There is clearly a difference in the type of investigations and examinations being performed versus what are encountered in the public sector. The private sector examiner can be expected to provide evidence to private attorneys, corporations, private investigators, and corporate security departments.
With the global smartphone market expected to total 1.75 billion users this year, it is rare for...
Let’s be very clear before we go down the flasher box path, there is no replacement or...
Solid-state drives represent a new storage technology. They operate much faster compared to traditional hard drives. SSD drives employ a completely different way of storing information internally, which makes it much easier to destroy information and much more difficult to recover it.
Today’s world is becoming more and more mobile every day. In fact, 91% of all people own a mobile device and 56% own some type of smart device. It is no surprise that today there are more mobile devices on the earth than there are people! Equally impressive is that the amount of data we consume is becoming increasingly focused on mobile devices.
Network investigations can be far more difficult than a typical computer examination, even for an experienced digital forensics examiner, because there are many more events to assemble in order to understand the case and the tools do not do as much work for the examiner as traditional computer forensics tools.
The premise that an effective digital forensic examiner must be able to validate all of the tools that he or she uses is universally accepted in the digital forensic community. I have seen some less-educated members of the community champion a particularly insidious, and I will argue, invalid method of tool validation, often referred to as the two-tool validation method.
The digital forensics profession has endeavored to provide examiners with a framework within which the digital forensics examiner must not only recognize, classify, and manage ethical dilemmas, but also respect boundaries and honor obligations. This framework is the code of ethics. This article will continue the discussion from the last issue on the need for and contours of these codes.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon is affecting forensic data acquisition because it creates crossover between data that is controlled by an individual versus by a company. People are using their personal devices for work-related tasks because it can seem easier than trying to use typical work resources.
Studies have shown that individuals are notoriously bad at remembering details about past events. Without replenishing or review of perceptions, neural traces in the brain degrade and information is lost. This article will examine how the use of digital forensics can aid the legal profession with fact finding to support or refute eye witness testimony involving details of events.
By now most of you will have read about the Heartbleed bug, a major vulnerability in OpenSSL. Heartbleed results from improper input validation (due to a missing bounds check) in the implementation of the TLS heartbeat extension. Heartbleed presents an interesting forensic challenge because there is unlikely to be any indication that a data breach occurred.
In order to effectively investigate crimes involving social media, it is imperative that law enforcement understand “how” social media is stored, “where” such information is stored and found, and “how” to obtain such information using forensically sound procedures. Social media requires a different mind-set to traditional investigative and current forensic methodologies.
What happens when a smartphone is locked and unsupported by forensic tools? Flasher box, JTAG, or chip-off extraction methods become necessary. All three enable physical extraction — a logical examination cannot be performed on an unsupported locked device. However, even this capability can be limited.
Boot loaders are currently considered the most forensically sound physical extraction method. While they do involve loading a piece of code onto the device, this happens before the forensic tool accesses any evidentiary data.
For the digital crimes of today, specialists need to examine a much more complex environment. Investigators need to image digital media of a multitude of types: magnetic, solid-state, or optical, for example.
Apps, not just available for iPhone or Android but also through device vendors like Samsung, Nokia, and LG — as well as from mobile carriers like T-Mobile and retailers like Amazon — are a digital forensics challenge.
Probably the best approach for an examiner is to treat an SSD as any other piece of volatile evidence. Examiners would need to have a full understanding of SSD architecture and functionality and then rely on extensive documentation of their forensic methodology and procedures to (hopefully) successfully obtain and maintain the evidentiary value of any probative information gathered.