Interest high in computer forensics in US

Interest in computer forensics at conferences in the US was noticeably higher at the end of last year than previously, says a New Zealand specialist.

Interest in computer forensics at conferences in the US was noticeably higher at the end of last year than previously, says a New Zealand specialist.

Otago University IT senior lecturer Hank Wolfe, who travelled to the US late last year to give presentations on the subject, says the September 11 attacks and war in Afghanistan have greatly increased interest in and awareness of computer forensics.

"It's not a good thing, but because of what's happened people are now more concerned about it."

Computer forensics involves the location and extraction of data from devices such as computers, handhelds and mobile phones, increasingly to produce evidence for legal procedings.

Wolfe says the attacks on the US were facilitated in part by computers, he says and computer forensics skills will be put to the test in producing evidence from PCs and other devices seized in Afghanistan.

"Someone has to go through those computers and they have to do it in such a way that the machine isn't damaged -- it has to be done properly, so that what comes out is useful evidence."

US-born Wolfe spoke at West Point military academy and at an expo in Detroit.

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