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  • Publication
    Digital Forensic Investigations in the Cloud: A Proposed Approach for Irish Law Enforcement
    Cloud computing offers utility oriented Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to users all over the world. The evolution of Cloud computing is driving the design of data centres by architecting them as networks of virtual services; this enables users to access and run applications from anywhere in the world. Cloud computing offers significant advantages to organisations through the provision of fast and flexible ICT hardware and software infrastructures, thus enabling organisations to focus on creating innovative business values for the services they provide.As the prevalence and usage of networked Cloud computer systems increases, logically the likelihood of these systems being used for criminal behaviour also increases. Thus, this new computing evolution has a direct effect on, and creates challenges for, digital forensic practitioners working in Irish law enforcement.The field of digital forensics has grown rapidly over the last decade due to the rise of the internet and associated crimes; however while the theory is well established, the practical application of the discipline is still new and developing. Law enforcement agencies can no longer rely on traditional digital forensic methods of data acquisition through device seizure to gather relevant evidence pertaining to an investigation. Using traditional digital forensic methods will lead to the loss of valuable evidential material if employed during investigations which involve Cloud based infrastructures.Cloud computing and its impact on digital forensics will continue to grow. This paper analyses traditional digital forensics methods and explains why these are inadequate for Cloud forensic investigations with particular focus on Irish law enforcement agencies. In this paper, we do a survey on approaches to digital forensics of Irish Law Enforcement Agencies for cloud based investigations and we propose a digital forensic framework approach to acquiring data from Cloud environments. This proposed approach aims to overcome the limitations of traditional digital forensics and the challenges Cloud computing presents for digital forensic practitioners working in Irish law enforcement.