Northern Virginia Private Investigator – Digital Forensics

Digital Forensic Investigations

Computer forensics is the practice of collecting, analyzing and reporting on digital information in a way that is legally admissible and non-biased. What you think may have been deleted off your computer probably has left a trace and can be restored by a Computer Forensic Expert. Our Investigators can retrieve data stored on a computer that has been deleted or encrypted; this can be used to as evidence in court or give clues for a case. We have often found evidence of online dating profiles in adultery cases or deleted pictures for a custody case. Surveillance is used to provide real-time evidence while computer forensics is historical proof. Both can be used as an excellent combination for a strong case.

 What is computer forensics and how is it done?

An Investigator will first make a digital copy of a hard drive to isolate the stored data and protect the original drive. Then diagnostics is run to retrieve deleted files and to decrypt password protected files.  The evidence is documented in a manner that is acceptable to use in court. Forensic analysis can be run on a number of devices; from the obvious like laptops and SD cards to unorthodox equipment like home telephones.

 How is this different from Hacking and why is it legal?

A common misconception is that retrieving information like passwords, internet history and encrypted files means that someone has illegally ‘broken into’ a computer. This is not the same as legitimate digital forensics since there are guidelines that must be followed. Some of these guidelines include: obtaining a license to work as a computer forensic Investigator, running diagnostics on a digital copy rather than original hard drive and meticulous documentation of all tests, procedures and findings from the device.

How S.I.G. is qualified and what we can do:

As outlined above, the difference between hacking and legitimate investigations is the level of knowledge and sophistication employed. We are qualified to provide a full range of digital forensic services, including but not limited to: Analysis of Hard Drive Data, Web Browsing, Registry, Email and Chat conversations, Pictures and Documents including hidden, encrypted, and deleted data. We provide all this and more depending on your needs.

Donal Davis, our lead Digital Forensic Investigator’s career includes titles such as: Cyber Counterintelligence Special Agent, Police Major Detective, CERT Director of a cabinet level agency, Government Special Security Officer, and Senior Information Systems Security Officer. In addition to the 25+ years of service in the digital and investigative field, our Digital Forensic expert is an award winning nationally recognized subject matter expert in insider threat detection investigation, cyber counterintelligence investigation, and cyber intrusion analysis investigation.

We also provide cyber security consulting from a CISSP (#216665, since 2003) and CISM (#0402085, since 2004) certified professional. Donal is also a former Cyber Counterintelligence Special Agent, Police Detective Major, CERT Director of a cabinet level agency, Government Special Security Officer, and Senior Information Systems Security Officer with over 25 years of experience in government, industry, and law enforcement.

This level of expertise, normally reserved and utilized for law enforcement, government agencies, and large corporations, will be employed for your case so you can be assured that you have the most accurate information to make an educated decision.

Our lead Forensic Investigator’s skillset and expertise in this field have not only allowed him to earn these titles, but he has also taken his knowledge and applied it in other ways. Below are a few publications that are accredited to him:

  • Guide to Accompany the National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standard.
  • The official guide to implementing Executive Order 13587, the National Insider Threat Policy, and Minimum Standards signed by the President of the United States -2013
  • The Hidden Agenda:  National Insider Threat Task Force -2012