Retrieving Digital Information
We are in the age where most of the world’s information is in digital form, all encoded as little 1’s and 0’s firing in circuit boards. So how much of this information ever makes it out of the digital world into our physical one? According to a recent study by UC Berkeley scientists, only about 7% of information in the digital world ever leaves. This means most of the world’s information exists solely in the digital realm.
Many people out there might like for this information to stay digital. Those who commit cyber-crimes use a number of methods to cover their traces, such as giving important files obscure names and moving them to a hard to find location. While this seems like an easy solution for digital investigators, time and legal restraints can make finding and extracting these files challenging.
A cyber criminal can simply change a file name or location or delete files. Deleted files can often be retrieved from the Recycle Bin, or if the Recycle Bin has been cleared, using other investigative methods. Even formatted drives can be recovered depending on the thoroughness with which the drive was formatted. It is important for investigators to pay attention to hidden and inaccessible files as these commonly contain useful evidence. When very determined, a criminal can physically destroy a drive, which if done successfully there can be no recourse for.
The digital realm is a vast one with lots of nooks and crannies for information to hide in, but computer security experts are tenacious and will always be trying to keep up with protection methods.