5 Use Cases you don’t know in Database Forensics

Work Tips
2022-03-03

Key Takeaways

  • Database forensics has expanded its scope to daily life because of the daily needs of this technology.
  • Database forensics have different uses cases like that of prevention of crimes, corruption, assistance in surveillance, etc.
  • The development in this field is leading to the prevention of possible errors in data processing.

With the expansion of technology, companies and organizations are getting on board with new innovative techniques and strategies. Digital practices and innovations have brought a change in business management. Modern companies are more dependent on technology, as new software ensures more efficiency. Their inclination towards the use of technology is primarily because of the extensive use cases offered by technical advancements.

However, as businesses get onboard with modern innovations, they are exposed to the world of cybercrime and hacking. The sensitive data of major companies and organizations is highly confidential. This is why businesses prioritize the security and safety of their data through different measures. But privatization of data is also used as a tool by criminals and people with maligned intentions.

The scrutiny of such elements is critical or else it could pose a major threat in the longer run. Under this scenario, Database Forensics come into action, as it helps in cracking into different use cases. Therefore, it is used by criminal investigators and authorities to keep a regular check on different types of database systems.

People from all over the world use different databases to hold their information. These databases have different use cases. However, database forensics can dig into these use cases for different purposes.

In this article, we will understand the role of database forensics. Additionally, we will dig deep into the types of use cases commonly applied in database forensics.

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The study of data for forensic analysis is a fast developing field. It has begun to evolve since the popular use of computers in businesses and other fields. As there has been the development of sophisticated computer systems, data analysis has also evolved.

A Forensic data analyst can use data for different purposes. There are various reasons that the below mentioned field can be used for benefitting corporate companies, public organizations, or serving law enforcement agencies.

Detection of Suspicious Activity

One of the most common uses of database forensics is detecting suspicious activity. Corporate firms, huge databases of public organizations, and other data storage facilities need to be secure from possible attacks of those with wrong intentions.

The database is a collection of important data that needs to be secured at any cost.

  • For example, if someone has access to the Tesla database and uses it for the wrong purposes, they can land the company at a huge loss. Therefore, big corporate companies take proper care that if there is any suspicious activity, there is proper investigation of it.
  • Enron, a large corporate company that frauded its investors and employees. It forged data and ultimately went bankrupt in 2001. The subsequent data analysis found out that it had scammed investors and employees.

The use of digital data for wrong ends began in the 1970s as the IT developers and users recognized that they could use digital devices for ill purposes. What’s worse is that, they didn’t shy away from doing so.

Beyond the above, there is a real-life example.

The famous ‘Apple Trade Secret Theft.’ An engineer named Xiaolang Zhang was indicted for data theft as their colleagues had suspicions of data theft. Later, it turned out that the person had downloaded data and intended to give it to a foreign company.

The detection of suspicious activity is simple.

  1. The user will have to get the data from database logs.
  2. The next step is the transformation of logs into XML format for analysis.

Besides, there are other likely cases where criminals accessed data, which was later found through forensic analysis.

Finding and Prevention of Database Corruption

It might be a huge loss for a corporate or public organization if they lose their data. If the database gets corrupted, it can have huge grave consequences.

Take a bank or mortgage company database for instance.

They stored the data of financial transactions in their database. However, once data is corrupted, they would be in trouble to save their business. Though, there is a solution that could help, which is utilizing a database forensics tool like DBR(Database Recovery) series to help recover the data, since It will help in recovery and ensure that the cause for corruption is found-out.

As this field is still in an evolutionary period, experts are working on tools that can help with information regarding the corruption of the database. The information retrieved from the corrupted database can be reconstructed using the aforementioned tools.

In other words, data loss from database corruption is no longer a big deal.

Recovery of the lost data from the SQL database is again possible using the logs and analysis of the retrieved data. The emergence of advanced methods has overshadowed them, which includes engine-based recovery which looks at the raw data, used in SQLite, EDB, etc.

Dealing with Digital Crime Investigation

The digitization of the world has led to digital data for crimes. Forensic data collection and then its analysis can help know how the crime took place and how the accused used the database for their benefit.

  • A common example is Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s doctor, who was convicted after his suspicious messages regarding prescription of medicine drugs were found in his computer after the retrieval of the files in the database.
  • Another example is that of a criminal case where the accused made Facebook posts, which helped identify his involvement in a crime. The accused was Larry Thomas, who committed murder and his bracelet’s picture in a Facebook post helped identify him, though the post was deleted on purpose a long time ago.
    Along with that, there are other cases where the database was used to identify organized crimes.

Therefore, the digital forensic investigation has prospects because of the criminals’ use of a database to commit crimes, which also means that the crimes can be probed using the database.

Generally, there are different tools that the investigators use, which include both paid and free ones. Some of them include DBR for MySQL, DBR for SQL Server, DBR for Oracle, ProDiscover Forensics, etc.

However, to better carry out the work in law enforcement, employing a database forensics analysis system would always help in an efficient and effective manner, which is also widely recommended by numerous law enforcement agencies around the world..

Prevention of Digital Crime

Data theft and other problems are a part of our routine life these days. Like crimes in the physical world, criminals mistakenly leave some piece of evidence that can help identify them. Thus, the owner can secure the database once it is identified by taking advanced measures, which will help with the prevention of digital crime to some extent.

Though there are different types of digital crimes, forensic experts could always help prevent them by employing advanced technologies.

Finding-out the Loopholes in Database

Another real-life case is that of finding out loopholes in the database. Different organizations use databases for their data. There is always a possibility that there is a loophole that can give access to unwanted intruders. Forensic experts can help organizations save their data by checking them for possible loopholes and ensuring that the problem is solved.

It can be especially helpful for corporate firms and public-funded organizations who need to be careful about their data.

Final Thoughts

‘How to implement database investigation’ is a common question that most forensic experts face. To better figure it out, it’s just Like other types of digital forensic investigations, a specified analysis of the database to get the required data if it has been used for theft, harmed, or face some other untoward situation.

The development of computer forensics in general and database forensics, in particular, can help tackle problems that require modern solutions. It can be challenging for experts, and sometimes they might not find answers to their questions, but in usual cases, they get their desired clues.

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