Israel PalestineMissions OperationsReport

Tommi Rautanen: a geek in Ramallah

Tommi Rautanen, Finnish cybercrime expert at EUPOL COPPS mission, Ramallah
Tommi Rautanen, cybercrime expert at EUPOL COPPS, Ramallah © JB / B2

(BRUSSELS2 to Ramallah). Tommi Rautanen arrived in Ramallah a month ago. His mission within the European mission EUPOL COPPS: to show his Palestinian colleagues how to make a computer talk, make him swallow...

Because at 44, Tommi is still a real geek. A XNUMXst century policeman, keen on computer technologies whose knowledge has no borders. A passionate who has "played all his life with computers". A meticulous job he has been doing since 2002 at the Finnish National Police Investigation Bureau. Almost fifteen years of career that he exercises “always with great pleasure” and that he comes to put to good use on Palestinian land.

This is not his first mission abroad. He has been around a bit: on a peacekeeping mission, in Lebanon in 1994-1995 and in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996-1997. “I have a little knowledge of this region from my experience in Lebanon”, explains Rautanen that I managed... to extract for a few minutes from these computers. Even my presence seems to have less appeal than a good old peeled PC, ready to give up the ghost...

Cybercrime training requested by Palestinians

His presence here is not unexpected. It was the unit of the Palestinian police specializing in cybercrime that requested the arrival of a computer specialist. Objective: to be able to train to modern cybercrime and data mining techniques. A real novelty...

Do not corrupt...

These actions have a very concrete objective in terms of the judicial police: to extract computer data from a computer or a mobile phone without to bribe - as the police say -, which then allows them to be used as evidence in court. It's unstoppable. But some precautions still need to be taken. “You have to do all the necessary steps, document everything carefully. Data mining is important but most of the work is done in the lab. »

In a computer everything is volatile

With him, we discover the journey of the geek-policeman... “In a computer, everything is very volatile. Normally you deal with copies, not the original versions on hard drives. The first step is to make a plan. It takes real practice to know how to deal with the evidence (without compromising it). The way to do this varies if the computer is off or on. » We talk about 'living' proof when the computer is on. “You then have to document the entire procedure chosen. When everything is ready at the crime scene, we collect the equipment untilà our laboratory. This is where most of our evidence work is done. We then present what we have recovered to the investigators. Finally, everything is notified in a report which can be presented to the Court”. 

The work remains to be done but the motivation is there

For the Palestinians, " it's new. They are at the very beginning of cybercrime. I help them daily by giving them the knowledge and equipment to carry out their work. I assist them. I have been working with engineers for two weeks. It's great to work with them” he enthuses. “They are very professional, highly motivated guys with a real desire to learn. It's really nice to work here”. 

And after a month of mission...

...the Palestinian police were able to extract data from a computer in an ongoing criminal case. A small revolution! “The computer was broken. But the hard drive remained intact. We have been ables to extract information. It will be impossible to know more, even by insisting a little. " I do not to tell you more about the case. For me, everything is encrypted, since it is in Arabic,” he jokes.

(Johanna Bouquet)

B2 Writing

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