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Departments : Computers & Software

TrueActive Monitor 5.0

This software tracks criminals’ computer activity in real time.

September 01, 2004  |  by Bob Davis

Last month I told you about forensic software that helps you find out how criminals have already used their computers. This month, let's look at a product from TrueActive Software that allows you to conduct live PC surveillance to find out how people are using their computers as they act. It's called TrueActive Monitor 5.0, or "TAM."

This Windows-based computer monitoring software used to be called WinWhatWhere Investigator. The company changed the name of the software (as well as the company name) to TrueActive due to some confusion. Name change or not, the software comes with a successful law enforcement track record over the past five years and, at about $100 for a license, it's affordable enough for most agencies.

TrueActive Monitor, true to its name, monitors all PC activities on a computer it's been installed on, including any programs running; keystrokes made; and files altered, created, deleted, moved, or renamed. In fact, its "live monitoring" will let you "see" screen captures by activating its customizable setup where you can set screen capture periods anywhere from once every second to once a day.

Another tool in TrueActive's setup bag of tricks is stealth e-mail. Want to be notified of an action or event that you want to watch happen? Just set the stealth e-mail to send a message indicating that activity to any valid e-mail recipient via the Web. The data can be sent whenever an Internet connection is made or on a timed basis. Just remember the obvious: the PC you're monitoring must have e-mail access first if TrueActive is going to secretly notify you.

Other options include administrative password protection, reporting modules, choice of a user-defined or pre-defined selection list of activities to monitor, Web page password capturing, and video capturing if a camera is attached to the computer.

Additionally, if the site you are monitoring is networked, TrueActive has a solution for you. Its "network manager" permits you to install, monitor, edit the setup, and start and stop monitoring remotely with a simple-to-understand user interface that indicates the status of each program installation as well as the PC's name and who is logged on to it.

So when you find yourself forced to work within a foreign I.T. department, you won't necessarily have to visit the PC you want to monitor. It can be handled remotely, if the appropriate directory services are in place, from anywhere within its network cloud. The significant benefit with this feature is the fewer people involved with your surveillance, the better.

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