Now showing 1 - 10 of 53
  • Publication
    Enabling the remote acquisition of digital forensic evidence through secure data transmission and verification
    (University College Dublin. School of Computer Science  , 2009) ;
    Providing the ability to any law enforcement officer to remotely transfer an image from any suspect computer directly to a forensic laboratory for analysis, can only help to greatly reduce the time wasted by forensic investigators in conducting on-site collection of computer equipment. RAFT (Remote Acquisition Forensic Tool) is a system designed to facilitate forensic investigators by remotely gathering digital evidence. This is achieved through the implementation of a secure, verifiable client/server imaging architecture. The RAFT system is designed to be relatively easy to use, requiring minimal technical knowledge on behalf of the user. One of the key focuses of RAFT is to ensure that the evidence it gathers remotely is court admissible. This is achieved by ensuring that the image taken using RAFT is verified to be identical to the original evidence on a suspect computer.
      329
  • Publication
    Leveraging Decentralisation to Extend the Digital Evidence Acquisition Window: Case Study on BitTorrent Sync
    (Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law, 2014) ; ; ;
    File synchronization services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, etc., are becoming increasingly popular in today's always-connected world. A popular alternative to the aforementioned services is BitTorrent Sync. This is a decentralized/cloudless file synchronization service and is gaining significant popularity among Internet users with privacy concerns over where their data is stored and who has the ability to access it. The focus of this paper is the remote recovery of digital evidence pertaining to files identified as being accessed or stored on a suspect's computer or mobile device. A methodology for the identification, investigation, recovery and verification of such remote digital evidence is outlined. Finally, a proof-of-concept remote evidence recovery from BitTorrent Sync shared folder highlighting a number of potential scenarios for the recovery and verification of such evidence.
      171
  • Publication
    Private Web Browser Forensics: A Case Study on Epic Privacy Browser
    (Journal of Information Warfare, 2018-03) ; ;
    Organized crime, as well as individual criminals, are benefiting from the protection of private browsers to carry out illegal activity, such as money laundering, drug trafficking, the online exchange of child abuse material, etc. Epic Privacy Browser is one common example. It is currently in use in approximately 180 countries worldwide. In this paper, we outline the location and type of evidence available through live and post-mortem state analysis of the Epic Privacy Browser. This analysis identifies how the browser functions during use and where evidence can be recovered after use, the tools, and effective presentation of the recovered material.
      713
  • Publication
    An Analytical Approach to the Recovery of Data from 3rd Party Proprietary CCTV File Systems
    According to recent predictions, the global video surveillance market is expected to reach $42.06 billion annually by 2020. The market is extremely fragmented with only around 40% of the market being accounted for by the 15 top video surveillance equipment suppliers as in an annual report issued by IMS Research. The remaining market share was split amongst the numerous other smaller companies who provide CCTV solutions, usually at lower prices than their brand name counterparts. This cost cutting generally results in a lower specification of components. Recently, an investigation was undertaken in relation to a serious criminal offence, of which significant video footage had been captured on a CCTV DigitalVideo Recorder (DVR). The unit was setup to save the last 31 days of footage to an internal hard drive. However, despite the referenced footage being within this timeframe, it could not be located. The DVR unit was submitted for forensic examination anddata retrieval of specified video footage which, according to the proprietary video backup application, was not retrievable. In this paper, we present the process and method of the forensic retrieval of video footage from a DVR. The objective of this method is to retrieve the oldest video footage possible from a proprietary designed file storage system. We also evaluate our approach with a Ganz CCTV DVR system model C-MPDVR-16 to show that the file system of a DVR has been reversed engineering with no initial knowledge, application or documentation available.
      1530
  • Publication
    Network Investigation Methodology for BitTorrent Sync: A Peer-to-Peer Based File Synchronisation Service
    High availability is no longer just a business continuity concern. Users are increasingly dependant on devices that consume and produce data in ever increasing volumes. A popular solution is to have a central repository which each device accesses after centrally managed authentication. This model of use is facilitated by cloud based file synchronisation services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Apple iCloud. Cloud architecture allows the provisioning of storage space with 'always-on' access. Recent concerns over unauthorised access to third party systems and large scale exposure of private data have made an alternative solution desirable. These events have caused users to assess their own security practices and the level of trust placed in third party storage services. One option is BitTorrent Sync, a cloudless synchronisation utility provides data availability and redundancy. This utility replicates files stored in shares to remote peers with access controlled by keys and permissions. While lacking the economies brought about by scale, complete control over data access has made this a popular solution. The ability to replicate data without oversight introduces risk of abuse by users as well as difficulties for forensic investigators. This paper suggests a methodology for investigation and analysis of the protocol to assist in the control of data flow across security perimeters.
      667Scopus© Citations 15
  • Publication
    BitTorrent Sync: First Impressions and Digital Forensic Implications
    With professional and home Internet users becoming increasingly concerned with data protection and privacy, the privacy afforded by popular cloud file synchronisation services, such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, is coming under scrutiny in the press. A number of these services have recently been reported as sharing information with governmental security agencies without warrants. BitTorrent Sync is seen as an alternative by many and has gathered over two million users by December 2013 (doubling since the previous month). The service is completely decentralised, offers much of the same synchronisation functionality of cloud powered services and utilises encryption for data transmission (and optionally for remote storage). The importance of understanding BitTorrent Sync and its resulting digital investigative implications for law enforcement and forensic investigators will be paramount to future investigations. This paper outlines the client application, its detected network traffic and identifies artefacts that may be of value as evidence for future digital investigations.
      416Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Improving the accuracy of automated facial age estimation to aid CSEM investigations
    The investigation of violent crimes against individuals, such as the investigation of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM), is one of the more commonly encountered criminal investigation types throughout the world. While hash lists of known CSEM content are commonly used to identify previously encountered material on suspects’ devices, previously unencountered material requires expert, manual analysis and categorisation. The discovery, analysis, and categorisation of these digital images and videos has the potential to be significantly expedited with the use of automated artificial intelligence (AI) based techniques. Intelligent, automated evidence processing and prioritisation has the potential to aid investigators in alleviating some of the digital evidence backlogs that have become commonplace worldwide. In order for AI-aided CSEM investigations to be beneficial, the fundamental question when analysing multimedia content becomes “how old is each subject encountered?’’. Our work presents the evaluation of existing cloud-based and offline age estimation services, introduces our deep learning model, DS13K, which was created with a VGG-16 Deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architecture, and develops an ensemble technique that improves the accuracy of underage facial age estimation. In addition to our model, a number of existing services including Amazon Rekognition, Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, How-Old.net, and Deep Expectation (DEX) were used to create an ensemble learning technique. It was found that for the borderline adulthood age range (i.e., 16–17 years old), our DS13K model substantially outperformed existing services, achieving a performance accuracy of 68%. A comparative examination of the obtained results allowed us to identify performance trends and issues inherent to each service/tool and develop ensemble techniques to improve the accuracy of automated adulthood determination.
      18
  • Publication
    An Analysis of BitTorrent Cross-Swarm Peer Participation and Geolocational Distribution
    (IEEE, 2014-08-07) ;
    Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. In 2012, it was reported that P2P traffic consumed over 5,374 petabytes per month, which accounted for approximately 20.5% of consumer internet traffic. TV is the popular content type on The Pirate Bay (the world's largest BitTorrent indexing website). In this paper, an analysis of the swarms of the most popular pirated TV shows is conducted. The purpose of this data gathering exercise is to enumerate the peer distribution at different geolocational levels, to measure the temporal trend of the swarm and to discover the amount of cross-swarm peer participation. Snapshots containing peer related information involved in the unauthorised distribution of this content were collected at a high frequency resulting in a more accurate landscape of the total involvement. The volume of data collected throughout the monitoring of the network exceeded 2 terabytes. The presented analysis and the results presented can aid in network usage prediction, bandwidth provisioning and future network design.
      604Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Evaluating Automated Facial Age Estimation Techniques for Digital Forensics
    In today's world, closed circuit television, cellphone photographs and videos, open-source intelligence (i.e., social media/web data mining), and other sources of photographic evidence are commonly used by police forces to identify suspects and victims of both online and offline crimes. Human characteristics, such as age, height, weight, gender, hair color, etc., are often used by police officers and witnesses in their description of unidentified suspects. In certain circumstances, the age of the victim can result in the determination of the crime's categorization, e.g., child abuse investigations. Various automated machine learning-based techniques have been implemented for the analysis of digital images to detect soft biometric traits, such as age and gender, and thus aid detectives and investigators in progressing their cases. This paper documents an evaluation of existing cognitive age prediction services. The evaluative and comparative analysis of the various services was conducted to identify trends and issues inherent to their performance. One significant contributing factor impeding the accurate development of the services investigated is the notable lack of sufficient sample images in specific age ranges, i.e., underage and elderly. To overcome this issue, a dataset generator was developed, which harnesses collections of several unbalanced datasets and forms a balanced, curated dataset of digital images annotated with their corresponding age and gender.
      8Scopus© Citations 20
  • Publication
    Deduplicated Disk Image Evidence Acquisition and Forensically-Sound Reconstruction
    The ever-growing backlog of digital evidence waiting for analysis has become a significant issue for law enforcement agencies throughout the world. This is due to an increase in the number of cases requiring digital forensic analysis coupled with the increasing volume of data to process per case. This has created a demand for a paradigm shift in the method that evidence is acquired, stored, and analyzed. The ultimate goal of the research presented in this paper is to revolutionize the current digital forensic process through the leveraging of centralized deduplicated acquisition and processing approach. Focusing on this first step in digital evidence processing, acquisition, a system is presented enabling deduplicated evidence acquisition with the capability of automated, forensically-sound complete disk image reconstruction. As the number of cases acquired by the proposed system increases, the more duplicate artifacts will be encountered, and the more efficient the processing of each new case will become. This results in a time saving for digital investigators, and provides a platform to enable non-expert evidence processing, alongside the benefits of reduced storage and bandwidth requirements.
      21Scopus© Citations 7