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Evaluation of Security Methods for Ensuring the Integrity of Digital Evidence
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Innovations 2011  : 2011 International Conference on Innovations in Information Technology, Abu Dhabi: IEEE Computer Society, 2011, 220-225 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The omnipresence of e-services running on various instances of pervasive e-infrastructures that are fundamental to the contemporary information society generates an abundance of digital evidence. The evidence in a digital form stems from a myriad of sources ranging from stand alone computers and their volatile and non-volatile storages, to mobile small scale digital devices, network traffic, ever-present applications comprising social networks, ISP records, logs, Web pages, databases and both global and local information systems. The acquisition and the analysis of this evidence is crucial to understanding and functioning of the digital world, regardless of the positive or negative implications of the actions and the activities that generated the evidence. In the case of the later, when the evidence comes from illegal, illicit and malicious activities, the protection of digital evidence is of major concern for the law enforcement and legal institutions, namely for investigators and prosecutors. To protect the integrity of the digital evidence, a number of security methods are used. These methods differ in terms of performance, accuracy, security levels, computational complexity, potential errors and the statistical admissibility of the produced results, as well as the vulnerabilities to accidental or malicious modifications. The work presented deals with the evaluation of these security methods in order to study and understand their ”goodness” and suitability to protect the integrity of the digital evidence. The immediate outcome of the evaluation is a set of recommendations to be considered for selecting the right algorithm to protect integrity of the digital evidence in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abu Dhabi: IEEE Computer Society, 2011. 220-225 p.
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64340DOI: 10.1109/INNOVATIONS.2011.5893821ISBN: 978-1-4577-0311-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-64340DiVA: diva2:457220
Conference
International Conference on Innovations in Information Technology (IIT), Abu Dhabi, 25-27 April 2011
Available from: 2011-11-17 Created: 2011-11-17 Last updated: 2015-04-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Protecting the Integrity of Digital Evidence and Basic Human Rights During the Process of Digital Forensics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Protecting the Integrity of Digital Evidence and Basic Human Rights During the Process of Digital Forensics
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Scientific development and progress in the fields of computer science, information technology and their related disciplines, have transformed our world into a “digital world”. Omnipresent digital devices and e-services running on numerous versions of pervasive e-infrastructures generate a wealth of electronically stored information (ESI) from which we can extract a great deal of potential digital evidence.

Digital evidence is sometimes even more revealing than its traditional counterpart, but at the same time it is very fragile and volatile in nature. Preserving the integrity of digital evidence is therefore of major concern, especially when it comes from purportedly illegal, illicit and malicious activities. The acquisition and analysis of digital evidence are also crucial to the functioning of the digital world, regardless of the positive or negative implications of the actions and activities that generated the evidence. All stakeholders should have the right to be assured of the accuracy of the digital forensics process and the people involved in it. Currently they surrender these rights and have to trust the process and the individuals carrying it out. They do not have any guarantee that intentional or unintentional conduct or modification will not affect the outcome of the forensic process, which might compromise their other human rights as a consequence, such as their right to liberty and even their right to life. Protecting basic human rights by ensuring the correctness of the entire forensics process, and its output in the form of digital evidence, is thus a point of concern. The “right to a fair trial” given in Article 6 of the European Convention as an umbrella principle that affects the forensics process, is one example of the protection of basic human rights.

In digital forensics there are principles and models on the top (theoretical basis), acting as a platform on abstract and generic level, in the middle, there are policies and practices and at the bottom, there are technical procedures and techniques. During this research we worked to solve the above mentioned problems, concentrating on all three layers, by extending the abstract models, defining best practice, and by providing new technical procedures employing latest technology. Our work also helps to implement organisational policies.

The research was undertaken in two cycles, starting with an exploration of the theoretical basis and continuing to procedures and techniques. The methods used to preserve the integrity of digital evidence were explored and evaluated in the first cycle. A new technical model called PIDESC[1] was thus proposed. This can preserve the integrity of digital evidence by orchestrating both software- and hardware-based security solutions. The model was evaluated in terms of time and cost. The results suggest that the gains outweigh the additional cost and time. The increase in time is a constant negligible factor of only half a millisecond on average. In the next cycle we built on our knowledge and extended the theoretical basis on an abstract and generic level to preserve the integrity of digital evidence and to protect basic human rights as overarching umbrella principles (2PasU[2]). We then developed specific solutions, including a formal method to select the best mobile device forensics tool, and developed a guide for best practices to fulfil the requirements of preservation and protection. Finally, we mapped the solutions to the proposed extended model with 2PasU, putting all the research into its context in order to pave the way for future work in this domain.

[1] Protecting Digital Evidence Integrity by Using Smart Cards

[2] Preservation and Protection as Umbrella Principles

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2015. 116 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 15-010
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116581 (URN)978-91-7649-180-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-05, L50, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kissta, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 6: Submitted.

Available from: 2015-05-14 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2015-05-19Bibliographically approved

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