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Data Recovery/Law Stuff

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venom77

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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:07 pm

Data Recovery/Law Stuff

So, I don't have a tremendous amount of knowledge in this area, so I figured it'd be best to seek some advice from you guys :)

My father-in-law referred his friend to me that needed some data recovered from a computer. Sounds simple at first. Upon further talking with both of them, I found out there is a little bit more to the story.

The guy with the computer (it won't boot; that's all I know.. I haven't seen it) owns his own business and runs it out of his home. The computer in question is used for his business, primarily for shipping and for Amazon stuff. He said there is a possibility that there may also be some family pictures and such on there, and also that is [ex-]wife may have originally purchased this computer, but it has always been primarily for business use.

Well, apparently the wife just decided to take the computer from the house the other day and hand it over to her b/f (supposedly with a little bit of tech knowledge). The guy with the business, got the computer back and since it will not boot.

Any suggestions on this? Should I even attempt to do anything with it? Will he have a case against this guy that supposedly has done something to the computer to cause it not to boot? I just wasn't sure if his first step should be to contact law enforcement or what.

Thanks.

BillV
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don

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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:01 pm

Re: Data Recovery/Law Stuff

It's his decision. If he wants to possibly press charges or file some kind of civil lawsuit, then he shouldn't ask you to do anything. If he decides he doesn't want the headache and just wants it to work again, then he pays you and you do it. There is no liability on your end.

You could also take an image of his drive if he ever wants to change his mind, but that is no guarantee that it will be admissible in court.

If you feel it is your responsibility to inform him, then the above is what you tell him. Be sure to reiterate that even though the work is technical, the decision on what to do is not. It is his personal or business decision to make.

Hope that helps,
Don
CISSP, MCSE, CSTA, Security+ SME
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dalepearson

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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Data Recovery/Law Stuff

I hope this isnt the case, but in the past I have heard of these things going horribly wrong. Once on investigating a machine for similar reasons, dodgy material was found on the HD's.
After a detailed forensic investigation it was proven this images where falsely inserted on the machine, and the HD had actually been swapped, hence the issues in the first place.

I am not trying to put you off helping anyone out and earning some ££, but if it smells abit then document everything, so if anything did go sour you are in the best position.

Its a shame these things always get complicated in splits etc.
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venom77

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Post Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:36 pm

Re: Data Recovery/Law Stuff

Thanks for the replies and info.

Don, that guidance was quite helpful and exactly how I approached the situation :)

It sounds like he is certainly leaning towards filing a civil suit (this is also what law enforcement told him). If that is the case, does he just go straight to a lawyer who will in turn hook him up with a forensics investigator? Or should he be looking for his own forensics person/company?

In the event that he should be looking for a forensics person on his own, does anyone have any contacts in the Metro Detroit, Michigan area that I could refer him to?

Thanks again.

Bill

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