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Definitions and Descriptions.


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P

Preservation of Evidence

Preservation of evidence refers to the process of safeguarding and protecting physical or digital evidence that may be used as evidence in a legal or investigative context. It involves ensuring that the evidence is collected, stored, and handled in a way that maintains its integrity and authenticity.

There are several reasons why it is important to preserve evidence. First, preserving evidence helps to ensure that it is available for use in legal proceedings. For example, if a crime has been committed, the police may need to collect physical evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, or other forensic evidence to help identify the perpetrator. If this evidence is not properly preserved, it may be contaminated, damaged, or lost, making it difficult or impossible to use in a court of law.

Second, preserving evidence helps to establish the chain of custody, which refers to the record of who has had possession of the evidence at different points in time. This is important because it helps to establish the authenticity and reliability of the evidence. For example, if the police collect evidence from a crime scene, they must maintain a record of who handled the evidence, how it was stored, and how it was transported to ensure that it is not compromised in any way.

Examples of preservation of evidence include:

  1. Collecting and storing physical evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, or other forensic evidence in a secure location to prevent contamination or tampering.

  2. Maintaining a chain of custody record to document who has handled the evidence and how it has been stored or transported.

  3. Securely storing digital evidence such as emails, text messages, or other electronic documents in a way that preserves their authenticity and integrity.

  4. Using secure servers or cloud storage to store digital evidence to prevent unauthorized access or tampering.

  5. Ensuring that evidence is handled in a way that preserves its authenticity, such as using gloves when handling physical evidence to prevent contamination.


Probable Cause

Probable cause refers to the legal standard that must be met in order to justify the search or seizure of property or the arrest of an individual. It requires that there be a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed, and that the property or person in question is connected to the crime in some way.

Here are some examples of probable cause:

  1. A police officer witnesses a suspect breaking into a car and stealing items from inside. The officer has probable cause to arrest the suspect for theft.

  2. A police officer receives a tip from a reliable informant that a person is selling illegal drugs out of their home. The officer has probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the person's home.

  3. A police officer sees a person driving erratically and swerving across lanes on the highway. The officer has probable cause to pull the person over and investigate for possible drunk driving.

  4. A police officer receives a report of a domestic disturbance and arrives at the scene to find one person with visible injuries and the other person holding a weapon. The officer has probable cause to arrest the person with the weapon for assault.

Probable cause must be based on specific facts and circumstances, and cannot be based on mere suspicion or speculation. It is an important legal principle that helps to protect the rights of individuals and ensure that law enforcement has a valid reason for conducting searches, seizures, or arrests.

Probable cause in digital forensics refers to the standard of evidence required for a forensic investigator to justify the search, seizure, and examination of digital devices or data. In the Us, this standard is based on the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.

In order to establish probable cause in digital forensics, an investigator must provide evidence that suggests that a crime has been committed and that digital devices or data may contain evidence of that crime. This evidence may be based on a variety of factors, including witness testimony, physical evidence, or other circumstances that support the belief that a crime has been committed.

Here are some examples of probable cause in digital forensics:

  1. A witness reports seeing an individual accessing and downloading child pornography on their computer. This information, combined with other evidence, may be sufficient to establish probable cause for a forensic investigation of the individual's computer.

  2. A company suspects that an employee is leaking confidential information to competitors. The company may provide evidence of this suspicion, such as email communications or other data that suggests the employee is engaging in inappropriate behavior. This evidence may be used to establish probable cause for a forensic investigation of the employee's computer and other digital devices.

  3. A forensic investigator receives a tip from a reliable source that a suspect may be using encrypted messaging apps to communicate with other individuals about illegal activities. This information, combined with other evidence, may be sufficient to establish probable cause for a forensic investigation of the suspect's phone and other digital devices.

Overall, probable cause in digital forensics is a critical standard that must be met in order for forensic investigators to conduct searches and seizures of digital devices and data. It helps to ensure that the privacy rights of individuals are protected while also allowing investigators to gather the necessary evidence to solve crimes and bring perpetrators to justice



Purple Team

A purple team is an internal security team that combines the skills of both red and blue teams to create comprehensive security solutions. Red teams are responsible for offensive actions, such as penetration testing and simulation of attacks, while blue teams are responsible for defensive actions such as system hardening and incident response.

Purple teams use a combination of both offensive and defensive techniques to increase their structured review of systems and networks. They use the same tools and techniques employed in the red and blue teams, but take extra time to analyze the results and suggest corrective measures to improve the security of the system or network. 

Purple teams also focus on testing and validating an organization’s security processes, such as policy, patch management, backup and recovery. This ensures that operational and security processes are understood and correctly configured. Further, purple teams ensure that the organization conducts periodic testing and maintains up-to-date procedures and processes.

The goal of purple teams is to augment the capabilities of red and blue teams to explore the most important vulnerabilities and proactively ensure that the organization’s defenses remain secure. This typically includes the following steps: 

  1. Scanning and mapping the network infrastructure to identify any vulnerabilities and attack points  
  2. Exploiting any known vulnerabilities, such as weak passwords or incomplete patching
  3. Exploiting or simulating new or emerging threats
  4. Implementing recommended defensive measures from the blue team task
  5. Creating reports that include recommendations for remediation or mitigation 

Purple teams enable organizations to have a comprehensive view of their security posture. By combining the perspectives of red and blue teams, organizations can gain a more holistic view of the network and identify any weaknesses or threat vectors. Furthermore, purple teams can increase security levels and proactively safeguard the organization’s networks and infrastructure against external threats.


Pyramid of Pain

The threat hunting pyramid of pain is a concept that describes the progression of an adversary's actions in an attack, from initial access to the final goal of the attack. It is a way for security professionals to visualize and understand the different stages of an attack and how they can detect and respond to it.

The pyramid consists of five levels:

  1. Initial access: This is the point at which an adversary gains access to a network or system. Examples of initial access include phishing attacks, exploitation of a vulnerability, or physical access to a device.

  2. Execution: After gaining initial access, the adversary will execute their attack plan. This can include installing malware, running scripts or commands, or modifying system settings.

  3. Persistence: In order to maintain a foothold in the system, the adversary will establish persistence. This can involve creating new user accounts, modifying system policies, or installing backdoors.

  4. Privilege escalation: The adversary may then try to escalate their privileges in order to gain greater access to the system. This can involve exploiting vulnerabilities or using stolen credentials to access restricted areas.

  5. Lateral movement: Finally, the adversary will attempt to move laterally within the system, gaining access to more resources and potentially reaching their final goal. This can include accessing other systems on the network, exfiltrating data, or sabotaging the system.

In threat hunting, security professionals will look for indicators of compromise at each level of the pyramid, starting with initial access and working their way up. For example, they might look for phishing emails or suspicious activity in system logs to identify initial access. They might then look for signs of malware execution or persistence, such as strange processes running or changes to system policies. By understanding the steps an adversary takes in an attack, security professionals can better detect and respond to threats.



R

Ransomeware

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim's files, rendering them inaccessible until a ransom is paid to the attacker to restore access. The ransom is typically demanded in the form of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, in order to maintain the anonymity of the attacker.

Ransomware attacks can be particularly devastating for individuals and organizations, as they can result in the loss of important data and disruption of business operations. In some cases, victims may be unable to recover their data even if the ransom is paid, as there is no guarantee that the attacker will actually restore access to the files.

There are several types of ransomware, including:

  1. Cryptojacking ransomware: This type of ransomware uses the victim's computer resources to mine cryptocurrency for the attacker.

  2. Encrypting ransomware: This type of ransomware encrypts the victim's files and demands a ransom in exchange for the decryption key.

  3. Locker ransomware: This type of ransomware locks the victim out of their computer or device and demands a ransom in order to restore access.

  4. Ransomware-as-a-service: This type of ransomware is offered as a service to other attackers, who can use it to carry out ransomware attacks on their own.

One well-known example of ransomware is the WannaCry attack, which affected thousands of organizations and individuals in 2017. The WannaCry ransomware encrypted victims' files and demanded a ransom of $300 in Bitcoin in order to restore access.

Overall, ransomware is a serious threat to individuals and organizations, and can result in significant financial and operational losses. It is important to take measures to protect against ransomware, such as keeping software and security systems up to date and regularly backing up data.



Red Team

A cyber red team is a type of security assessment that involves simulating real-world attack scenarios within an organization’s network environment in order to identify any existing weaknesses or vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. A cyber security red team is essentially a specialized group of cyber security professionals who use their knowledge of the latest attack techniques to test a company’s security posture across the entirety of its networks and systems. The primary goal of a cyber red team is to identify and assess any potential threats and vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by malicious actors.

The cyber red team generally consists of experienced professionals with a deep understanding of the cyber security landscape and the latest attack techniques. They are often skilled in advanced penetration testing, detailed SecOps, forensics, and threat intelligence. Cyber red teams are typically employed by organizations to constantly assess their security posture and ensure that their networks and systems are secure against potential threats.

In addition to assessing a company’s security posture, the cyber red team may also be tasked with looking for any areas of weakness within the organization’s policies and procedures. This can include evaluating the effectiveness of employee training and security policies, as well as ensuring that the organization is following the latest government regulations. Once any weak spots have been identified, the cyber red team works with the organization to develop security measures and best practices for addressing them.

Essentially, the cyber red team provides organizations with in-depth security assessments of their current security posture and helps them identify any areas of improvement. By acting as a proactive security measure, the cyber red team helps organizations reduce the risk of being compromised by malicious actors and protect the security of their networks and systems.


S

Script Kiddie

A script kiddie (also known as a skiddie) is an individual who uses pre-written scripts or code—often stolen or borrowed without permission or knowledge—to attack computer systems or networks. Script kiddies are not necessarily malicious hackers, and the term is often used to describe those with little or no technical knowledge who use scripts or programs written by more skilled hackers to launch simple attacks against unsuspecting victims.

These attacks typically involve using vulnerable programs to gain unauthorized access to systems, networks, or websites. For example, a script kiddie may borrow or steal someone else’s script or program and use it to exploit vulnerable software and gain access to the system. Script kiddies will often target systems or networks for their own amusement and may not have any malicious intent.

Though script kiddies may possess some basic knowledge of computer programming and coding, they often lack the technical expertise necessary to understand the risks associated with their attacks. As a result, their activities may cause unnecessary disruption or damage to systems.

The term "script kiddie" is often used negatively and viewed derogatorily by experienced hackers and cybersecurity professionals. Script kiddies are often viewed as irresponsible and reckless, and their activities can be dangerous for both them and those they target.


SDR

An SDR radio, or software-defined radio, is a radio communication system that uses software to define the characteristics of the radio signal. This allows the radio to be reconfigured and adapt to different frequencies and modes without the need for hardware changes.

SDR radios have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their flexibility and ability to support a wide range of communication protocols. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including amateur radio, military communications, and commercial applications.

One of the key benefits of SDR radios is that they can be easily modified and customized using software. This allows users to adapt the radio to their specific needs and requirements, rather than being limited to the capabilities of a fixed hardware design.

For example, an amateur radio operator may use an SDR radio to receive and transmit on a wide range of frequencies, including shortwave, medium wave, and high frequency. They may also use software to add features such as digital voice decoding or automatic frequency control.

Another example of an SDR radio is the HackRF, which is a low-cost, open-source SDR radio that can be used for a variety of purposes, including wireless testing, RF analysis, and digital signal processing. The HackRF can be programmed and modified using software, making it a popular choice among hobbyists and researchers.

Overall, SDR radios are a versatile and flexible tool for radio communication, and can be customized and adapted to a wide range of purposes using software. They offer a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional hardware-based radios.



SIGINT

Sigint, or Signals Intelligence, refers to the collection and analysis of electronic signals and communications for the purpose of obtaining strategic, military, or intelligence information. This can include intercepting and analyzing phone calls, emails, and other electronic communication, as well as tracking and analyzing satellite and radar signals.

Examples of Sigint activities include:

  1. Monitoring and intercepting phone calls and emails between foreign government officials to gather information about their plans and intentions.

  2. Tracking and analyzing satellite signals to determine the location and movements of foreign military units.

  3. Analyzing radar signals to determine the capabilities and capabilities of foreign military aircraft.

  4. Monitoring social media and other online communication to gather intelligence on political or military activities in other countries.

  5. Analyzing and decoding encrypted communications to gather sensitive information.

Overall, Sigint is an important tool for intelligence agencies to gather and analyze information about foreign governments, military activities, and other strategic information that may be relevant to national security.


Sock Puppet

A sock puppet account for investigations is a fake or dummy account that is used by investigators for the purpose of gathering information or conducting covert operations. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as to gather intelligence on a suspect, to infiltrate a group or organization, or to gather evidence in a criminal or civil case.

One example of a sock puppet account for investigations might be an investigator creating a fake social media account and using it to interact with a suspect or group of suspects in order to gather information about their activities. The investigator might use the account to ask questions, make small talk, or even try to befriend the suspects in order to gain their trust and gather more information about their activities.

Another example might be an investigator creating a fake account and using it to pose as a member of a particular group or organization in order to gather intelligence about their operations or activities. This could involve the investigator joining online forums or chat groups, participating in discussions, and gathering information about the group's beliefs, goals, and activities.

To make a sock puppet account for online investigations, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a platform: Decide which platform you will be using for your sock puppet account, such as social media, online forums, or chat groups.

  2. Create the account: Follow the steps to create a new account on the chosen platform. Use a fake name and other personal information to create the appearance of a real person.

  3. Customize the account: Add a profile picture and any other personal details that will help the account appear genuine.

  4. Begin interacting: Start using the sock puppet account to interact with other users on the platform. Depending on the purpose of the investigation, this may involve asking questions, joining discussions, or even trying to make friends with suspects or other individuals of interest.

  5. Monitor and gather information: Keep track of the interactions and information gathered through the sock puppet account, making note of any relevant details or evidence.

  6. Dispose of the account: When the investigation is complete, it is important to dispose of the sock puppet account in a way that does not arouse suspicion. This may involve deleting the account or simply leaving it inactive. Overall, the key to a successful sock puppet account for online investigations is to create a believable persona and gather information in a covert and non-intrusive manner.

There are several operational security (OPSEC) considerations to keep in mind when using sock puppet accounts for investigations:

  1. Cover story: It is important to have a believable cover story for the sock puppet account, in order to avoid arousing suspicion or drawing attention to the account. This may involve creating a fake name, location, and personal details for the account.

  2. Communications: When communicating through the sock puppet account, it is important to be careful about what information is shared and with whom. This includes avoiding revealing personal details or sensitive information that could compromise the investigation.

  3. Access: It is important to carefully control access to the sock puppet account, including who can see the account and who has the ability to log in and use it.

  4. Evidence: Any information or evidence gathered through the sock puppet account must be properly documented and handled in accordance with laws and regulations.

  5. Disposal: When the investigation is complete, it is important to properly dispose of the sock puppet account in a way that does not arouse suspicion or draw attention to the account.

Overall, it is important to be mindful of OPSEC considerations when using sock puppet accounts for investigations in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and avoid compromising sensitive information.

Overall, sock puppet accounts for investigations are a valuable tool for investigators as they allow them to gather information and evidence in a covert and non-intrusive manner. By using a fake account, investigators can gather valuable intelligence without arousing suspicion or alerting suspects to their presence.




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