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The Switch to Private Sector Digital Forensics

July 18, 2014 9:05 am | Articles | Comments

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.

Flasher Box or No Flasher Box?

July 11, 2014 9:27 am | Articles | Comments

Let’s be very clear before we go down the flasher box path, there is no replacement or...

SSD Evidence Issues

June 27, 2014 8:55 am | Articles | Comments

Solid-state drives represent a new storage technology. They operate much faster compared to...

Network Investigations

June 19, 2014 12:16 pm | by Gary C. Kessler and Matt Fasulo | Articles | Comments

Network investigations can be far more difficult than a typical computer examination, even for...

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Tool Validation

June 13, 2014 8:25 am | Articles | Comments

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.

Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

June 6, 2014 8:12 am | by Gary Torgersen | Articles | Comments

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. 

Unsupported Smartphone Extractions

June 3, 2014 8:53 am | Articles | Comments

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.

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Boot Loaders Produce Forensic Soundness

May 30, 2014 8:34 am | Articles | Comments

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.       

Evidence: Get It While You Can

May 23, 2014 8:46 am | Articles | Comments

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.            

No Forensics for Old Apps

May 16, 2014 10:45 am | Articles | Comments

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.         

Don't Get Burned by Prepaid Phones

May 9, 2014 9:38 am | Articles | Comments

Prepaid phones have been a problem for some time, and continue to be a problem for law enforcement in particular.                                       

Inspecting Metadata

April 25, 2014 8:40 am | by Daniel Cabezas and Bram Mooij | Articles | Comments

The term metadata is sometimes defined with the abstract expression: “data about data.” When any data is defined, described, or created, it can always be characterized in terms of similarities, structure, or related data.        

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Binary Files Analysis

April 18, 2014 8:40 am | by Daniel Cabezas and Bram Mooij | Articles | Comments

There are multiple techniques for comparing the code of two binaries, where none or only partial source code is present. A trivial way is to use a binary diffing utility. This utility is used in a similar way as plaintext code comparison listing.

Ropin' in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

April 11, 2014 8:54 am | by Gary Torgersen | Articles | Comments

Each social media platform is different, with unique code and variations. Each one runs on its own hardware and software platform, and some, such as Facebook, have even developed custom technology to run their sites. Because of that, each requires its own method of forensically collecting data. 

A Smartphone is Never Just a Smartphone

April 4, 2014 9:09 am | by Ronen Engler and Christa M. Miller | Articles | Comments

Vendors and operating systems can vary widely, particularly with Android, but also even within iOS and BlackBerry user groups. More than 40 iOS versions are commercially available, and are spread among six different iPhones, five iPads, and five iPod Touch devices.

Physical Memory Acquisition

March 28, 2014 8:15 am | by Dr. C Andras Moritz, Kristopher Carver, Jeff Gummeson | Articles | Comments

Once a password has been bypassed, an investigator has full access to the computer, allowing them to gather any evidence necessary, including the contents of the DRAM in the system. You can then use a PCI Express or ExpressCard device for memory acquisition.

Investigator Turns Eyewitness

March 21, 2014 8:21 am | by Benjamin Wright | Articles | Comments

In today’s world of social media, investigators are taking on a new role; they are becoming a form of eyewitness. As the eyewitness, an investigator observes evidence that might not be visible to any other available investigator. The investigator is wise to create a record of what he or she sees at any particular point in time, including print outs of screenshots.  

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Challenges in Smartphone Forensics: Passwords and Encryption

March 10, 2014 6:20 am | by Ronen Engler and Christa M. Miller | Cellebrite | Articles | Comments

Not only does data storage vary from device to device and OS to OS, but devices may also be passcode-protected and/or encrypted. iPhone passcodes fall into two categories: simple and complex. A mobile data extraction tool should be able to reveal a simple passcode automatically for most devices.

Education in Digital Forensics

March 7, 2014 8:36 am | by John J. Barbara | Articles | Comments

A question often asked is, “What education and training is necessary to work in digital forensics?” There is not one easy, simple answer to this question. First of all, an individual has to make a choice of career pathways, namely do they wish to work in the public sector or in the private sector. 

Plaintext Files Analysis

February 23, 2014 11:41 pm | Articles | Comments

Source code and text comparison is an established, well-known analysis technique. Using a program capable of simply listing file A in the left window and file B in the right window and highlighting the differences between each and every line, preferably in a different color, is frequently an easy way to detect copied text. Some of the more advanced analysis utilities can also compare, merge, and synchronize files and directories. 

The Need for a Faraday Bag

February 21, 2014 9:44 am | by Eamon P. Doherty | Articles | Comments

It is very important that the digital evidence be preserved from the time of seizure until it is presented as evidence in court. If evidence is suspected of being tampered with, it could be ruled as inadmissible in court. Therefore, it is important for CCEs to preserve digital evidence by using a Faraday bag and noting its usage on the chain of evidence form.

Smartphone Challenges: Prepaid Phones

February 7, 2014 10:10 am | Cellebrite | Articles | Comments

Prepaid phones have been a problem for some time, and continue to be a problem for law enforcement in particular. That’s because the disabled data port on these devices cannot be enabled, and vendors don’t make the devices’ APIs available to commercial forensic extraction tools’ developers.  

Take an Active Role When Working Cases with Attorneys

January 30, 2014 7:00 pm | Articles | Comments

These days a great deal more is required of an attorney before the motion for injunctive relief can be filed. You can help them meet their professional obligations by providing advice on the preliminary steps that need to be addressed to preserve electronically stored information. The attorney must first establish a litigation hold of all potentially relevant electronically stored information. 

Some Challenges to Preparing for Accreditation in Digital Forensics

January 23, 2014 7:00 pm | Digital Forensics Consulting, LLC | Articles | Comments

To attain ASCLD/LAB – International accreditation, a laboratory must achieve 100% compliance with every applicable clause in the accreditation requirements. Often overlooked is the fact that just about every sentence or lists of items in the accreditation requirements are ratable clauses to which the laboratory must demonstrate conformance.

A Good Case Management Workflow Is Crucial for Website Capture

January 16, 2014 6:46 pm | Articles | Comments

Good case management workflow for website capture should include researching the suspect company background and website, identifing necessary resources required for the project, initiating and executing the project, and reporting and testimony.

Apply Locard's Exchange Principle to Digital Forensics

January 9, 2014 7:00 pm | Articles | Comments

Locard’s Exchange Principle is often cited in forensics publications, “Every contact leaves a trace.” In the cyber world, the perpetrator may or may not come in physical contact with the crime scene, thus, this brings a new facet to crime scene analysis.

GPS Evidence

December 19, 2013 7:00 pm | Articles | Comments

Trackpoints are the Holy Grail in GPS forensics. They are the electronic breadcrumb trail that tells an investigator exactly where and when the device was in a specific location. With trackpoints, criminal acts can be pinpointed down to almost the exact second a crime was committed.

Expert Report Writing: Know Your Audience

December 19, 2013 7:00 pm | Articles | Comments

In writing your report you need to keep in mind the likely reader or readers. If technical explanations are required, you need to provide interpretations of the technical matters in lay terms that all of the people reading your report can understand. Define technical terms in the body of the report or with footnotes. 

Effective Courtroom Testimony: Trick Questions

December 19, 2013 7:00 pm | Articles | Comments

Cross-examination can be very tricky and quickly make you appear to be feeble minded. There are two types of questions often asked to catch you off guard, whereby attempting to discredit your testimony. Once you have deciphered which type of question you are being asked, thoroughly think through your answer before speaking, and then answer with confidence.  

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