Reno software company develops niche in online forensics
Todd Shipley, a retired officer with the Reno Police Department, was working for a nonprofit where he taught law enforcement officers how to investigate online crimes.
After spending hours training officers from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, he grew frustrated with the lack of software to help them gather evidence from the Internet and present it in court.
A major forensics company rebuked his idea for upgraded software, so in February Shipley formed his own company, VereSoft.
Today VereSoft unveiled its first commercial product, WebCase. The software program identifies where and when a computer located something on the Internet a Web page, a chat session, or an IP address and collects and stores that data.
The software generates reports in a format that judges will accept as evidence.
“There are tools that can capture a Web site or image or record a chat session, but they are not intended for court purposes,” says Shipley, who helped start the computer crimes unit of the Reno Police Department before his retirement. “This side of the industry has been without any real emphasis.”
Shipley already has shown his software at trade shows and received a positive response. He has applied for a patent for the application.
“We are doing eight, nine or 10 things in one package, and nobody has done that,” he says.
Shipley says the biggest challenge to profitability is quickly reaching a wide segment of the market police officers, attorneys, private investigators to build a wave of interest in the product.
VereSoft rents office space at 1325 Airmotive Way and has a staff of 10 mostly contract employees scattered across four states. Even as the company grows, Shipley plans to remain a virtual company.
WebCase is the first of as many as 20 products that Shipley expects to release in the next five years under the VereSoft brand.
“We found a niche, and we are trying to fill in those things that are not being done by other companies,” he says. “Crime has just burgeoned in a place where there is a lack of controls. The Internet is free. It is open to everyone, and anyone can be there. Law enforcement has been grappling with methods to deal with this new crime for some time.”
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