Looking for a stepping stone to Computer Forensics

MuffHugger

Formerly GTP Mike
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
10,311
Reaction score
1
Location
Westmont
I am pursuing a career in Computer Forensics and am learning basic computer skills right now. Thus far in my education, I have really focused on programming; mainly in C++ but am learning database and Java shortly. My end goal is to work for a law enforcement office or something similar. Leaving pride aside, I am looking for a basic "foot in the door" type job; pay is not important. I want to focus on the mobile aspect as I believe this skill will be more marketable in the end. Places that repair cell phones and tablets is ideal. I have an updated resume available and the best way to reach me is through email at [email protected].


Thank you,

Mike Chrzanowski


aka muffhugger
 

cap42

Restoration Hell
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
1,966
Reaction score
11
Location
Bolingbrook IL
Computer Forensics is a great field to get into as it will be hot in the next few years. I recommend looking into cyber security classes while your schooling.

If your wanting to get into law enforcement or public safety as an end goal you should get your foot in the door now. Any IT techs with public safety experience is absolutely huge and almost a unicorn to recruit for.

To that end I would recommend getting into a help desk position at a larger municipality so you can learn that industry. That might be hard to find so a consulting company that deals with public entities might be easier and better experience wise long term.

Just don't focus on app/dev and mobile applications as you will limit your marketability in the field. Granted those technologies maybe what is needed in 10 years but for the foreseeable future pc's laptops and application support are what's needed in the near term. Muni's and peace apps are always 5+ years behind in technology.
 

MuffHugger

Formerly GTP Mike
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
10,311
Reaction score
1
Location
Westmont
Computer Forensics is a great field to get into as it will be hot in the next few years. I recommend looking into cyber security classes while your schooling.

If your wanting to get into law enforcement or public safety as an end goal you should get your foot in the door now. Any IT techs with public safety experience is absolutely huge and almost a unicorn to recruit for.

To that end I would recommend getting into a help desk position at a larger municipality so you can learn that industry. That might be hard to find so a consulting company that deals with public entities might be easier and better experience wise long term.

Just don't focus on app/dev and mobile applications as you will limit your marketability in the field. Granted those technologies maybe what is needed in 10 years but for the foreseeable future pc's laptops and application support are what's needed in the near term. Muni's and peace apps are always 5+ years behind in technology.
I am actually starting intro to security in a week. Hopefully the Post 9/11 GI Bill will let allow me to take as many as those security classes as I can as it relates to my degree.

Interesting route you've suggested; I didn't think a help desk would correlate to forensics. Broadens my search a little bit, thanks for that suggestion.
 

sickmint79

I Drink Your Milkshake
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
18,548
Reaction score
58
Location
grayslake
this is not an area i know how to get a foot in, and seems to have a ton of different expertises around it. so i am curious of even where to start - trying to be newbie forensics 101 guy (wherever may even have that position) or trying to get deep knowledge in say mobile devices and then being the mobile device ninja, while you are completely clueless around other forensic areas. to me IT help desk guy doesn't seem to be the most attractive first step anywhere though.

"I am pursuing a career in Computer Forensics and am learning basic computer skills right now. Thus far in my education, I have really focused on programming; mainly in C++ but am learning database and Java shortly."

this is pretty open, like i don't know if you are just getting into computers now and you're 18 or if you're 25 and have been nerding it up in computers for a while and are just trying to go way deeper. same with the c++ - did you just write 2 simple programs in your own time with it? or take 3 classes? or close to a degree? etc. you are looking at nichey enough of an area that i don't necessarily suspect new or deeper knowledge in these skills might help.

you may want to see if you can schedule some kind of short visit with your local PD just to see what they even do when they encounter a problem. ie. they do a drug bust or kiddie porn bust and confiscate a bunch of computers. what happens next? do they have a local guy poke through them? doubtful. does someone from the fbi come out? do they send the gear to the fbi? do they have a local 3rd party come in? do they send the gear to the 3rd party? my complete speculation is more along those lines. actually i have a couple cop friends from different places and i'll ask them. if my speculation is right your local PD should be able to tell you exactly who to go have a chat with.

although great hackers are also great programmers, probably the brunt of this industry is just using tools that the more exceptional outfits, people, and hackers have developed. you can shoot for the stars but on average i would expect to be using a lot of tools other people developed for already discovered exploits. for practice you could try recovering things off your own devices, or get friend's old ones, or pick them off ebay or craig's list, etc. what does a factory reset really do? you could get one and try to see if there is anything you could recover after one. then you can give it to a friend a week to play around with, put their own passwords and pics and data on, then hand back to you - for you to try and break in and find all their secrets. same with running machines or hard drives.

something like c++ or java will help to train your brain to be a logical thinker, or if you're already one, more of a hyperlogical thinker - imagining all scenarios and permutations to account for things to solve problems. but you can hand a great c++ programmer a locked iphone or desktop and they may not be able to do shit with it.

i have no idea what classes are offered or like in this type of world but my bet is one of the best ways you could start is trying to break into your own devices and spend a lot of time googling.
 

sickmint79

I Drink Your Milkshake
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
18,548
Reaction score
58
Location
grayslake
cop buddy who worked in vegas and tiny town in wi:

"We had a unit at vegas that did those types or things but I honestly don't know how it all worked. In pleasant prairie a detective put himself through all the training using the college reimbursement program so we had him in house and he opened his own business too. Pretty dang good idea"

i asked if he stayed and did biz on side or just started up biz and took PD as a client.

"Stayed. Got promoted twice to LT now. His business was computer data recovery I think. Yeah, something like cdrhelpme. I know he was farmed out to the city and county but don't know what kind of arrangement they had"

asked another cop buddy in a chicago burb, we'll see what he gets back to me with.
 

sickmint79

I Drink Your Milkshake
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
18,548
Reaction score
58
Location
grayslake
meh, something to think about i didn't think of until he mentioned this:

the shit they see can be pretty fucked up.
 

cap42

Restoration Hell
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
1,966
Reaction score
11
Location
Bolingbrook IL
I see your in westmont, the only cyber forensics agency in the area (that I am aware of) is Village of Lisle.

I have 2 IT guys staffed at Lisle, but my company doesn't do anything forensics related. They have special officers with backgrounds to do this. They also escalate to the local FBI HQ for special equipment requirements. Mostly its chain of custody and like sickmint mentioned used pre developed tools.

Next time I am at one of the FBI or homeland security meetings I will try to ask some info for you.
 

MuffHugger

Formerly GTP Mike
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
10,311
Reaction score
1
Location
Westmont
...

this is pretty open, like i don't know if you are just getting into computers now and you're 18 or if you're 25 and have been nerding it up in computers for a while and are just trying to go way deeper. same with the c++ - did you just write 2 simple programs in your own time with it? or take 3 classes? or close to a degree? etc. you are looking at nichey enough of an area that i don't necessarily suspect new or deeper knowledge in these skills might help.

you may want to see if you can schedule some kind of short visit with your local PD just to see what they even do when they encounter a problem. ie. they do a drug bust or kiddie porn bust and confiscate a bunch of computers. what happens next? do they have a local guy poke through them? doubtful. does someone from the fbi come out? do they send the gear to the fbi? do they have a local 3rd party come in? do they send the gear to the 3rd party? my complete speculation is more along those lines. actually i have a couple cop friends from different places and i'll ask them. if my speculation is right your local PD should be able to tell you exactly who to go have a chat with.

...
I am 27 years old, Army Veteran, with an Associates from COD in Automotive Service Technology. Currently enrolled in DeVry University going through their Computer Information Systems program with a concentration in Forensics. I have taken 3 classes now with C++ and C#. Studying Java in my own time while taking the prerequisites. Current GPA is 3.74 and I've obtained 56 credits thus far.


Oddly enough at the Westmont cruise night, they had a police theme. My father was an officer there and I actually bumped into the Deputy Chief. He was a little distracted by the piece of shit kids messing with his squad car. The conversation was long enough for me to convey my interest in the forensics area and to wish him luck in his retirement next year. :rollpicard:

I see your in westmont, the only cyber forensics agency in the area (that I am aware of) is Village of Lisle.

I have 2 IT guys staffed at Lisle, but my company doesn't do anything forensics related. They have special officers with backgrounds to do this. They also escalate to the local FBI HQ for special equipment requirements. Mostly its chain of custody and like sickmint mentioned used pre developed tools.

Next time I am at one of the FBI or homeland security meetings I will try to ask some info for you.
That would be amazing if you could do that. Any information is greatly appreciated. :bigthumb:
 

MuffHugger

Formerly GTP Mike
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
10,311
Reaction score
1
Location
Westmont
meh, something to think about i didn't think of until he mentioned this:

the shit they see can be pretty fucked up.
It was when the Jared Fogel thing was happening, I realized that was possibly something I would be seeing. The satisfaction of putting those kind of people away and being able to be on the stand in court and point to the guilty individual is satisfying to me.
 

MuffHugger

Formerly GTP Mike
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
10,311
Reaction score
1
Location
Westmont
I just called several cell phone and electronic repair companies and CPR (Cell Phone Repair) in Bolingbrook is the most promising. I think this will be a great step in the right direction and will be perpetually working on finding my next move and working on my studies. Found an online course for Forensics that offers a certification and college credit. Need to talk to my Adviser to see if these credits will transfer to DeVry, but the knowledge would be priceless.

Thanks to all that offered their advice. It is greatly appreciated.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top Bottom