Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 13:04 UK

Abertay to offer 'digital fingerprints' degree

Mobile phone
Students will be shown how to recover deleted text messages

A new degree in digital forensics will teach students how to recover deleted files and unravel coded messages on social networking sites.

The four-year BSc course at Abertay University will explore the technical skills needed to find evidence hiding in mobile phones and computers.

Students will also study psychology, law and general forensic techniques.

The university said the degree would compliment its ethical hacking course, which was launched in 2006.

The course is awaiting final approval from university bosses.

Graduates would be equipped to work in police, forensics and government authorities, as well as a range of more general computing roles, the university said.

Terrorist attacks

Dr Geoffrey Lund, from the School of Computing and Engineering Systems, said our increasing reliance on technology meant that "digital fingerprints" were everywhere.

"It's no longer just about police removing a hard disk and examining it for evidence" he said.

"Everything from deleted text messages and call logs to browsing histories and seemingly innocent messages left on social networking sites can now reveal highly private information.

"When linked to criminal intent, these can provide excellent and useable evidence for police authorities, as has been the case with several recent high-profile terrorist attacks."

The first two years of the degree will give a broad introduction to computing, computer security, criminology and law.

The second half will specialise in digital forensics and research skills.

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