Craigslist Killer Case and the Role of ‘Computer Forensics’

by Thilaka Ravi on  April 25, 2009 at 11:34 AM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
Craigslist Killer Case and the Role of ‘Computer Forensics’
Philip Markoff, the 22-year-old medical student and the alleged Craigslist killer was seen clutching a smart phone, which is widely speculated to be a Blackberry, in all the security surveillance videos of the hotels where he is alleged to have killed a woman and robbed two others.

Julissa Brisman, 26, who advertised her massage services on Craigslist, a popular internet bulletin board offering free online classified ads was killed on April 14. Two other women who had also advertised erotic services on Craigslist were robbed in posh hotels in downtown Boston and Rhode Island. Philip Markoff has been arrested as a suspect in these crimes.

Investigators chased "high tech" leads to follow the online trail left by Markoff and it is likely they traced the Internet Protocol (IP) address that was used to send an email to the murder victim, to his physical location. The Craigslist story generated so much interest that it caught fire and was carried on across the Internet on many blogs. Avid networking enthusiasts spotted Philip Markoff's Facebook profile overnight and uncovered the website he had set up along with his fiancée for their wedding.

According to computer experts 'digital forensics' or electronic evidence gathered using Domain Name System (DNS) tools played a crucial role in nabbing the suspect.

DNS is one of the basic systems of the Internet that enables the translation of human readable domain names to machine readable IP addresses (usually stored as binary numbers) and vice versa i.e. IP addresses to domain names. DNS a fundamental building block of the Internet because, while computers use IP addresses we need the human readable names for the simple reason that these names can be remembered more easily than IP addresses. Without the DNS resolution the Internet would be a very confusing and inconvenient place.

Source: Medindia

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