not only augmented by the emergence of the new media; the way the web and today's communication devices are used to organize lives also instructs our understanding of how killing is organized'

Journal Journal: Alleged spammer tries to take, foiled

Last year, electronic marketing firm e360insight sued the anti-spam blocklist Spamhaus in U.S. District Court over being included on the Spamhaus website as an alleged spammer. Since Spamhaus is a UK company, the jurisdiction of a U.S. Court may be questionable, but Spamhaus found (the hard way) that the court was still willing to enter a default judgment. e360insight then attempted to take by using the US Marshall service to try to seize it from its domain registrar, Tucows, but fa

Submission + - Powder-Sized RFID

Dollaz writes: Tiny computer chips used for tracking food, tickets and other items are getting even smaller. Hitachi Ltd., a Japanese electronics maker, recently showed off radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips that are just 0.002 inches by 0.002 inches and look like bits of powder. They're thin enough to be embedded in a piece of paper, company spokesman Masayuki Takeuchi said Thursday. der-chip.htm

Submission + - Medieval Islamic tiling reveals mathematical savvy

MattSparkes writes: "It turns out that Medieval Islamic designers used elaborate geometrical tiling patterns at least 500 years before Western mathematicians developed the concept. They are not quite perfect though, because the patterns show a few defects where a single tile was placed incorrectly. The defects are probably mistakes by workers putting together the design as there are only 11 defects out of 3700 tiles, and each can be corrected by a simple rotation. You just can't get the staff..."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - European PS3 to feature new hardware specification

jtorry writes: "Sony issued a press released today announcing that the PlayStation 3 to be launched in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia on March 23 will utilise a new hardware specification. The European PS3 will ship complete with a 60GB hard drive, Blu-ray Disc player, built-in WI-Fi, a Sixaxis wireless controller and will be compatible with a "broad range of original PlayStation titles and a limited range of PlayStation 2 titles."

"PS3 is first and foremost a system that excels in playing games specifically designed to exploit the power and potential of the PS3 system," said David Reeves, President of SCEE. "Games designed for PS3 offer incredible graphics quality, stunning gameplay and massively improved audio and video fidelity that is simply not achievable with PS and PS2 games. Rather than concentrate on PS2 backwards compatibility, in the future, company resources will be increasingly focused on developing new games and entertainment features exclusively for PS3, truly taking advantage of this exciting technology."

Sony notes that some additional PS2 titles will become compatible on the PS3 via regular downloadable firmware update made through the PlayStation Network, or via PS3 game discs. The first update will be available for launch on March 23. Gamers can check specific title compatibility using the Sony service found on This site will be available on March 23.

To put this all into terms we can understand, the European PS3 will not feature as good backwards compatibility as the US and Japanese PS3. A Sony spokesperson told Reuters: "The backwards compatibility is not going to be as good as in the US and Japanese models."

As for a new hardware specification, analyst Datamonitor believes the Euro PS3 will feature a new cost-reducing chassis.

"By launching the PS3 in Europe with the new chassis, Sony has at a stroke removed one of the barriers to future price reductions, and providing it can make enough units available, Datamonitor believes there will be sustained growth in PS3 ownership as new users seek to benefit from the PS3's enhanced features and functionality," said the analyst."

Submission + - Study shows file sharing has no effect on CD sales

jibjibjib writes: "Ars Technica reports that a study by Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf, recently published in the Journal of Political Economy, shows that file sharing is not responsible for declining CD sales figures.

The study, entitled "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis," claims that "a one-standard-deviation increase in file sharing reduces an album's weekly sales by a mere 368 copies, an effect that is too small to be statistically distinguishable from zero.""

Submission + - Blowing the Whistle on Security Management

postasaurus writes: "What are the similarities between ITSec managers and a World Cup referee? There are more than you might imagine. While its unlikely that anyone will shout rude chants that question your parentage or eyesight, you can be sure that similar sentiments may sometimes be muttered under users breath. And while no-one will thank you when youve done a great job, everyone will be on your case if things take an unexpected turn for the worse.

Full article text at leOnSecurityManagement.jsp"

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