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Title: Digital Evidence Bags
Author: Turner, Philip Bryan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3539 5047
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis analyses the traditional approach and methodology used to conduct digital forensic information capture, analysis and investigation. The predominant toolsets and utilities that are used and the features that they provide are reviewed. This is used to highlight the difficulties that are encountered due to both technological advances and the methodologies employed. It is suggested that these difficulties are compounded by the archaic methods and proprietary formats that are used. An alternative framework for the capture and storage of information used in digital forensics is defined named the 'Digital Evidence Bag' (DEB). A DEB is a universal extensible container for the storage of digital information acquired from any digital source. The format of which can be manipulated to meet the requirements of the particular information that is to be stored. The format definition is extensible thereby allowing it to encompass new sources of data, cryptographic and compression algorithms and protocols as developed, whilst also providing the flexibility for some degree of backwards compatibility as the format develops. The DEB framework utilises terminology to define its various components that are analogous with evidence bags, tags and seals used for traditional physical evidence storage and continuity. This is crucial for ensuring that the functionality provided by each component is comprehensible by the general public, judiciary and law enforcement personnel without detracting or obscuring the evidential information contained within. Furthermore, information can be acquired from a dynamic or more traditional static environment and from a disparate range of digital devices. The flexibility of the DEB framework permits selective and/or intelligent acquisition methods to be employed together with enhanced provenance and continuity audit trails to be recorded. Evidential integrity is assured using accepted cryptographic techniques and algorithms. The DEB framework is implemented in a number of tool demonstrators and applied to a number of typical scenarios that illustrate the flexibility of the DEB framework and format. The DEB framework has also formed the basis of a patent application.
Supervisor: Duce, David ; Mitchell, Faye Sponsor: QinetiQ
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral