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Secret Service Cyber Forensics Team Available to Assist Corporate America
By Laura Taylor
June 7, 2007

Executive Summary
The Secret Service does more than just protect the president. Providing forensic services and investigating crimes is one of their core competencies. While that may not come as a surprise to you, what may surprise you is that their Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) is ready and available to assist corporate America in forensic analysis of computer crimes and other electronic crimes.

Ready and Waiting for Corporate Crimes
If you have ever worked at a company that has been the victim of a network security incident, you know the type of anxiety that an electronic intrusion provokes. Even if your company has an Incident Response Plan ready to use, most system administrators and network engineers canít help but think, "What should we do first?" If you donít know who to call, and canít think of a good place to start, call the ECTF. Some of the types of electronic crimes that the ECTF has the ability to investigate include:
  • Unauthorized electronic financial transfers
  • Identity theft
  • Network intrusions and security incidents
  • Internet based credit card theft
  • Credit card skimming schemes
  • Credit card number money laundering rings
  • Counterfeit currency crimes
  • Passport fraud
  • Cyber child pornography
Capabilities and Experienced Special Agents
With a variety of labs all equipped with sophisticated tools and forensic accoutrements, the Electronic Crimes Task Force is uniquely positioned to assist private corporations investigate cyber crimes. Whatís more, they are eager to help out, and welcome corporate America to enlist their assistance.

All of the electronic crimes forensic experts at Secret Service are Special Agents with training in cyber security. Relevant Technologies went on a behind the scenes tour of the labs, and found the knowledge level of the agents, and the labís technical capabilities to be very impressive. The 300 agents are trained in both intrusion/incident response and computer forensics. There is usually no backlog of cases, though all cases are treated on a first-come-first-service basis.

The ECTFís well equipped forensic labs have cutting-edge technologies that their agents use to:
  • Examine hard drives and fileslack
  • Identify rootkits
  • Acquire and preserve evidence
  • Analyze active network sessions and open files
  • Perform social engineering to gather more information
  • Audit unauthorized processes
  • Examine log files
  • Perform cell phone and handheld forensics
The agents work with corporations and can come on site to assist with cases that are significant enough to warrant prosecution if a perpetrator is caught. The ECTF is specifically interested in catching the bad guys. If your company has no interest in pursuing prosecution, and is simply interested in eradication and containment of the intrusion, the ECTF will not present the investigation for prosecution.

How to Enlist SS Electronic Crimes Task Force
To enlist the assistance of the ECTF, simply give them a call. Their public information line is listed below. However, something to be aware of is that the goal of enlisting the ECTF should be to prosecute to perpetrator. Financial loss does play a role in prosecution and once the case is presented in Federal or State court, the decision to prosecute is up to the corresponding prosecuting attorney.

Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force
202-406-8800, 24 hr x 365 days
202-406-8500, Monitored 8am-6pm, Eastern
Investigations for Corporate America. Confidentiality Assured.
The most common reason that discourages corporations from enlisting the help of law enforcement is the assumption that the intrusion or security breach will instantly become public information. The Secret Service forensic agents that work on information security intrusion understand that confidentiality is important, and they donít disclose any information to the press.

Relevant Technologies recommends the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force for companies that have been the victim of significant loss ($100K or higher) that are specifically interested in pursuing prosecution. If your company does not have the professional expertise or cutting-edge tools required to examine cyber intrusions, I canít think of a better place to call first.


 
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