CHAPTER 1Getting Started

This chapter covers the important items that you should know before getting started, as well as topics like what you will and won't find in this book, the top takeaways from this book that will be discussed regularly in subsequent chapters, and some prerequisites to help ease your journey in cyber investigations.

Some of you may be looking for a reason to get into the field. Some of you may already be in the field and looking for new techniques to use during your own investigations.

In either case, I feel the need to warn you that starting an investigation can be like running a marathon. It can be slow and tedious, and take forever to get where you're going.

You need to be extremely self‐motivated because trying to connect dots in an entire Internet of unorganized clues and information can be extremely discouraging.

But if you press on, and muster through that initial pain, it will eventually happen.

There is a feeling you will eventually find during an investigation. It's the same feeling experienced by coders or hackers—it triggers the moment you pull on that first major thread or unlock that first tumbler, which gives way to the second, and the third … and eventually the entire world lights up.

There is nothing better or more exhilarating than entering “the zone.” It's like a precision laser‐focused state—your own “bullet time”—where you can't be slowed or stopped until you've solved the puzzle, hacked the system, or accomplished the thing that you're ...

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