School Law, involves a variety of case types: Labor & Employment, Non-Compete, IP Theft, White-Collar Crime, Embezzlement, Privacy, Regulatory, Insurance, Age Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Cybersecurity and more. School attorneys performing an internal investigation or have a case that involves ANY Digital Devices trust the Digital Forensics Experts at Vestige to locate any relevant electronic evidence and/or secure data.
The following descriptions highlight a variety of matters for which Vestige has been retained. Each of these digital forensics cases are real matters that we have worked, but for privacy and confidentiality purposes the identifiable information has been sanitized. These cases are not the entire population of cases matching such criteria, but instead represent a wide sample of the digital forensics cases we have worked that are specific to Education. Should you need additional information about our digital forensics services, please contact us.
Student v School District | Digital Forensics
Vestige represented a high school student who was confronted by the Assistant Principal about his alleged “selling of drugs”. As proof of the activity the school system provided a picture of the student holding what appeared to be pills (they turned out to be Jujubes). The student recognized the pose and activity as being something conducted on social media sitting in front of his school issued laptop while in the privacy of his room late at night. When the family confronted the school administrators it was learned that the school district had installed software on the device that allowed them to turn
on the built-in camera and see what was occurring with the device. It was subsequently learned that the school district’s IT department would surreptitiously enable the software while students were in the privacy of their homes. Vestige’s analysis focused around proving how extensive the surreptitious behavior was, who all was involved, how long it had been going on, who the victims were, existence of any extremely private and sensitive activity and what occurred with the photo and video footage that was captured when the software was enabled.
State University IT Auditing | Cybersecurity
The Internal Audit Department of a State University was looking for a way to enhance their Internal Audit program to include deeper expertise on both the Cybersecurity side as well as IT controls in general. While the organization had a number of financial auditors within the IA department and even had an internal resource that had an interest in learning more on the IT auditing side, their need exceeded current staffing expertise and availability. The University partnered with Vestige to provide outsourced Internal Information Technology (IT) Audit functionality. As Vestige had experience with a number of the standard applications used by Educational facilities, such as BlackBoard, Banner and several others, it allowed the University to leverage that pre-existing expertise to make their audit function even more robust.
Graduate School v John Doe | Defamation Matter
Vestige was engaged by in-house counsel for a graduate school that was investigating the receipt of a series of disparaging e-mails and on-line posts of disparaging remarks about the school. Vestige assisted in identifying several areas of digital evidence that could be used to identify the anonymous sender/poster. Using Vestige’s digital forensic analysis combined with our background and expertise in the legal arena, Vestige was able to navigate both the technical evidence and legal arena to obtain the identity of the individual defaming the school.
State v School District | Digital Forensics Investigation
Vestige was contacted by outside counsel for a school district that was in the midst of an internal investigation to determine whether grades had been altered for a handful of students within the record-keeping software that the school used. The allegations included several upper-level administrators within the school district including the superintendent, teachers and the IT department.
Vestige’s work revolved around forensically investigating the school district’s software used to record grades. As the system had a limited audit trail, Vestige performed network forensics to ascertain whether the changes had been made and by whom. In addition, review of e-mails and other correspondence was conducted to determine the scope of the involvement of individuals within the school district. Vestige provided results of the findings to counsel who then used the results in its discussions with the governing authority. During our forensic work, Vestige identified a number of weaknesses within their systems. The school district subsequently engaged Vestige to perform a thorough IT General Controls Audit over the entire infrastructure to identify weaknesses throughout and to provide recommendations that they could use to avoid similar situations in-the-future.
Individual v Private School | Wrongful Termination/EEOC
Vestige assisted outside counsel and the EEOC in a wrongful termination lawsuit with allegations of racial bias. Vestige’s initial charge was to observe the preservation of digital evidence by another “discovery” firm. However, while on-site observing the procedure Vestige identified several flaws in the manner in which the evidence was going to be collected, including the high potential for spoliation of the necessary information. When the other firm was unable to provide an acceptable manner in which to identify, preserve and collect the evidence, Vestige was engaged to complete that process.
The scope of our involvement increased as evidence of the plaintiff’s allegations of destruction of data became more apparent. In the end, Vestige provided recovery of deleted information as well as a full Destruction of Evidence Analysis to show when, who, how much and the impact of the data destruction.
Teacher-Student Relationship | Internal Investigation
Vestige was contacted by a school regarding a inappropriate relationship between a student and a teacher. While no criminal charges had been filed at that time, there was a pending civil lawsuit. The school engaged with Vestige to determine how long the relationship may have been going on and to find digital evidence to support or refute the plaintiff’s claims. Additionally, the client wanted to know if there was evidence that others were aware of the relationship.
Vestige provided a complete analysis of emails sent and received by staff at the school. The analysis also included reviewing cell phones, specifically text messages, for conversations about the incident. The cell phones analyzed included that of the plaintiff’s which was done under a protective order that protected the confidentiality and any privilege asserted by the
plaintiffs while also discovering messages important to the defendants.
Exempted School District | Cyber Theft
Vestige was contacted by outside counsel regarding a school district that had funds stolen. The client had a belief that the computer used for payroll was compromised. Nearly $100k was stolen and subsequent transactions were attempted. The client wanted to know what happened and how it happened. They also needed to understand if it was truly from hacking or was an inside job. Finally, they wanted to know what steps could be taken going forward to prevent future issues. Vestige forensically examined the computer at question and found evidence of malware as well as evidence that the computer itself was involved in the transaction. Vestige’s analysis, while not able to uncover the true culprit as that is often impossible, was able to rule out that someone on the inside was involved. Finally, Vestige was able to provide advice along the lines of best Cybersecurity practices to prevent future theft.