The Importance of Computer Forensics

[The importance of computer forensics has currently caught the attention of people all over the world, especially in view of the dramatic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 and subsequent seizure of a flight simulator from the home of the captain of the missing passenger jet that has come under computer forensic analysis. But first of all, it may be worthwhile to comprehend what Computer Forensic actually stands for]

Definition of Computer Forensics

Computer Forensic involves investigation and analysis techniques to collect and store evidence from a computing or a computer aided device that is suitable for presentation before an appropriate judicial or public body. The goal of computer forensics is to perform a structured investigation while maintaining a documented chain of evidence to find out exactly what happened on a computing device and who was responsible for it.

Forensic investigators routinely follow a fixed set of procedures. After physically segregating the device in question to ensure its accidental contamination, investigators make a digital copy of its storage media. Once the original media is transcribed, it is kept in a safe and secure environ and all investigations are carried out from the digitally stored copy. Incidentally, the goal of computer forensics is to perform or create a structured investigation while keeping a documented chain of evidence to figure out what actually happened and who was responsible for it.

Investigators use a variety of techniques and proprietary software forensic applications to examine the copy, searching hidden folders and unallocated disk space for copies of deleted, encrypted, or damaged files. Any evidence found on the digital copy is carefully documented in a “finding report” and verified with the original in preparation for public or legal proceedings that involve discovery, depositions, or actual litigation.

Getting back to the original course of events that involved the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing which lost contact with air traffic control and went missing within an hour of taking off has naturally caused a stir among many world countries, most of whom have actively been engaged in finding out the probable cause or causes.However, the flight simulator seized from the home of the captain of the missing Malaysian passenger jet is now at the centre of the investigation into how the airliner with 239 people on board disappeared.

Investigators, including agents from the FBI, are trying to restore deleted files from the simulator installed at the Kuala Lumpur home of Malaysia Airlines captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah in the hope that they might contain clues about the aircraft’s disappearance, which has sparked an unprecedented search spanning 6.2 million square kilometres and 26 countries.Files containing records of flight simulations were deleted on February 3 from the flight simulator, little more than a month before flight MH370 vanished from radar screens on March 8, according to Malaysia’s police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar.

“Local and international expertise has been recruited to examine the pilot’s flight simulator,” Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said, adding: “Forensic work to retrieve this data is ongoing.”


Since all other methods of locating the aircraft has proved negative, we may only hope that forensic investigation will pave the path on the whereabouts of the missing jet and its death defying passengers.