High-Technology Crime Investigator’s Handbook

By Dan Bergevin

***** High-Technology Crime Investigator’s Handbook, Second Edition. By Gerald L. Kovacich and Andy Jones; published by Butterworth-Heinemann; available from ASIS, item #1719, 703/519-6200 (phone), (Web); 480 pages; $47 (ASIS members), $52 (nonmembers).

The High-Technology Crime Investigator’s Handbook is intended as a go-to source of techniques and information needed by investigators of high-tech crimes. The authors, however, focus on management issues at the expense of hands-on practical advice. The result is a book that raises more questions than it answers.

The book runs nearly 500 pages, but fewer than 50 are devoted to computer forensics, and only 11 to evidence collection. Incredibly, discussion of the investigative process is reduced to bulleted lists instead of detailed narratives. The photos and diagrams provided do not illustrate the devices and processes used in high-tech crimes and their investigation.

The authors spend more than half the book’s length explaining how to run a high-tech crime investigation business. While that information can be useful, it is not the stated mission of the book. This imbalance makes the book’s very title a misnomer.

The authors do present a large amount of information on a complex subject in an easy-to-read, generalized overview. As such, the book might serve well as a primer for a student curious about a career in high-tech crime investigation. Professionals in this field, however, must look elsewhere for a handbook providing thorough, up-to-date information on technology, its use in crimes, and techniques of investigating those types of crimes.

Reviewer: Dan Bergevin is the principal of Catfield International, an intelligence and security firm based in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area.



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