Computer Forensics Miscellany

About Harry Parsonage

I served 31 years as a police officer, 23 of those as a Detective Sergeant investigating every kind of serious crime.  I spent eight years working in the Fraud Squad and investigated what was described as UK's largest ever National Health Service fraud in which £1.2 million was recovered from the fraudster. I also specialised in combating Internet Crime particularly West African online frauds (aka 419 fraud).

In 1999 I attended my first computer forensics course learning to use what was then one of the UK's main forensic applications - DIBS. From there I went on to create the Nottinghamshire Police's Hi Tech Crime Unit which I developed from being one person part-time to a Detective Sergeant and seven technical staff. As well as managing the unit I have been a hands-on practitioner since 1999 and am trained in the use of Encase, FTK, and X-Ways Forensics. During my time managing the unit we never had a technical challenge to any of our evidence from a defence expert .

In 1999 one of my early cases was reported by Steve Gold on Newsbytes as the first worldwide SMS spamming when the Omnipoint SMS gateway in New York was hacked by a Nottingham man who sent a message to thousands of users suggesting they call a number to claim a car they had won, the number belonged to the company which had recently sacked him. The computer forensics was then carried out using just Norton Disk Editor but was nevertheless successful and resulted in the man being jailed for three months.

In 2007 I introduced a software triage process to the UK. It was successful in reducing the backlog in our unit from 254 computers (12 months backlog) to 139 computers (7 months backlog) over the first 10 months, and later down to a 5 month backlog. The idea of triage was subsequently introduced into the UK's ACPO National eCrime Strategy.

 I am on the Editorial Panel for the ACPO Good Practice Guide for Computer-Based Electronic Evidence and the ACPO Good Practice Guide for Managers of Hi-Tech Crime Units and have written parts of both.

Following my retirement from the police I was responsible for Digital Forensics at ADF Solutions the world's leading provider of Digital Forensic Triage software solutions.

After 5 years with ADF I setup as an independent digital forensic practitioner, working as HP Digital Forensics Ltd.

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