POLICE Magazine

JUL 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1001759

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Page 19 of 72

PoliceMag.com 17 ENCODED CASH One of the greatest challenges now facing law enforcement is the development of cryp- tocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It's estimated that 25% of all Bitcoin users are involved in some kind of criminal activity. is means that cryptocurrency evidence is becoming more common at crime scenes. A cryptocurrency is an encrypted piece of code that can only be read by someone with the keys. It was recently estimated that there are 1,600 of these financial devices available. Only about four of them are really common: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Monero. ere's a reason why these coded currencies are so popular with crooks: ey are pretty much untraceable unless you have the pub- lic and private keys. Which should be target number one of any investigation of criminal activity involving computers these days. Let's say you are investigating a scene where someone perpetrated a ransomware attack. Don't think this unlikely. You don't have to be a computer genius to hit an or- ganization or individual with ransomware. Kits for launching such attacks are available on the Dark Web and the bad guys can even hire someone to do it for them and just take a cut. So back to our scenario; you are investigating the home or office of someone suspected of launching a ransomware attack. One of the primary targets of your search is the suspect's cryp- tocurrency "wallet." is wallet could be a piece of software on a device, it could be a thumb drive-looking piece of hardware, or it could be paper with a series of words or numbers on it, often as many as 16 different sequences or words. Treat this scene as extremely fragile. Whatever you do, do not turn off any devices or disconnect the drives. Get the experts on scene to capture RAM memory (the memo- ry that erases when the device is shut down). ALEXA, RECORD MY MURDER WiFi technology in our homes and offices has enabled the development of a wide variety of appliances and devices that are connected to the Internet, including smart TVs, refrigerators that track consumption of foods and create shopping lists, and the smart speaker. e smart speaker, most commonly the Amazon Echo with Alexa software or the Google Home, is by far the most popular device in the Internet of ings (IoT), which is the fastest growing category of digital devices on the market. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be more IoT devices in America than people. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES PHOTO: A ARON STRAIN Drone piloting is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, and these aircraft are now being used in crime. (Below) example of Bitcoin wallet.

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