Computer investigations

An investigation is launched

While academic investigation is at the core of Emory’s business, you may encounter other types of investigations in progress on campus.  It might be an active litigation, a human resources issue, a criminal investigation, or a student conduct case.  Each of these types of investigation may be run by one of many different groups at Emory (General Counsel, Human Resources, Emory Police Department, Office of Student Conduct, etc.) or an external group (FBI, granting agency, etc.). 

In come the computers

Because computers are such a core part of our teaching, learning, work and home; they can often become a core component of an investigation of an individual.  An investigation may focus on the content of emails, a timeline of computer activities, the permissions configuration for file access or many other issues.  As local IT support staff, your supervisor or an external group may ask you to assist in an investigation of an employee or student. 

Refer investigators to LITS Information Security

If you are approached for a formal, or informal, investigation into the actions of an individual involving computers, emails, or networks; refer the investigator to LITS Information Security.  This does not include technology issues like removing viruses or troubleshooting technical problems, just investigations focused on people.  We will ensure that proper procedures are followed and approvals are received, as well as leveraging specific training in IT investigation.  Providing an external referral can also keep you out of the awkward situation of investigating co-workers or getting stuck in the middle of a confrontation. 

Examples:

Refer these investigations to LITS Information Security -

  • You are asked to verify if someone has been logging into computers with a different person's account
  • A supervisor asks you to check if an employee has been visiting gambling or pornographic websites
  • A staff member reports to you that their Emory-owned laptop was stolen from their car
  • A law enforcement agency asks you to provide computer evidence for a criminal investigation
  • A granting agency (like NIH or NSF) asks for access to a computer for evidence in a fraud case

Work on these within your group

  • You are asked to figure out if there is a virus on a computer
  • You are asked why an error message occurs on a computer
  • You receive a ticket from IT security telling you a computer is infected or a user account was compromised