It has now reached the point that it is no longer practical for an examiner to forensically analyze each and every piece of evidence. Depending upon the alleged crime, often the incriminating evidence can be found in an e-mail, a document, the browser history, an SMS, or some other source. This leads to the obvious conclusion that examiners are going to need a new approach to streamline their workflow.
Triaging a computer can be a methodology to avoid many issues inherent with “pulling the plug.”...
With the global smartphone market expected to total 1.75 billion users this year, it is rare for...
Digital forensic science is not a matter of recovering a file that proves somebody’s guilt; it is about wading through hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of a wide variety of digital artifacts and making very pointed critical judgments about which provide some sort of inculpatory or exculpatory evidence relevant to the case.
Realistically, Live RAM analysis has its limitations, lots of them. Many types of artifacts stored in the computer’s volatile memory are ephemeral. While information about running processes will not disappear until they are finished, remnants of recent chats, communications, and other user activities may be overwritten with other content any moment the operating system demands yet another memory block.
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.
The incredible amount of data being produced by individuals, industries, and governments continues to increase yearly along with the demand for greater archival storage capacities. Alternative storage technologies are already under development and they may eventually replace the conventional HDD for data storage.
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.