Diary of a Student – Part 1 – 15th January 2011 – Of Ethics and Exams

Welcome to the first entry in my ‘Diary of a Student’ covering my exploits through the next 8 months whilst I study to earn a Masters of Science degree in Forensic Computing.

To bring you up to date, I have been studying the MSc programme since September of last year after completing a BSc in Forensic Science in May. It has certainly been an eye opener from learning basic programming in C to reverse engineering malware samples. The first semester has already taught me much about the forensic process and the science behind computers.

The most enjoyable module to date, albeit a difficult one, has certainly been Live Forensics and Reversing, giving me a basic understanding of assembler language and live forensic techniques. I am currently finishing my final piece of coursework for the module, which involved the forensic analysis of a malware sample, both static and dynamic. Creating my own sandbox and following the processes and actions of the malware, I have managed to discover the nature of the malware and identify it. All that’s left is to finish my investigative report!

First week back at University following the 3-week Christmas vacation and, it’s assessment time! Much of the week occupied by Mock Exams, Coursework and, a full Investigation of a USB device using whichever tools I care to choose, I chose EnCase 6.17 and FTK.

Wednesday – Great fun, best part of the week! A session on Computer Law and Ethics, we discussed the various ethical theories and practices behind computing and forensic computing (all the way from Weiner to the Universities very own ethical researcher, Professor Stahl). Proceeded to have our own debate on issues surrounding Forensic Computing, great discussion around:

  • Would Forensics benefit from a Licensing body and how would this affect the current processes and procedures?
  • Wikileaks – Julian Assange – villain or victim?
  • The ethics of RIPA .

Debate lasted well over 90 minutes and, as I was thinking of ideas for my first blog posting, I thought it would be good to get all who read this to put forward a short statement of their thoughts and feelings on the aforementioned topics.

Next week, it’s more exams and hand-ins (joy of joys); I’ll let you know how it goes.



About M Isbell

News Editor at DFM