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Geraint Williams

Information Risk Consultant & Trainer.

Hollywood Effect on Digital Forensic

Presentation Synopsis

There is a knock on the door..... no answer..... the FBI team crashes through the door and find the apartment empty.
A computer is switched on in the corner of the room, a FBI agent goes across, types at the keyboard and in seconds is into the computer system, in no time recovers an email revealing the location of a nuclear weapon about to explode destroying Washington, they have enough time..... just..... to stop the weapon and capture the terrorist.

A typical scene from a Hollywood movie but in reality the evidence from the email will be thrown out of court due to lack of procedure.

Hollywood has a unique view on the real world and can leave a distorted prospective in the minds of the movie goer or the couch potato. Digital forensics is new and almost hip in the eyes of the younger generations, it involves that part of modern life that is inescapable the computer and plays on the fear that every thing we do on the computer is traceable. Programs like CSI, Numb3rs, and NCIS leave viewers with the impression the digital forensic expert can retrieve any type of information and the expectation that in a court case that the evidence must include DNA, computer records etc for the case to be proven.

The success of forensics-based dramas like CSI has ensured there's no shortage of applicants to study forensics. Hollywood and its public are enamoured by the supernatural potency of the discipline. The ludicrous feats of deduction often scored by the stars of these shows have convinced many that modern forensics is fast-paced, glamorous work. The "CSI effect" has given the public in particularly some members of juries some inflated expectations of computer forensic analysis.

Hard drive scanning aka "Numb3rs"

This talk looks at Hollywood and the TV interpretation of digital forensics and gives an insight into to how it is really done.

Requesting a presentation

If you represent any branch or section of the BCS, IET or other professional institute bodies, or represent an organisation, company or business in the UK and are interested in me giving this presentation, please contact me through LinkedIn or this website.


If yopu are interested in some background to this talk please see my blog article on the talk. Blog: Hollywood Effect on Digital Forensics

Content 2013 Geraint Williams | Last updated 7th April 2013