[unisog] Suspicious Files

Trevor Odonnal trevoro at byu.edu
Tue Dec 9 15:20:21 GMT 2008

Since you aren't law enforcement, and you had permission from the owner to be accessing the computer, this wouldn't be a violation of the 4th amendment.  The 4th amendment deals with unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement or government authorities.  Even officers of the law aren't required to get a search warrant if they stumble on evidence of illegal activity during the regular course of their duties.  There MIGHT be an issue under your state's privacy statutes, but I wouldn't think this would apply unless you were snooping around the drive for the heck of it.  The real question here is how much do you think what you have found is evidence of illegal activity?  If you feel strongly that someone ought to know about it, contact law enforcement and tell them the facts as you have told us.  They know what to do as far as warrants and such.

Trevor O'Donnal CISSP, CCFS, GREM
Network Security Analyst
Brigham Young University
(801) 422-1477
trevoro at byu.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: unisog-bounces at lists.dshield.org [mailto:unisog-bounces at lists.dshield.org] On Behalf Of Bob Henry
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 12:19 PM
To: unisog at lists.dshield.org
Subject: [unisog] Suspicious Files

One of our Housing office computer techs sent me the following
question and I'd like to know what members of this list think.  Has
anyone bumped into this and what did you do?  I've forwarded the
question to legal as well.

A student brought his computer to the Student Housing computer support
people for repairs.  The computer wouldn't boot and the student told
the Housing technicians they could format the drive if they needed to.
 The technician managed to boot the computer from its existing
configuration.  On the computer, the technician found many pictures of
jet airplanes, interior and exterior pictures of Boise skyscrapers,
pictures of the presidents planes, videos of planes crashing, pictures
of airports, pictures of the walkways from the airport, a connection
to American airlines flights.

What are our responsibilities for handling this information?  Can we
present it to law enforcement or would we be violating the 4th

Robert Henry, CISSP, GCIH, GCFA
Information Security Officer
Office of Information Technology
Boise State University
bhenry at boisestate.edu
unisog mailing list
unisog at lists.dshield.org

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