I was part of an interesting and product online podcast today. You can check it out at: http://nopskids.com/live/
The topics ranged from hacking, forensics, how to catch hackers, and a little on how criminals sometimes get away with it. Although I didn’t give any tips on how to get away with a crime, other than DON’T DO IT, I did speak a little on some of the things that can be found forensically on a hard drive. Actually, I think I only had time to talk about one thing (the Windows registry) for a few minutes and nothing of which that has any impact on a criminal using the information to get away with a crime.
The one thing I wanted to stress that even if every top secret, secret squirrel, spy and investigative method was exposed, criminals would still get caught using the very techniques they know. Proof in the pudding is seeing cops being arrested for committing crimes. You’d figure they would be the most knowledgeable of not getting caught, but they get caught. Same with accountants being arrested for fraud, and so forth. I’ve even arrested criminals when they had in their possession, books on how not to get caught. The most diligent criminal can be identified and arrested by simple mistakes made and sometimes by sheer massive law enforcement resources put on a single case to find a criminal or take down an organization.
With that, I learned a few things from the podcast too. One of the moderators was actually a case study in my latest book (Hiding Behind the Keyboard). To be an expert, to be knowledgeable, and to be more than just competent requires talking, listening, and sharing. That doesn’t mean sharing trade secrets or confidential information, but it does mean having conversations to learn your job better.
When I worked as a jailer, I talked to every person I booked (at least the sober arrestees and those cooperating with the booking process). I asked personal questions like, “how did you get started with drug use?” and “how did you start doing X crime”? I learned a lot after hundreds of bookings. I learned so much that when I make it to patrol and hit the streets, I had a big leg up on the criminal world, in how it worked with people. That directly helped me in undercover work. I spoke to so many criminals, both as a police officer and as an undercover (where they didn’t know I was a police officer), that I learned how to investigate people who committed crimes. I was darn effective....