• Computer Forensics
• Internet Forensics
• Forensic Accounting
McFarland & Associates, Inc. investigators and forensics specialists leverage their real-world knowledge and skills with industry-standard technologies to find, analyze and preserve electronic evidence from computers, databases, networks and other digital media. They combine these digital forensic skills with accounting, auditing and fraud examination expertise to unravel the most complex criminal and civil schemes.
Our investigators first secure suspect computer systems to ensure that hardware and data are safe then cut connections to the Internet and any other networks. Then they find and copy all files on the computer system, including encrypted, password-protected, hidden or deleted files. Accessing a file can alter it, so investigators only work from copies of files while searching for evidence. The original system should remain preserved and intact.
McFarland & Associates forensic specialists then recover as much deleted and hidden information as possible using advanced forensic software applications. They decrypt and access protected files. They can analyze the normally inaccessible “unallocated space” of a computer's disks. They document every step of the procedures and preserve the information without changing or damaging the computer system. Years can pass between an investigation and a trial. Without proper documentation, evidence may not be admissible.
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Internet traffic travels on a network of networks. Data moves to and from home networks, larger wide area (LAN) networks, corporate networks and an array of networks that comprise the Internet’s digital infrastructure. It can be difficult, in some instances, to extract data from a compromised computer and decipher how it was used to access the Internet. In these cases, McFarland & Associates forensic specialists can trace Internet usage through forensic examination of the networks used by the computer.
Digital evidence can include web browsing destinations, e-mail messages, and newsgroup and chat room traffic can be captured from networks. Keyword search histories, can be extracted to show when information related to a criminal or civil litigation matter was accessed. Network forensics can find the exact source of an e-mail or determine who is using a specific computer.
Through data disk recovery investigators can reassemble transferred files, and, in some cases, recover data from e-mail logs or chat sessions. By applying forensic methods on the Ethernet layer, some tools can reconstruct websites, email attachments, and more.