Digital Data Breach Investigator Services

Data Breaches and Digital Debugging – Glossary of Terms

When companies face data breaches and other significant digital security issues, it is important that they obtain the services of a digital forensics expert as soon as possible to determine the cause and limit the effects. Our McCann Investigators are skilled in a wide variety of areas related to data breaches and digital debugging.

We understand that as you browse our website for more information on our services, there may be some terms related to this field that you are unfamiliar with or need more in-depth explanations for. Below is a list of relevant terms related to these fields. Feel free to contact McCann Investigations for more information about these and other terms.

  • Black hat hacker
  • Computer crime
  • Computer vulnerability
  • Cyberstalking
  • Data breach
  • Data privacy
  • Hacker
  • Medical data breach
  • Phishing
  • Trusted environment


Black hat hacker

A black hat hacker is a type of computer criminal and hacker that is the epitome of the dangerous hacker stereotype – a dangerous criminal (often backed by crime syndicates or governments) who has the ability to break into data systems and cause massive data breaches. There are three stages to a black hat hacker’s process. The first is the targeting phase, in which the hacker determines which network to attack. The second is the information gathering stage, in which the hacker will somehow contact the target in hopes of gaining information that will help him or her to access the system. And finally, the third stage is the actual attack. Many hackers are caught at this point, either due to error or to falling into a “honeypot,” a term for a trap set up by computer security professionals to lure in hackers.

McCann Investigations employs numerous digital forensics specialists who are skilled in preventing and stopping black hat hacker attacks. We are able to analyze the attack and determine how it occurred, as well as bolster a business’s cyber defenses.

Computer crime

Computer crime is any crime that involves a computer and some type of network. The computer could either be the target of the crime, or the means by which the crime is committed. There are specific types of computer crime, such as cybercrime or netcrime, which refers to criminal methods of exploitation on the internet. Specific cases could revolve around child pornography, cyberstalking, copyright infringement, and more.

Perpetrators of computer crime often use communication networks such as email, chat rooms, mobile phones, and more in their crime. Therefore, the services of a trained digital forensics analyst are necessary in uncovering evidence related to the crime that can legally be used in court. McCann Investigations represents clients in many different types of computer crimes cases.

Computer vulnerability

Computer vulnerability refers to any weak point in a network or computer system that makes it easier for an attacker to exploit the system and gain access to valuable, sensitive information. Vulnerability is not necessarily the same as a security risk – risk implies that there is a potential of significant loss, and there can be a vulnerability without a risk. However, it is extremely important to treat vulnerabilities with care. Companies that suffer from data breaches often have a vulnerability in their system that they were unaware of, and the results could include potential intellectual property theft, identity theft, and other theft of important company information. In worst-case scenarios, one small vulnerability could be devastating to a company’s internal operations and public image.

Companies and organizations must engage in vulnerability management practices to ensure that they can properly identify and solve vulnerabilities before they have a chance to be exploited. McCann digital analysts are highly skilled in discovering vulnerabilities and boosting cyber defenses to prevent computer crimes from occurring.


Cyberstalking refers to the use of the internet or other types of electronic means to harass an individual, group of individuals, or organization. There are different levels of severity to cyberstalking crimes, ranging from online bullying to identity theft, threats of violence, solicitation of minors, extortion, and more. In many cyberstalking cases, the perpetrator has a desire to maintain some level of control over his or her victim.

By definition, cyberstalking occurs over computers and mobile devices (such as smartphones or tablets), which means that a digital forensics analyst can analyze these devices and find evidence of the crime. Our investigators from McCann work with clients in a range of cyberstalking cases to find the evidence needed to swing the court case in their favor.

Data breach

A data breach is the loss or release of secure information to an untrusted source. A data breach can be either intentional or unintentional, and is also known as a data leak or unintentional information disclosure. Causes of data breaches could range from attacks by black hat hackers to simple carelessness on the part of a business with how they dispose of their computer equipment and digital storage media. Data breaches may involve information such as health information, personally identifiable information, credit card and bank details, trade secrets, and more.

McCann investigators work with clients in numerous industries to determine the source of a data breach and, if applicable, the perpetrator, by collecting evidence found on digital media. We also assist companies with improving their digital security methods to prevent future data breaches from occurring.

Data privacy

Data privacy refers to attempts to maintain the privacy of data after a data breach occurs. Many data breaches that become the subject of significant media publicity are actually worsened when the media outlets publish the types of information lost, such as trade secrets, contract details, sensitive corporate information, personally identifiable information of employees, and more. This type of publicity also encourages perpetrators to make further attacks, as they often enjoy the publicity.

Our McCann investigators work hard to help your company maintain privacy as we work to solve your data breach and uncover its source. In addition to our skills as digital forensics analysts, we have helped in damage control situations for companies that have suffered significant breaches.


A hacker is a person who finds and exploits weaknesses in a computer network or system. Hackers are not necessarily criminals – many companies and organizations employ professional hackers who routinely attempt to break into their network so that they can more efficiently find vulnerabilities and risks in their system. Criminal hackers may be motivated by anything ranging from profit to protest. Others simply engage in the activity for the challenge and the thrill. Criminal hackers are not necessarily the same as black hat hackers – black hat hackers tend to be more expert in the practice, and employed by other criminals, agencies, or governments to complete their task.

McCann investigators are skilled at preventing and stopping illegal hacker activity, and uncovering the vulnerabilities exploited by malicious hackers. Our teams have significant experience in analyzing networks and forms of digital media to uncover the needed evidence in your case.

Medical data breach

A medical data breach is a specific type of data breach in which medical records and other confidential information are exposed to untrusted sources. In the United States, there are mandatory medical data breach notifications so that anyone whose information is exposed is informed as quickly as possible. The type of information lost in a medical data breach could include social security numbers, doctor visits, treatment and medication information, and more.

Without taking the proper precautions to prevent medical data breaches or stop them in the act, hospitals and insurance companies risk putting huge numbers of their patients and clients at risk. McCann digital forensics investigators trace the source of the data breach by analyzing computer networks and by poring over emails, computer hard drives, mobile devices, and more. Additionally, our team has the ability to help organizations increase their security to prevent future medical data breaches from occurring.


Phishing is a type of computer crime, defined as the act of illegally acquiring (or attempting to acquire) information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, or money online by acting as a trustworthy entity. Many perpetrators attempt to use fronts such as social media sites, auction sites, or online payment processors to lure in unsuspecting web users. The most famous example of a phishing scheme is the “Nigerian Prince” email, in which someone claims to have access to a large amount of money from a recently deceased member of Nigerian royalty, but cannot access it, promises you a large share of the money in exchange for your financial assistance. Many people have fallen for similar scams by online con artists around the world.

The digital forensics analysts of McCann Investigations have ample experience in handling phishing cases. Our investigators analyze email records and other digital sources to obtain relevant evidence for your case. We handle cases ranging from individuals who fell for scams to businesses that were duped out of large amounts of money.

Trusted environment

Trusted environment is a term often used in data breach cases. It refers to the environment in a workplace, where employees and executives are expected to maintain the “trusted environment” in the workplace, and to properly handle sensitive information. Occasionally, data breaches occur when a current or former staff member breaks the trust in the working environment and uses his or her access to sensitive company information against the company.

Our digital investigation team at McCann ensures the continued privacy of your company’s important data by determining the source of the data breach and tracking down the perpetrator through our analysis of the digital trail that he or she left behind. All evidence we collect is done so in a manner consistent with laws in place so that the evidence can be deemed admissible for use in court. 



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