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Gaining experience... first steps

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jimbob

Post Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:41 am

Gaining experience... first steps

Hi,
Kind of an open question; how can all the good people gain some experience with computer forensics? I know there is a lot of good training material out there but how can you gain real world experience, particularly if you've no previous field experience or already have a part/full-time job?

Are there opportunities to gain work experience by volunteering with law enforcement or private companies? There are lots of people here who would be interested to share your experiences.

Jimbob
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venom77

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Post Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:35 am

Re: Gaining experience... first steps

I don't have any personal experience, but I was told by an instructor in a pentesting class that if I wanted to pursue forensics to first go get a certification and then go looking at the local law enforcement departments for an un-paid internship (probably doing mostly 'grunt work').
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Ketchup

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Post Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:53 am

Re: Gaining experience... first steps

I think that BillV is on to something there.  I always say that learning the technical aspect is quite easy.  However, investigative skills are tougher to teach.  If you can get attached to an experienced investigator, you will learn more than you can pick up from books and certifications.  The grunt work you would be doing is documentation, chain of custody, etc.  Learning proper procedures and documentation is extremely important.  It will save you on the stand someday. 

I think that if you want to get your foot in the door, you have to be prepared to relocate.  Most forensics jobs are in NYC and DC.  DC has most of the government jobs, NYC has most of the consulting companies.  There are other markets, but they are not as saturated.
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don

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Post Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:55 pm

Re: Gaining experience... first steps

One thing not mentioned is working for lawyers. There are plenty of them everywhere you go, and there are always civil cases dealing with computers. Also, since it is related to law, one can charge a huge sum. Here's an idea. Print up a bunch of professional looking flyers and snail mail them to every law office in your area offering certified skills. Follow up with email, a phone call or even a visit in person. We can even go the addiction route and offer their first hit... case... for free or drastically discounted. If they're happy with the service, you now have a client that will bring you continued work. Get 5 - 10 law offices as clients, and one should have a steady stream of work. With the new eDiscovery laws now on the books that require every case to look at computer files, this should be a gold mine.

Hmmm... sounds like something I should do!!

Don
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Ketchup

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Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:38 am

Re: Gaining experience... first steps

Most of my clients are lawyers.  They tend to favor established relationships and word of mouth advertising.  From my experience, its difficult to get your foot in the door.  Once you are in, you are in until you screw up :)

You also don't want to offer forensic services without proper experience to back it up.  Not only will you lack investigative skills and procedural knowledge, you will get killed on the stand.  Word gets around fast in the forensics community and you won't keep your job for long.
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sgt_mjc

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Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:01 am

Re: Gaining experience... first steps

Good advice from Ketchup. I know way too many lawyers form growing up and I have seen it too often that some one gets a new one on the stand. I would think gaining the experience with law enforcement first would be the way to start. Along the way, you'll be doing that networking thing and making those lawyer contacts.
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Joshsevo

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Post Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:14 am

Re: Gaining experience... first steps

Just bringing this thread back from the dead.


I am also new to the CF world and am still in school.  About to start my second CF course at Devry in a few days.

But a few months ago I was having one of those nights where I was doing nothing and just googled Computer Forensics in Denver, since I live here. 

Anyways found a few and I mean maybe like 3 sites and then went to their links and found a few more.  I emailed all of them asking for internships.

Nobody responded........Until a few days later.  I got a phone call which I had included my cell in the email. 

Anyways long story short I got a internship to hire for a local company 1 of 3 CF companies in the state.  Have not started yet.  But what he wants me to do is do like a part time contracting thing.  I guess.  I figure I won't be working on any real cases but it's a paid intern.

The thing is I can't leave me full time job that I have until he is ready to pay me what I make currently and also give me benefits.  I have a crazy good job that pays enough (maybe not enough but ok)  but they pay for all my benefits. 

I am just fortunate enough to find a guy willing to train me locally cause I was for sure  I was moving somewhere else.

So my suggestion is to email people whenever possible about interns.
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UNIX

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Post Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:53 am

Re: Gaining experience... first steps

Did you made any progress in terms of this, jimbob, since you started the thread about a year ago? Would be interesting to know if you could proceed somehow, and if, how you did. ;)

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