The Detective's Notebook | Ophea Teaching Tools

    The Detective's Notebook

    One of the goals of the CyberCops program is to explore the emerging career choice of becoming a cybercrime specialist and the technology used in that line of work. Therefore, the program begins with display of cybertools used to solve online crimes.

    magnifying glass

    1. Magnify

    Internet predators use fake emails and websites to fool recipients into revealing personal information. To combat this, cyberpolice look for errors, false information or spelling mistakes showing that the suspect has altered the document. Police also use magnification to compare the unique characteristics of original documents with documents seized from suspects.

    directory with an image of a telephone on it

    2. Search a Directory

    The Internet offers hundreds of directories where a stalker can find information about a person they are targeting. But cyberpolice can use the same directories to find the predator. They cross-reference phone numbers, addresses, city maps, email and website information to build up a picture of the person they are trying to find.

    question mark on the silhouette of a person in front of a globe

    3. Look Up a Domain Name: Whois

    If cyberpolice officers believe that a stalker is using a specific website to lure young people, they employ a "domain name lookup", also called a Whois. This service provides all the information that was provided at the time that the website was registered, usually the names of the host server and the subscriber.

    torn envelope

    4. Retrieve Emails: Scavenger

    When a search warrant is issued, the electronic devices in the suspect's home or office are seized and brought to the police lab. There, police review all of the files. They also use special software to retrieve files, including emails, which have been deleted. In the Mirror Image game this technology has been given the fictitious name Scavenger.

    Circled IP Address surrounded by other numbers

    5. Mapping Internet Transmissions: Nomad

    Each email has an Internet Protocol address (or IPaddress) that identifies the route it took from sender to receiver. An IP address is made up of four groups of numbers with a decimal between each group. When police officers want to track a cybercriminal, they first find an email with the IP address. This helps them locate the server where the message originated. Then, cyberpolice officers use a program that maps the electronic route that an email has taken across the Internet. This Internet mapping technology identifies the route of a communication from beginning to end, and lists all the intermediate routers a message passed through on its journey. In the Mirror Image game, this technology has been given the fictitious name Nomad.