April 17, 2014

Choosing A Career In Digital Forensics

There was a time when criminal investigations literally followed a paper trail, tracking down evidence that was buried in huge reams of documentation. Now, however, the world has become much more complicated. The volume of information related to crimes has exploded, and is now stored digitally on hard disks and other media, as well as online. The trail can span many computers, and indeed many countries, making the challenge of detecting and analyzing cybercrimes an enormous one.

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The complexity of cybercrimes is much greater than that of the traditional crimes of the past, and the amount of cybercrime is also rising. Not only is there financial cybercrime, other types of cybercrime are increasingly prevalent. These crimes range from electronic fraud and industrial espionage right the way through to illegal acts such as cyber bullying and the production and distribution of child pornography. This is creating an opportunity for students to embark on a rewarding career in digital forensics, knowing that it will give them an interesting and lucrative future, and that they will be doing something that benefits society at the same time. If they want to work as a government investigator, taking a digital forensics degree Washington DC is a good place to start, but other paths are available.

The field of digital forensics is very broad, and can offer areas of interest to everyone. For example, it is possible to specialize in extraction of evidence from devices such as smart phones and computers, or to become an expert in network forensics. On the other hand, some people specialize in white-collar crimes, focusing on skills such as forensic accounting – following those digital paper trails across the world. It is also possible to follow a career solving more violent or individually damaging crimes such as online pedophilia, or cyberstalking.

Another area of digital forensics which is extremely important is tracking down evidence of planned terrorism. This can include everything from analyzing call patterns through to interception and analysis of emails – as well as looking for suspicious activities on social media. While there has been quite a lot of publicity – and even criticism – of government activities in this area, it is important to remember that digital forensics is an essential component of keeping our nation secure. The work of organizations such as the NSA is crucial to prevent the recurrence of outrages such as 9/11 on American soil.

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For all of these reasons, digital forensics skills are in high demand, and yet the number of people with the experience and knowledge to fulfill these roles is very limited. This makes taking a degree in digital forensics an excellent investment, giving the prospect of a career that is financially rewarding and stable, with the possibility of developing into increasingly senior positions over time. Because of this, any student who thinks they have the skills and motivation should seriously consider taking a degree in digital forensics. The job market is strong, the work is interesting, and there are lots of opportunities to move into other areas.

Lubang Island schoolkids get own laptops

LUBANG ISLAND, Philippines – The local government of Lubang
Island, non-government organizations, and private companies have
launched the “One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)” project that aims to provide
free laptops to elementary students in the island.

The first 100 units of XO computer laptops were distributed to
Grade 4 students of Lubang Integrated School and Maligaya Elementary
School during the event that saw the presence of Department of Education
(DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro, Lubang Mayor Juan Sanchez, and
Occidental Mindoro Governor Josephine Ramirez-Sato.

Sanchez said the project aims to increase educational opportunities
for the school children in order for them to cope with developments in
global information technology.

The project was put together by past and current employees of the
National Computer Center (NCC) who had Sanchez as its first managing
director in 1969.

Private organizations such as MetroBank Foundation, Metro Pacific
Tollways Corporation and Philippine Military Academy Class ’55
Foundation also helped in putting up the funds in acquiring the first
100 laptops. Sanchez is a member of PMA Class 1955 and is a retired
colonel of the Armed Forces.

Education Kindling (E-Kindling), a non-stock and non-profit
organization, collaborated with NCC for the deployment and program
design of the education project.

The OLPC  program is an initiative started in 2002 by Nicholas
Negroponte of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create
educational opportunities by providing children in developing countries
with a rugged, low-cost, low-power and connected laptops.

The laptops have content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, and self-empowered learning.

Luistro said the school children of Lubang, though not lacking in
their capacity to learn, do not have the same opportunity as their city
counterparts to acquire their own personal computers.

“For us at DepEd, this initiative of NCC staff equalizes the
learning opportunity of learners in urban centers and those  in remote
areas,” he added.

Luistro stressed that the students will be relieved from the burden of carrying their heavy school bags.

Sanchez said that the OLPC project was chosen over the option to
just donate personal computers to schools because support infrastructure
is available locally, internationally and online, for both hardware and
software.

Ideal technology

The technology is appropriate for remote areas. The laptop is
sturdy, requires low power use and is easy to maintain. It also uses
free and open-source software that can be customized in the field.

“These advantages make OLPC an ideal approach for implementing
computer based learning in a country like the Philippines or Lubang for
that matter,” Sanchez explained.

“Compared to my grandchildren who have all the convenience of a
computer, anong magiging future ng mga bata sa Lubang, they’ll remain
poor forever. I felt I should do something about that could close the
gap” he added.

Sanchez said he was invited by the NCC to join their reunion in
Sydney and convinced his former classmates to donate 60 laptop computers
to Lubang.

The school curriculum or lesson plan will soon be integrated in the
laptops’ content. The content development for the Lubang pilot school
will be part of the project.

The XO laptop is designed for the use of children ages 6 to
12-covering the years of elementary school-but nothing precludes its use
earlier or later in life.

The XO has been designed to provide the most engaging wireless
network available. The laptops are connected to each other, even when
they are off. If one laptop is connected to the Internet, the others
will follow to the web.

Children can be permanently connected to chat, share information on
the Web and gather by video conference, make music together, edit
texts, read e-books, and enjoy the use of collaborative games online.

Upon success of the pilot test, 400 additional students will get their own laptops.

Currently, OLPC is being implemented  in Uruguay , Peru , Rwanda ,
Mexico , Mongolia  including the school district of Birmingham , Alabama
in the United States. It recently expanded to Australia.

Source: ABS-CBN News, Arnell Ozaeta, 12-06-2010

DepEd launches laptop for every pupil program

LUBANG, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines — Pupils in two public
elementary schools here were introduced to the wonders of digital
learning as the Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with
Education Kindling (eKindling), officially launched the One Laptop per
Child (OLPC) Program Monday.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro graced the launching and lauded the
program saying that this would indeed scale up the quality of education
especially with the use of modern technology.

“I would like to tell our students to make the most of this and use this to dream for your future,” he said.

Luistro also encouraged local officials as well as the schools to
work together and find creative means of addressing problems in the
basic education sector.

Mr. Ryan Letada, eKindling executive director, said the OLPC is a
worldwide project that aims to create educational opportunities for the
poorest children of the world by providing each child with a rugged,
low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed
for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.

“When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in
their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They
become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future,”
Letada explained.

This program, said OLPC Philippines Susan Abaya, is first of its kind
in the Philippines and in South East Asia and seventh in the world. “If
possible, we want to replicate this not only in the entire province of
Mindoro but in the whole country.”

A total of 100 XOLaptops were deployed by eKindling, a
Philippines-based nonprofit dedicated to creating meaningful learning
experiences by bringing technology-based, educational innovations to
children, classrooms and communities across the country.

The XO is considered a potent learning tool that is designed and
built especially for children especially those living in some of the
most remote areas such as in Lubang Island. The laptop is about the size
of a small textbook and has built-in wireless, unique screen which
makes it possible for the children to read even they go outdoors.

Through these extremely durable, brilliantly functional,
energy-efficient, and fun laptops, 95 grade four pupils in Lubang
Central School and Maligaya Elementary School were introduced to new and
joyful ways learning using modern technology. Four units were given to
the teachers and one to the technical support for maintenance.

According to eKindling Education Director Tessa Yuvienco, it is very
important for children to experience the educational possibilities of
digital learning. “We want to show how technologies can provide a
meaningful, transformative, and connected education to the children of
the Philippines,” she explained.

The XOlaptops that were given to the students during the pilot
testing cost $ 228 or about P10,000 each. The recipients would be able
to use it until they finish elementary school. “The students can bring
the laptop in their homes and they can do their assignments and even
share it with their siblings and parents,” added Letada.

The laptops already contain educational materials developed by
eKindling. In the classrooms, educators and students are expected to use
the XOlaptops to enhance their learning in English, Math, Science, and
Makabayan. “In the course of the academic year, they will also be
introduced to new concepts of digital learning that is anchored on 21st
century learning methodologies and a contructivist learning philosophy,”
Letada explained.

Source: Manila Bulletin, Ina Hernando-Malipot, 12-06-2010

Guidelines in computer, internet usage in public schools

WITH the efforts of DepEd to modernize its operations and improve the
teaching and learning process, several programs and projects, among
them, the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) and the DepEd Internet
Connectivity Project (DICP) are being implemented to give flesh to the
said endeavor.

DCP facilitates the deployment of computer laboratories to public
schools while the DICP provides internet connectivity and development
systems for administrative offices and public schools throughout the
country.

Due to the lack of guidelines circulated in the field, increase in
computer and network/internet activities leading to different concerns,
among them personal and business related have increased.

To ensure the effective and efficient use of computer and network
facilities, the Information and Communications and Technology Unit
(ICTU) of DepEd has formulated the guidelines on the proper use of
computer and network facilities in all DepEd administrative offices and
public schools which were incorporated in DepEd Order No. 95, s.2010
signed by DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC.

This is a follow up to the internet usage policies using the DepEd
facilities which was the contents of DepEd Order No. 105, s. 2009
entitled, "Guidelines in Managing the Proper Use of Internet Services in
All Administrative Offices and Schools".

Among the policies stipulated in the latest DepEd issuance are:
Personal files or software such as documents, pictures, audio, video,
etc. must not be placed, copied and installed in the DepEd-owned
computers. These files must be stored in external storage devices such
as optical disks, external hard disks, USB flash drives owned personally
by the user.

It was emphasized that officials, employees, students with DepEd ICT
equipment and peripherals such as computers or laptop, mouse, keyboard,
storage devices labeled with official DepEd property stickers can avail
of technical assistance and/or repair services provided by this
Department.

In the event that the school or office lacks the equipment, personal
ICT equipment and peripherals such as computers, mouse, keyboard,
storage devices, among others may be used in the performance or
enhancement of their duties at their own risk. They shall also be
properly recorded with the DepEd Security Office.

However, in the event that these personal ICT equipment and
peripherals break down, the owner cannot avail of any technical
assistance and/or repair services from DepEd-hired ICT maintenance crew,
since these are not DepEd properties.

To avoid possible computer virus infection, since majority of
anti-virus software rely on an active internet connection, computers and
other storage devices which were used for fieldwork should be scanned
first before using. Technical assistance shall be provided by their
respective ICT units, ICT coordinators or computers maintenance crew.

To adhere to the policies of intellectual property rights, only
licensed and/or authorized open-source software shall be installed in
DepEd-owned computers. It was further directed that an office which has
application software requirements shall coordinate with its respective
ICT unit/ICT coordinators to make the necessary arrangements in
procuring the license/s of the required software.

The Order also pointed out that watching TV programs, through "TV
Tuners", DVD videos, and playing of games, which are not for official
use, shall be strictly prohibited.

Moreover, offices with limited ICT resources shall be required to
establish Local Area Network (LAN) so that ICT resources (file, print
and internet) can be shared.

To ensure that the guidelines will be followed strictly, the Computer
Usage Code-of-Conduct Contract must be filled-up and signed by all
concerned personnel before using said facilities.

May these guidelines be followed up to the field offices and schools
to ensure the maximum usage of said computers and internet facilities
for system effectiveness and better quality of education that will
increase student outcomes.

Source: Sunstar Davao, Lorenzo E. Mendoza, August 16, 2010