How to install Windows 7 on a bootable USB flash drive

January 12th, 2012

I thought I would share this as I always seem to have the need to install Operating Systems without a CD ROM drive.

-Insert 4 GB USB flash hard drive
Open Command Prompt and if using Windows Vista or 7, make sure you run as Administrator
in command prompt, type diskpart and then list disk (it will then list the available drives, make sure you select the correct one!)

-Now format the drive by typing the following:
select disk 1 (or which drive is correct, check size it helps)
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=NTFS

Penetration Testing – What is it?

September 20th, 2011

Over the last 3 months I have been devoting a large number of hours towards the art of Penetration Testing (Pen Testing). I thought I would write a post about this subject to explain what it is. It is one of the new services I offer my clients.

A penetration test is the process of actively evaluating your information security measures by simulating an attack from a malicious source.

Data Systems, applications, websites and any other software can be tested remotely. Physical security, wireless networks and personnel security audits are normally conducted on-site.

What is Photographic Forensics and Image Analysis?

September 5th, 2011

Photographic forensics or image analysis is the interrogation of digital images to extract meaningful information; mainly from digital photographs by means of digital image processing techniques. Forensic analysis allows us to compile reports to support criminal or civil claims, where photographs are critical evidence. We use a number of techniques to analyse digital images:

- Image Error Level Analysis. Using specialist software, we can highlight differing error levels throughout an image, to detect digital manipulation after an image was recorded.

- Photoshop Forensics. Adobe Photoshop can be an excellent tool to interrogate images for pixel aspect ratios, colour codes, enhancements, measurements and digital manipulation.

Your Hard Drive will self destruct in 10 seconds!

August 25th, 2011

Toshiba has developed a new technology on their self encrypting hard drives that wipe and destroy all data when you remove or switch the device off. It sounds crazy, but it does make sense.

Instead of over-writing the data,which takes hours or using a physical method that requires time and effort the new drives will automatically invalidate the data in just a few seconds by erasing its HDD security key when the power is completely off. This means that any confidential documents stored in the hard drive, like an office printer will be safe in case someone extracts the HD or the device is stolen and disconnected from the power outlet.

The Future of Solid State Disk Data Recovery

August 15th, 2011

Many data recovery tools are universal regardless of the HDD manufacturer. So it has been relatively simple to get data back regardless of whether the affected disk was built by Maxtor, Seagate or Hitachi.

This compatibility era is now coming to end end with the introduction of the Solid State Disk (SSD). Wear-leveling and other types of performance-boosting algorithms have made each disk unique, built on very complicated controller technology. The proprietary algorithms are difficult to obtain for data recovery and forensics, which creates problems when mapping an address to the physical media. Therefore data recovery tools must be manufacturer specific.

Forensically Examining Images and Photographs

June 28th, 2011

I was recently asked by a solicitor to examine images to determine if they have been digitally manipulated. There are a number of processes I use including Photoshop forensic techniques and Error Level Analysis.

Error level analysis can help you work out if a photo has been digitally altered. Photos in a jpeg file format actually lose quality each time they are re-saved. I can take advantage of this to try and work out if an image has been digitally manipulated.

Social network

May 10th, 2011


I will be discussing the world’s largest social networking platform and also the most targeted by hackers and cybercriminals. This site is known as Facebook and has some serious problems with its app systems.

All users have access to create or develop an application, giving the user a wide range of powers to access data stored on user profiles and over-site messaging systems, like fake news articles or changing security settings, can then be run on any Facebook user’s page.

IP Address from Gmail Account – Case Study

April 13th, 2011

A commercial organisation asked me to investigate a series of suspicious emails they had received. I will not divulge the details of the case, but can reveal the processes involved.

Every email received contains email headers, containing information about the sender and the route from sender to receiver. The steps to view an email header vary between mail clients. Email headers should be read from the bottom up, for that is the order in which they pass through the mail system to their ultimate destination.

The email in question was from a Gmail client and had been cloaked. This raised two complications for us.

Great example of email scam

March 18th, 2011


How to avoid being fooled by social engineering techniques

March 18th, 2011

1. That old saying, how does it go? “If something is too good to be true, it probably is”.

2. A important question to ask yourself would be , “Why am I being singled out for special treatment or a winnings from millions of other people on the internet” If you cant find the answer, it probaby is a scam.

3. Please dont believe all that you read, scammers will present you with attractive websites, but that does not indicate that it is being truthful.

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