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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: ISSC650 Course ID: 4101 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course is an advanced study of the models of investigative methods for finding evidence in a wide scope of disparate digital devices such as computers, laptops, netbooks, networks, mobile devices – phones, notepads, PDAs, digital audio and video players, and any device or appliance that carries an electronic circuit board which could potentially store data or information. It also examines the science, the evidence, and the law related to digital forensics, the validation of findings, and determination of acceptable and irrefutable evidence in a court of law. It also evaluates various digital forensics models for data identification, preservation, collection, examination, analysis, preparation, and presentation. ( Prerequisite: ISSC621 )

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this class, you will be able to:

  1. Examine concealment techniques, emerging technologies, and relevant legislation related to digital forensics.
  2. Analyze the scope, legal issues, ethical challenges, and societal impact of digital forensics to reveal and track legal and illegal activity.
  3. Assess the principles, practices, procedures, and methodologies for conducting digital forensics investigations in the field and laboratory.
  4. Apply rules of evidence and chain of custody.
  5. Evaluate current data security and data integrity exposure of devices from a multi-functional device perspective.
  6. Create a plan for the seizure of electronic evidence in operating environments within computers, PDAs, automobiles, and other electronic devices.

The grading will be based on six graded homework assignments, eight Forum postings and a research paper.

  1. There will be six homework assignments during the course. The assignments will count as 30% of the final grade. The homework assignments will follow each of the major portions of the course. These assignments will be research problems or questions from the text. They are selected to provide the student with information to understand the concepts discussed. Assignments should be prepared in Microsoft Word or an equivalent word processor program and uploaded into the student folder by the due date.
  2. There will be eight Forum postings you will need to respond to. Answers should be a paragraph with a topic sentence that restates the question and supporting sentences using the terms, concepts, and theories from the required readings. Each initial post should be a minimum of 500 words. In the response to each student, you may attack, support or supplement other students’ answers using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. All responses should be a courteous paragraph that contains a topic sentence with good supporting sentences and should be a minimum of 200 words. You may respond multiple times with a continuous discussion with points and counter points. The key requirement is to express your idea and then support your position using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings to demonstrate to me that you understand the material. The Forums will count as 40% of the final grade.
  3. The research paper will be a culmination of knowledge garnered from the writing assignments from weeks 1 through 7. The research paper in its entirety will count as 30% of your final grade. The 30% will include an outline (1%), rough draft (4%), paper (20%) and peer review (5%).

See Appendix A – Grading Rubric for Grading Criteria on assignments listed above.

Assignment Requirements:

This course has a strong writing component. The goal is to organize, synthesize, and demonstrate your comprehension of core concepts investigated during this course by applying a combination of the terms, concepts, and details you have learned in a systematic way. As important as "the details" that you analyze and arrange in your writing, however, are the conclusions you draw from those details, and your predictions, responses to, and ultimate interpretation of those details. At this level you are expected to be writing and synthesizing your knowledge and properly using resources and citations. All assignments are to include a minimum of 3 citations, an abstract, and a proper conclusion. The length can vary but the content itself should be about 3 pages. This includes the conclusion but not the cover page, reference page or the abstract.

FORUM Postings:

Each week a Forum question will be provided for a discussion of the week's readings. A specific assignment for posting on the Forum will be announced each week. The assignments may involve discussion or debate. The number of postings required each week will vary and will be announced in the assignment for the week. In most cases, you will be required to post at least one original post and one or more follow-ups to your classmates' posts.

Your first post each week must be posted by Wednesday at midnight EST. Please try not to be late with this post because your classmates will be relying on you to post on time to give them a post to respond to later in the week. All follow-up posts must be posted by Sunday at midnight EST.

research/Project Paper:

You will be required to write a project research paper this semester. The specifications are as follows:

  1. 10 pages (double-spaced) Arial 10 pt font.
  2. Choose any topic related to the course and write about the latest developments and issues. This should be an accrual of the concepts you learned throughout the course.
  3. Use at least ten references outside of your textbook (you may use your textbook too, but are not required to).
  4. In addition to the required number of pages for the assignment, you must also Include a reference page (bibliography), written in APA style and a title page. Be sure to give all of your papers a descriptive title.
  5. A rough draft of the paper at the end of Week 6. This is to be a complete paper, meeting the page requirements – not a partially completed paper. Points will be deducted for short or incomplete papers. Your rough draft will be graded and helpful feedback will be provided to indicate where you are falling short. You may correct any deficiencies before resubmitting your final draft at the middle of Week 8.
  6. Typewritten in double-spaced format with a readable style and font and submitted inside the electronic classroom (unless classroom access is not possible and other arrangements have been approved by the professor).
  7. Page margins Top, Bottom, Left Side and Right Side = 1 inch, with reasonable accommodation being made for special situations
  8. Your paper must be in your own words, representing original work. Paraphrases of others’ work must include attributions to the authors. Limit quotations to an average of no more than 3-5 lines, and use quotations sparingly! It is always better to paraphrase than to directly quote.

All assignments and Forum questions are required by 12:00 midnight Eastern Time on the posted due date in order to receive maximum credit.

Reference: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, DC: Author. ISBN: 1-4338-0561-8

Software Requirements

1. Microsoft Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint)

2. Adobe Acrobat Reader

3. A number of testing tools

Selected Bibliography

Web Resources for Advanced Digital Forensics

1. Digital Forensics Association

2. NIJ: Forensic examination of digital evidence guide

3. Computer Forensic tool testing

4. Recovering and Examining Computer Forensic Evidence

5. Computer Forensic white papers

6. Forensic Focus

Book Title:Handbook of Digital Forensics and Investigation - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Academic Press, Inc
Author:Casey, Eoghan
Unit Cost:$53.35
Book Title:REFERENCE ONLY- Information Security Fundamentals, 2nd edition-This text will be REQUIRED in ISSC661 and ISSC680. This text will be used as a reference only for the other courses in the ISSC program. E-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Auerbach Publications
Author:Thomas R. Peltier
Unit Cost:$79.95

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.