Computer forensics experts are trained to investigate computer security and fraud. IT fraud litigation requires these experts to perform a computer forensic examination for content in emails, documents and files. Their investigations may reveal when a document was created, edited, and saved and by whom.
In the news, California Representative Mike Honda has sued his campaign opponent, Ro Khanna, alleging that Khanna’s aide has illegally accessed information on his campaign donors. The US District Court, Northern District of California case CV-05416 accuses Khanna and Brian Parvizshahi of accessing a Honda’s Dropbox account and editing that information. The complaint lists 1. Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. §1030(a)), 2. Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. §1030(b)), and 3. Violation of the Economic Espionage Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 1832, et seq.). It charges “Specifically, Defendant Parvizshahi ‘edited’, ‘added’, or in some way modified individual documents within the Honda Folders at least forty-four (44) times. Several documents were ‘edited’, ‘added’, or in some way modified more than once.”
The Intellectual property attorneys at Revision Legal explain Unauthorized Access of a Protected Computer:
Much of the litigation concerning unauthorized access concerns employees whom either exceeded the authorization granted by their employment, or accessed their employer’s computer after termination of their employment. Employees who access their employer’s computers, even if authorized, may violate the CFAA is such access breaches their duty of loyalty or is coupled with bad intent. Once an employee leaves and begins to work for another entity, the employee is presumed to no longer be an authorized user of his ex-employer’s computer.
Computer forensics experts are uniquely qualified to examine electronic files and uncover hidden metadata. These experts can find the author, date created and date modified in emails, documents and computer files. This information is critical in determining whether computer fraud has been committed.