Computer Forensics – A Real World Application

Everyone’s so caught up these days in computer forensics and forensic science to solve murder mysteries like those seen on the TV series CSI. But computer forensics is not all murder and police drama. There are far more necessary reasons for those in this particular industry, and a very interesting case has come up recently involving the company Nintendo.After noticing a recent news article from Australia, I was surprised to find that a US and Japanese based video game company was bringing a law suit forth to an Australian man who violated international and US and Australian copyright laws. After an Australian game store accidentally released the new Super Mario Brothers game for their Wii system six days before Nintendo had scheduled a global release, a 24 year old Australian named James Burt broke through the game’s code and illegally uploaded the game to the internet, allowing thousands to download the game illegally onto their own computers without paying Nintendo any money. This perhaps cost Nintendo millions of dollars.So how did Nintendo track down Mr. Burt from the hundreds of millions of computer users across the world, to the millions in Australia, to those in his area, to find out that he was the one who illegally uploaded the game? They used computer forensics specialists, trained to trace the tracks of Internet usage to find the source of the uploaded games.Nintendo’s forensic specialists, trained in top computer forensics programs, were able to trace all downloads of the game, starting from the beginning. Once the original download was found, the upload was traced by time and IP address. Using computer forensics tracking programs, Mr. Burt’s IP address was matched with his location and he was apprehended by local law enforcement.The next step for the computer forensics specialists was to present the information and evidence they were able to uncover during their investigation to the lawyers and judge in the courts, where Mr. Burt was found guilty of illegally uploading property belonging to Nintendo, and distributing it without Nintendo’s consent. The courts in Australia found Mr. Burt liable for $1.3 million USD toward Nintendo’s lost earnings. Additionally, $100,000 of Nintendo’s accrued legal fees were also designated to be paid by the defendant.If it weren’t for the expert specialists working for Nintendo, the company would not have been able to locate the defendant and most likely would not have been able to recoup the millions of dollars in lost revenue. Proof that computer forensics and forensic science is not all murder and mystery, but used every day to solve all types of modern-day crimes and investigations.

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