computer forensics

How do you inflict purposeful, public damage at a financial institution to destroy their reputation? Hide behind technology, of course. Technology is the friend of malfeasance.

by ( - August 2012)


One day, anonymous emails started arriving at the financial institution. The emails contained internal information about the company, slanderous allegations, and sexual innuendo.

The defamatory “campaign” was targeted at two male and one female vice-presidents of the company.

Next, the financial institution discovered that someone had created a defamatory blog about them. The blog, created in WordPress, had all manner of derogatory statements about all three of the executives: that they were embezzling money from the company, that all the company’s employees were disgruntled, and disturbing sexual comments. One of these comments stated that one of the male vice-presidents was cheating on his wife, creating serious personal problems for him.

And then, the perpetrator resorted to more old-fashioned means: defamatory and threatening letters arrived via Canada Post. The blog, the threatening emails, and hardcopy letters went on for about two weeks.

The financial institution realized they needed professional help from a security firm specializing in investigations and computer forensics. They called Digital Wyzdom. Digital Wyzdom assigned a forensic specialist, a network forensic specialist, and an investigator to this case. They examined logs and searched for the IP (Internet Protocol, a unique digital address), trying to find out where the emails and the blog were coming from.

Digital Wyzdom set up a so-called “honey pot”—a package of information simply irresistible to digital crooks. In short order, the investigative firm established communication with the suspect; they found his IP location.

The perpetrator was a disgruntled employee who had been terminated six weeks prior to the start of his defamatory “campaign.” He was a mid-level manager, with low level information technology skills.

“This guy was just trying to stir up the pot about the financial institution,” said Daniel Tobok, president of Digital Wyzdom. It turned out that all the allegations on the blog, the emails, and letters were false.

“The forensic information we found was turned over to the police. The police gave the ex-employee a warning, and the company settled out-of-court with him,” said Tobok. For more information, or for reporters on deadline, please contact Jana Schilder, partner at First Principles Communication, at: Jana@JanaSchilder.com, mobile (416) 831-9154.
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