Digital Forensics Confirms JK Rowling Wrote Under a Pen Name

Computer forensic evidence

How did computer forensic analysts confirm suspicions that world-famous Harry Potter author was writing under a pen name? Robert Galbraith, an unknown British author, allegedly wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling. A tweet exchange, started by Judith Callegari, outed J.K. Rowling as the true author. How exactly did it happen, and what are some other, lesser known uses of computer forensic analysis?

Computer and Digital Forensics Confirms Suspicions That The Harry Potter Author Used a Pen Name

According to NPR, a top London newspaper “ran The Cuckoo’s Calling through forensic ‘stylometric’ software and found a strong match with Rowling’s Harry Potter books.” In other words, the digital software was able to pinpoint that Rowling and Galbraith had the tendency to use similar words and phrasing — and all while writing in a relatively consistent style. Rowling was reasonably upset about the incident, wishing to remain anonymous to receive unbiased critique. Rowling and her team sued the lawyer responsible for disclosing the information to Callegari and donated the profits to The Soldiers’ Charity.

Are Digital Forensic Services Used For Criminal Cases Only?

Experts agree; the answer to that question is a big no. Computer forensic analysis or digital forensic science is a rapidly growing field, and new applications keep coming out of the woodwork. In addition to criminal cases, lawyers also rely on digital and/or mobile evidence in family law and divorce cases. Texts, emails, and Facebook statuses help prove infidelity — or other similar transgressions — for example.

Experts also use the science to improve electronic and/or remote systems’ security. By assessing weak spots and what may have lead or contributed to viruses, developers can make improvements, develop security patches, and prevent future infractions.

Many people do not realize that computer forensic analysis is a rapidly expanding field — and it does not involve criminal cases only. Investigators can help improve security, get to the bottom of divorce cases, or even compare and contrasts writing samples to prove authorship. More information like this.

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