Computer Forensics: Computer Crime Scene Investigation (With CD-ROM) (Networking Series) - page 5

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Foreword

Michael Erbschloe
Vice President of Research
Computer Economics, Carlsbad, California

Computer forensics is one of the largest growth professions of the 21st century. The soaring increase in the number of Internet users combined with the constant computerization of business processes has created new opportunities for computer criminals and terrorists. Study after study has consistently revealed that cyber attacks, hacking, and computer-based criminal activities are costing businesses and government organizations billions of dollars each year.

Law enforcement agencies around the world are starting to fight back. It has been a long, difficult struggle to train law enforcement personnel in computer-crime-related issues and recruit skilled computer professionals into law enforcement careers. These efforts are far from finished.

We need to train at least 50,000 more computer crime fighters in order to stem the global tide of computer attacks. Many computer professionals have asked me how they can get started in security and crime-fighting careers. My response has constantly been learn, study, train, and move forward. Computer Forensics: Computer Crime Scene Investigation, by John Vacca, is an excellent place to start establishing the required knowledge base to move into this fascinating new career field.

Computer Forensics is an excellent book for trained law enforcement personnel who desire to learn more about investigating and fighting computer crimes. Computer Forensics is also an excellent book for computer professionals who want to move into the rapidly growing security field and are considering shifting their career focus to law enforcement and criminal investigation.

It is also important that computer security personnel expand their understanding of forensic processes and keep their understanding of investigative and prevention procedures up to date. Computer Forensics is an excellent book for all levels of computer security personnel to further their professional development.

John Vacca has made an excellent contribution to the computer forensics field. I highly recommend Computer Forensics and congratulate John Vacca on a job extremely well done.



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Introduction

Cyber criminals are wreacking havoc on computer systems-and are capturing front-page headlines in the bargain. It has made little difference that the Bush Administration pledged billions in additional federal funding to combat security breaches after the 9-11 terrorists attacks. The problem just keeps getting worse.

Fortunately, the computer security field is also progressing at a brisk rate. In particular, the field of computer forensics brings new ways of preserving and analyzing evidence related to cyber crime.

GROWING PROBLEM

The numbers are chilling. According to a recent industry survey, 91% of the survey respondents detected cyberattacks on their companies, and 384 organizations reported $376,690,051 in financial losses.

So what's going on? It doesn't take a computer engineer or computer scientist to learn hacking fundamentals. After spending a few nights on the Internet, high school students discover they can master hacking fundamentals by simply downloading software. Corporations and the federal government are just beginning to realize that securing their computer networks is critical. Equally frightening is that our national security has already been compromised. Colleges have finally started to offer courses and concentrations in computer security and forensics, but it remains difficult to find degree programs in these disciplines.



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