The Internet allows for anonymity when connecting with users around the world. When that capability is abused, digital forensics may be used to assist in determining the identity of the person behind the keyboard. In the case of Rahul Joshi, a forensic investigation led to his arrest for sending threatening messages using an anonymous profile, the FBI reports.
The case began in December of 2018 when federal law enforcement agents received a complaint from a female Snapchat user, who had allegedly been receiving threatening messages across multiple applications from various users that all seemed to be connected. After further investigation, multiple victims across multiple states were discovered to have been experiencing the same situation.
Law enforcement began their investigation by analyzing the threatening messages. When using digital forensics software, it is possible to determine additional information that is not contained in the eye-level message content. Often, it is possible to determine location data, dates and times, and user profile information. After a thorough examination, the messages were traced to Rahul Joshi, a former student at the University of Texas now living in Richardson, Texas.
According to investigators, the victims in the case were subjected to daily harassment and were living in a constant state of fear from the messages that were being sent. The content of the messages are currently unknown; however, U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown commented on the severity of the messages: “these were extreme messages, and no one should have to put up with that kind of nonsense.” If convicted, Joshi could face up to five years in federal prison for the crime.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology