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April 2002

Do's and don'ts of building a forensics workstation

Some months ago, I survived yet another round of layoffs at a struggling dot-com. With the writing so clearly on the wall, I decided it was time to pick up new skills. My interest in infosecurity drew me to computer forensics. A firm believer in hands-on learning, I set out to build a forensics workstation from the desktop up and to learn as much as possible about what makes a "best-of-breed" station. With little experience in such a project, I turned to the forensics list on SecurityFocus. Armed with advice from the list, I set about building my box. Building a workstation from scratch has some distinct advantages, not the least of which is ensuring that you have all the right hardware and software. However, as a practical matter, I opted to take an existing box -- I had a bunch of reasonably fast Dells at my disposal -- and modify it. Typical add-ons for forensics systems include a read-write CD drive, a tape drive, extra memory and removable drive bays. IDE drives are most common, but a SCSI controller can come in handy for ...

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Features in this issue

  • Becky Bace: The IDS security den mother

    by  Richard Thieme

    Former NSA employee and "den mother of computer security" Becky Base built an impressive and successful career that has undeniably influenced the industry.

  • Four computer forensics books worth investigating

    by  Gary C. Kessler & Michael Schirling

    Check out four computer forensics books that can help you learn the ins and outs of computer forensics technology and laws in place to manage cybercrime.

  • Do's and don'ts of building a forensics workstation

    by  Elizabeth A. Genco

    Elizabeth Genco explains the pros and cons of building a forensics workstation from scratch. Read now to learn what forensic tools are beneficial and which ones aren't.

Columns in this issue

  • Secure reads: Wireless Security

    by  Randall K. Nichols & Panos C. Lekkas

    Wireless Security offers a detailed overview of wireless security topics and covers big-picture characteristics of today's wireless security technologies.