Job Watch

Hiring outlook:

Despite a new interest in forensics work since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, forensics placements are still slow, according to Tracy Lenzner, founder and president of LenznerGroup, a security job recruitment firm in Las Vegas. Currently, Lenzner has over 100 resumes on file but no jobs to offer her clients. But Lenzner and prospective employers expect the market to pick up in eight months.

Salary range: Hands-on forensics analysts: $85,000 to $120,000;

Directors: $110,000 to $160,000 Add 10% for consulting.

Source, LenznerGroup

Required Skills:

Computer forensics: This field requires the ability to analyze systems to uncover evidence in such places as unallocated slack space (where deleted files remain until overwritten); temporary files; hex files; log files; directories; applications like e-mail, Word and Excel; and hardware such as read-only memory and flash BIOS. Forensics professionals must know procedures and tools for evidentiary image backup and documentation. Forensics plays a role in civil litigation and in investigations of intrusions, employee misuse or wrongdoing, and intellectual property theft.

Network investigations: This involves tracking intrusions and outbound intellectual property leaks through TCP/IP networks and across multiple jurisdictions by analyzing Internet Protocol addresses, system logs and packet header information. You must also know how to set up network sniffers (listening and logging software), observation traps and domain name lookups. Maintaining relationships with backbone service providers, telecommunications firms and hosting services is also key.

Internet investigations: People in this field document evidence of scams and frauds conducted over the Web through IP lookup tools, domain name registries and other public sources of information. An understanding of TCP/IP networking, logging, network addressing and packet headers is required.

— Deborah Radcliff

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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