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Computer Forensics For Dummies® by Reynaldo Anzaldua, Linda Volonino

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Chapter 11. Document Forensics

In This Chapter

  • Finding data about data

  • Finding the CAM

  • Where documents are found

What a document says about the person who created it is almost as important as what the document's intended purpose appears to be. You have a document that has smoking gun evidence, but how do you really know that the suspect wrote the document and when it was written? Just extracting a document and intending to use it as evidence of a crime aren't enough to do a complete analysis. You must link the evidence to the suspect in some way, and that's where document forensics and the use of metadata come into play.

Metadata is simply data about data. Because the computer field is huge, metadata is necessarily different for many individual computer fields or domains. For example, document metadata is much different from Web page metadata, but they both describe in some form the characteristics of the data they represent. For example, one piece of metadata for a digital photo is the time stamp indicating when the photo was taken.

When you're doing an investigation, one of the classic questions any television investigator would ask is, "Where were you on January 2, 2008, and can you prove it?" Computer forensics and, by association, document forensics have the same goal as your regular physical forensic counterpart — computer forensics wants the truth, but needs hard digital evidence to prove that truth. The key with computers is not only knowing the right question to ask, but how ...

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