Forensic expert on Amero case talks publicly

Herb Horner, the forensic expert called in to testify on behalf of Julie Amero, has spoken out.

During the copy process we received several "Security Alerts!" from our antivirus program. We analyzed the activity log and noted that there were spyware/adware programs installed on the hard drive. We ran two other adware/spyware detection programs and more spyware/adware tracking cookie/programs were discovered. Out of the 42, 27 were accessed or modified days if not a month before October 19, 2004. We also noted that there was no firewall and there was an outdated antivirus program on the PC. The PC was being tracked before October 19, 2004 by adware and spyware.

We examined all internet related folders and files before October 19, 2004, during October 19, 2004 and after October 19, 2004. Most significantly, we noted,, and were being accessed


On October 19, 2004, around 8:00 A.M., Mr. Napp, the class' regular teacher logged on to the PC because Julie Amero being a substitute teacher did not have her own id and password. It makes sense that Mr. Napp told Julie not to logoff or shut the computer off, for if she did she and the students would not have access to the computer. The initial user continued use of the PC and accessed,,, and all between 8:06:14 - 8:08:03 AM. During the next few moments Julie retrieved her email

through AOL. was accessed at 8:14:24 A.M., based upon the hair style images uploaded to the PC we were led to believe that there were students using the computer to search out hair styles. The user went to at 8:35:27 A.M. The user continued accessing the original hair site and was directed to This site had pornographic links, pop-ups were then initiated by

There were additional pop-ups by,, and by 9:20:00 A.M., several java, aspx's and html scripts were uploaded. A click on the curlyhairstyles.htm icon on the site led to the execution of the curlyhairstyle script along with others that contained pornographic links and pop-ups. Once the aforementioned started, it would be very difficult even for an experienced user to extricate themselves from this situation of porn pop-ups and loops.

All of the jpg's that we looked at in the internet cache folders were of the 5, 6 and 15 kB size, very small images indeed. Normally, when a person goes to a pornographic website they are interested in the larger pictures of greater resolution and those jpgs would be at least 35 kB and larger. We found no

evidence of where this kind of surfing was exercised on October 19, 2004.

More here.