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Activities & Accomplishments

Support for the Capital Region Cyber Crime Partnership (CRCCP) has allowed a strong relationship to develop between the New York Prosecutors Training Institute (NYPTI), the New York State Police (NYSP), and the University at Albany, SUNY (UAlbany) to pool their expertise and resources to improve law enforcement and prosecutorial efforts related to cyber crime.

Through previous funding, the following activities were supported:

Prosecutorial Support

Hiring of NYPTI attorney who provided assistance to prosecutors in numerous cases throughout New York State involving computer and digital evidence. This included the several high profile cases below:

  • People v. Porco - assisted with numerous cyber crime issues using trial technology to present the case to a jury in a 7-week homicide trial.
  • People v. Horton - helped obtain New York's first conviction for Aggravated Murder of a police officer.
  • People v. Houghtaling - complex enterprise corruption case involving six defendants and 10-week jury trial.

In addition, NYPTI was able to update and distribute:

  • "Introducing Evidence in Criminal Cases in New York - A Predicate Question Manual" - with sections on introducing digital evidence, and laying foundations for documents produced on computers. Will be made available in the Resources section.

Law Enforcement Support

Hiring and training of one full-time and one part-time consultant for the NYSP Computer Crime Unit (CCU) to assist in decreasing the backlog and build capacity for computer crime cases. This hiring has resulted in apprenticeships that will change to permanent hirings for CCU. Activities performed by this additional staff included:

  • Assistance in forensic investigations - hardware preparation for forensic analysis and archiving of computer/digital evidence. Instrumental in taking care of 80% of backlog of cases from the Secret Service (140 hard drives) which would have taken months.
  • Software development - creation of a program that streamlined the archiving of digital cases, a searchable database for CCU personnel, and a Wiki Access Portal for statewide internal access by CCU personnel which allows easy document sharing, revision, and review of current reference sources, testing procedures, administrative duties/responsibilities.
  • Hardware & software research and review - (specifically related to forensic analysis programs and equipment)

Hiring of faculty and student researchers at UAlbany and resources to provide:

  • Unbiased validation and testing of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) - for current forensic preview tools SMART and Penguin Sleuth Kit (PSK) based on guidelines by the Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE). Recommendations were suggested to make the forensic preview process more efficient and documents will be available to all new trainees to CCU. Download the SOPs and associated validation and testing reports in the Resources and Reports section.
  • Compiled computer forensics reference source - created a comprehensive collection of documents and links related to computer forensics investigation and analysis available in paper, CD, and web format. Web version available in Resources section.
  • Support for awareness/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) - developed mapping software with data from DCJS and string operations from the NYSP concerning ICAC. Maps generated include locations on schools and individuals arrested and can be separated by school district, congressional district, county, and data source. Can later be expanded to support more general crime data and statistic functions.

    C-Map

Training and Education

  • Computer Forensics Course - offered jointly by NYPTI, NYSP, and UAlbany as a University credit-bearing 2-day immersion course to about 20 graduate students. Included an introduction to computer forensics, evidence collection, email & internet tracing, file systems and evidence artifacts, post-intrusion analysis, and legal issues. In addition, included hands-on forensics labs.
  • "Cybercrime 2007" Course - offered by NYPTI's 9th annual Summer College for District Attorneys on August 8-9, 2007 featured a potpourri of timely and relevant issues addressing: the exploitation of children via the internet, admissibility issues, identity theft, internet scams, computer forensics, and search & seizure issues surrounding cyber crime. Attended by nearly 80 prosecutors and law enforcement officials and given a rating of 8.4 out of 10 in reviews. Course was also recorded and made available to prosecutors digitally.
  • Cyber Crime (Corruption) Lecture - offered by NYPTI attorney and assistant DA from Albany County during the NYPTI's 9th annual Summer College for District Attorneys on August 8-9, 2007 using experiences from an Enterprise Corruption trial to demonstrate the value of computer and digital evidence as well as new tips and techniques for presenting this evidence to a jury.
  • "Electronic Research and Resources" Lecture - offered by NPTI attorney at National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina explained how prosecutors and law enforcement should be using the internet to research issues that arise in cases (i.e. witnesses, websites, cell phones, computer postings). Attended by over 110 prosecutors and law enforcement from around the country.
  • "Cyber Safety against Online Predators" Lecture - offered by UAlbany at a Social, Security, and Privacy Implications of Computing workshop (part of the PWSP program) on February 17, 2006. Attended by about 20 employees from New York State agencies.