CD and DVD Forensics Paperback – CD, Mar 12 2007
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About the Author
Paul Crowley is the founder and lead developer at InfinaDyne. InfinaDyne is one of a small number of companies publishing software specifically targetted at the forensic examiner. He has been working in the software development field since 1975. His career includes experience that spans computer hardware from the very smallest home video game console to the largest IBM mainframes. Paul began working with CD recording technology in 1994 and is one of a small number of respected authorities on this technology. The first CD data recovery software product was written by Paul and has led the market for such tools since 1997. InfinaDyne has been offering CD and DVD Forensics training classes since 2005 and has held classes in the US and Australia. Attendees at these classes have included members of the FBI, US Department of Defense, and the Australian Federal Police.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Physically, the book is printed on low quality paper and is quite thin, the font size used is huge and approximately 1/5 of the book is made up of the glossary and the table of contents. The photographs and images used are also of a low quality, which is a shame.
However, I will keep this book on hand because it does have some interesting information within it, and in case I ever need to use the CD/DVD Inspector application. Certainly not a well-rounded book though.
Chapter 1 dives right into it, covering a lot of CDROM and DVD disc physical attributes and some common layout features. Chapter 2 is a similarly thorough treatment of the logical layout and describes a lot of the fliesystems commonly found in optical media. In this chapter some additional images and illustrations would have helped.
Chapter 3 is surprisingly short, and it introduces binary forensic images. There's little treatment, if any, given to how to collect them. I'm not clear why this chapter was so short or even standalone. Chapter 4 is a bit longer, but also quite short. It covers collecting CD and DVD evidence. There are some useful tips and insights in this chapter, but again it's so short. Chapter 5, "Preparing for disc examination" is a bit longer again, and contains some useful information. There's some useful information here, and some more in depth treatment would have been appreciated.
Chapter 6 starts the real meat of the book, the CD/DVD Inspector manual. This is a lengthy chapter with good illustrations, organization, and a full treatment of the specific messages given by the software. A pretty standard overview of the software package, specific to it as well.
Chapter 7 is, sadly, a short chapter on using CD/DVD Inspector. I say this is sad because a more thorough treatment with insights and exercises would have been valuable. As it stands it's basically tossing you in the deep end. Chapter 8, "Advanced tasks with CD/DVD Inspector", is quite similar. Again, a longer, fuller treatment of the tasks would have been great.
Chapters 9 and 10 are real letdowns because they treat such important material ("Reporting your findings" and "Things to keep in mind", respectively) so cursorily. Just a few pages apiece (Chapter 10 is all of one page!). Real insights would have been valuable here.
Appendix A is useful and covers "Disk swap modifications", and finally a lengthy glossary rounds out the book.
While the material is presented clearly (both the text and the illustrations), it's not presented completely in most chapters. This feels like an exercise without much value beyond being a manual for the software and some introductions and overviews of CD and DVD filesystems. All in all this book should go back to the author for a full fleshing out. I give it three stars on the basis of its strengths, but I think it's more of a 2.5 star book overall.
If you're looking for forensics material, this may wind up on your bookshelf, but see if you can get this book at a steep discount. It's incomplete for the novice or student and focuses specifically on one software package. I hope that any future editions are more complete.
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