Investigating Internet Crimes

Investigating Internet Crimes, 1st Edition

An Introduction to Solving Crimes in Cyberspace

Investigating Internet Crimes, 1st Edition,Todd Shipley,Art Bowker,ISBN9780124078178






235 X 191

Written by experts on the frontlines, this book provides both seasoned and new investigators with the background and tools they need to get the job done.

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Key Features

  • Provides step-by-step instructions on how to investigate crimes online
  • Covers how new software tools can assist in online investigations
  • Discusses how to track down, interpret, and understand online electronic evidence to benefit investigations
  • Details guidelines for collecting and documenting online evidence that can be presented in court


Written by experts on the frontlines, Investigating Internet Crimes provides seasoned and new investigators with the background and tools they need to investigate crime occurring in the online world. This invaluable guide provides step-by-step instructions for investigating Internet crimes, including locating, interpreting, understanding, collecting, and documenting online electronic evidence to benefit investigations.

Cybercrime is the fastest growing area of crime as more criminals seek to exploit the speed, convenience and anonymity that the Internet provides to commit a diverse range of criminal activities. Today's online crime includes attacks against computer data and systems, identity theft, distribution of child pornography, penetration of online financial services, using social networks to commit crimes, and the deployment of viruses, botnets, and email scams such as phishing. Symantec's 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report stated that the world spent an estimated $110 billion to combat cybercrime, an average of nearly $200 per victim.

Law enforcement agencies and corporate security officers around the world with the responsibility for enforcing, investigating and prosecuting cybercrime are overwhelmed, not only by the sheer number of crimes being committed but by a lack of adequate training material. This book provides that fundamental knowledge, including how to properly collect and document online evidence, trace IP addresses, and work undercover.


Digital investigators, law enforcement personnel, private investigators, DoD, intelligence agencies and attorneys

Todd Shipley

Todd G. Shipley is a retired Detective Sergeant with over 30 years of law enforcement and civilian experience performing and teaching Internet and digital forensic investigations, speaking internationally, has authored books and articles in the field and holds the Patent for Online Evidence Collection.

Affiliations and Expertise

Todd G. Shipley, retired Detective Sergeant with over 30 years of law enforcement and civilian experience performing and teaching Internet and digital forensic investigations.

Art Bowker

Art Bowker (@Computerpo) has over 28 years experience in law enforcement and corrections. His first book, The Cybercrime Handbook for Community Corrections: Managing Risk in the 21st Century, describes the process of supervising cyber-offenders. Bowker cowrote his second book, Investigating Internet Crimes, 1st Edition: An Introduction to Solving Crimes in Cyberspace, with Todd Shipley. His second book provides step-by-step instructions for investigating Internet crimes, including locating, interpreting, understanding, collecting, and documenting online electronic evidence to benefit investigations. Besides his two books he has written numerous law enforcement and corrections articles published by Perspectives, an American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) publication , Federal Probation, and the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. On January 14, 2013, Bowker was awarded the APPA Sam Houston State University Award, for work in promoting awareness and knowledge of cybercrime and tools to combat such crimes in the field of community corrections. On November 22, 2013, he was recognized by the Federal Probation and Pretrial Officers Association (FPPOA) with their top honor, the Richard F. Doyle Award, for having made the most significant achievement in, or contribution to, the Federal Probation & Pretrial Services System or the broader field of corrections. Additionally, Bowker received the Thomas E. Gahl, Line Officer of the Year Award (Great Lakes Region Award), which is named in honor of the only U.S. Probation Officer killed in the line of duty. Both awards centered on his contributions and efforts in managing cybercrime risk.

Affiliations and Expertise

Art Bowker, an award winning author, has over 27 years experience in law enforcement/corrections and is recognized as an expert in managing cyber-risk in offender populations.

Investigating Internet Crimes, 1st Edition




The target audience

About the Authors

About the Technical Editor


Chapter 1. Introduction to Internet Crime

Defining Internet crime

Internet crime’s prevalence

CSI 2010/2011 Computer Crime and Security Survey

Norton™ Cybercrime Report 2011

HTCIA 2011 Report on Cybercrime Investigation

McAfee® Threats Reports

2012 Data Breach Investigations Report

Internet Crime Compliant Center

Internet harassment

Traditional crimes and the Internet

Investigative responses to Internet crime

Why investigate Internet crime?

What is needed to respond to Internet crime?

Continuing investigative problems


Further reading

Chapter 2. Internet Criminals

Cybercrime profiling


Further reading

Chapter 3. How the Internet Works

A short history of the Internet

The importance of IP addresses

DNS records

Internet Protocol Version 6

The World Wide Web

Uniform resource locators

Domain name registration

Other services on the Internet

Relevant RFCs


Further reading

Chapter 4. Collecting Legally Defensible Online Evidence

Defining evidence



Further reading

Chapter 5. Documenting Online Evidence

Process for documenting online ESI

Tools/techniques for documenting Internet evidence

Collecting entire websites

Authenticating the collected evidence

Validation of online evidence collection tools


Collection from Apple Macintosh

Organizing your online ESI

The investigative report


Further reading

Chapter 6. Using Online Investigative Tools

Investigative toolbars

The Internet Investigators Toolkit

Paid online services


Further reading

Chapter 7. Online Digital Officer Safety

Digital officer safety

Online investigative computer protection process

Cloning or image the investigator’s computer

Keeping your investigative computer secure


Further reading

Chapter 8. Tracing IP Addresses Through the Internet

Tracing IP addresses

Digging deeper into IP tracing—what the DNS tells us

Tracing emails

Faking an email and hiding its sender

Collecting email from a web-based system

Relevant RFCs related to IP tracing


Further reading

Chapter 9. Working Unseen on the Internet

Internet anonymity

To Tor or not to Tor

Tor’s hidden web services

Tor and tails

Tracking criminals who use anonymous methods to hide


Further reading

Chapter 10. Covert Operations on the Internet

Covert operations on the Internet

“On the Internet no one knows you are a dog” (Fleishman, 2000)


Further reading

Chapter 11. Conducting Reactive and Proactive Internet Investigations

Reactive versus proactive investigations

Managing undercover Internet investigations

Internet investigation policy

Internet crime analysis



Chapter 12. Internet Resources for Locating Evidence

Sources of online information

Finding information on a person

Finding business information

Finding telephone numbers and email addresses

Searching blogs

Professional communities

News searches


Further reading

Chapter 13. Investigating Websites and Webpages

Webpages and websites

How markup languages work

Website reconnaissance

Webpage examination

Documenting a website’s multimedia and images

The legal process of identifying a website

Monitoring websites over time


Further reading

Chapter 14. Investigating Social Networking Sites

Social networking’s impact on legal systems

Starting a social networking site investigation

The top social networking sites

Examining social networking sites

Application program interface and social media content

Online social versus professional networking

Finding individuals on social media sites

Social media evidence collection

Social networking through photographs

Social media investigations policy

Training on investigating social networks


Further reading

Chapter 15. Investigating Methods of Communication

Communicating on the Internet

Client server: protocols and tools


Further reading

Chapter 16. Detection and Prevention of Internet Crimes

Perception of law enforcement on the Internet

Contributing factors to the problem

Law enforcement’s response to internet crime

Methods of prevention

Investigator cybercrime education

What can you do to detect and prevent online crime?


Further reading

Chapter 17. Putting It All Together

Concepts in action

Basic Internet investigative steps

Case studies


Further reading

Chapter 18. Epilogue


Appendix A: HEX to ASCII Conversion Chart

Appendix B: Stored Communications Act Quick Reference Guide: USDOJ Search and Seizure

Appendix C: Online Crime Victim Interview

Appendix D: Internet Investigations Report Format

Appendix E: Digital Officer Safety Computer

Appendix F: Router Setup Checklist

Appendix G: Tracing Email Worksheet

Appendix H: Undercover Persona Worksheet

Appendix I: Model Policy For LE Investigative

Appendix J: Model Policy For Off-Duty LE

Appendix K: Investigating A Person Online

Appendix L: Investigating A Website Worksheet

Appendix M: Chat and Text Messaging Abbr List

Appendix N: mIRC-commands


Quotes and reviews

"Both authors and technical editor Nick Selby have decades of law enforcement and real-world experience, so the book is authoritative and practical. For those needing a guide to get them up to speed on the topic, Investigating Internet Crimes is a great place to start."--Security Management, Investigating Internet Crimes

"...a basic book for the beginner in cybercrime investigation, and it is well written, with many references...a good textbook and can be used as a reference."--Journal of Forensic Sciences, November 2014

"This book is written by two authors with extensive, real-world experience in the field, and it shows. Anyone who has felt the need to trace the origins of an attack – police officer, network specialist or individual – will find this an invaluable manual."--Network Security ,January 1 2014

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