Fraud propels demand for forensics training

In the 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em stakes', computer-based crime is driving more and more IT professionals to study the skills and tools needed to unravel and reveal the inner workings of cyber fraudsters.

The general upsurge in computer skills in the population is reflected equally amongst criminals and malcontents and law enforcement agencies frequently confiscate computers to search for evidence of alleged misdeeds.

In the knowledge race, computer forensics has become a priority and, since 1999 has propelled the growth in demand for training in this sector by 600 percent, according to Paul Hughes, managing director of Brisbane-based Frontier Security Solutions.

Initially, Frontier conducted one course a year mainly for federal police.

Participants now also come from state and federal government departments as well as from the private sector, Hughes said.

The company has scheduled its Forensics Bootcamp series in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra between May and July and the Advanced Windows Forensics course in Sydney and Canberra in June and July.

Hughes said the courses are structured for IT security and network administrators, forensics investigators and computer forensics examiners and law enforcement personnel.

Trainers at the three-day courses are drawn from people experienced in the field of computer forensics and in dealing with computer fraudsters, such as ex law enforcement officers, as well as experts skilled in the use of hardware and software in the collection and protection of evidence.

Computer Forensics Boot Camp teaches students to find and examine lost e-mail, find hidden and lost files in free space, uncover browsing history, search for and export graphic files, access encrypted files from common applications, and more. Participants will find it useful for instances where employee misbehaviour or alleged criminal activity results in lost or missing data, or they need to uncover passwords and a trail of electronic evidence.

Course dates are Sydney: May 10 to 12, 2005; Canberra: May 31 to June 2 2005; and Melbourne: July 25 to 27

Advanced Windows Forensics, scheduled for Sydney June 15 to 17 2005, and Canberra June 21 to 23 2005, teaches the art of conducting an effective Windows based investigation. Students will learn how to use advanced search and filtering techniques for Windows artefacts, find and recover deleted files, gain access to encrypted files and more.

Further details and booking information at

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