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Focusing on Data and Fact with less Hype

Jon Shende

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Within the realms of digital forensics analysts traditionally performed analysis on static data, either from a core dump, bit to bit imaging etc. Recently we have seen an increased focus directed at the live forensics environment. As users rely more on mobile and other remote devices to access data on demand; data possibly held in some manner of cloud environment, investigators will have to adapt their mode of investigations to suit. I recall reading a marketing pitch a while aback where some vendor claimed that an advantage of Cloud Computing is, an ability to conduct live forensics without disrupting mission critical systems. How effective this claim may be, is subject to examination. According to Brian Carrier - "The only difference between a live and a dead analysis is the reliability of the results; a live analysis techniques use software that existed on the sys... (more)

Identity Management in Cloud Computing

Web-services research and protocol applications have been around and in use for quite some time now. With the potential Capex and Opex savings enterprises can potentially realise from utilizing a cloud computing service model, there should also be added focus on ensuring that security is properly implemented either in authentication or authorization. Cloud Computing, with its foundation in the world of virtualization, can take advantage of key aspects of web service implementations and security practice; but only to a point. Web service policies are based on a static model that ... (more)

Live Forensics and the Cloud

Cloud Computing offers a sense of "vastness" in terms of storage and remote processing. According to Simpson Garfinkil, a major challenge to any digital forensics investigator investigating data within the cloud; can be an inability to locate or identify data or code that is lost when single data structures are split into elements. This in effect directly impacts forensic visibility. Within this ecosystem a major concern can be access to and the preservation of data within an on-going digital forensic investigation. Of consideration as mentioned in Part 1 - is that in a live and ... (more)

The Impact of the Cloud on Digital Forensics - Part 1

Digital Forensics is not an elephant, it is a process and not just one process, but a group of tasks and processes in investigation. Examiners now perform targeted examinations using forensic tools and databases of known files, selecting specific files and data types for review while ignoring files of irrelevant type and content. Despite the application of sophisticated tools, the forensic process still relies on the examiner's knowledge of the technical aspects of the specimen and understanding of the case and the law - Mark Pollitt. As has been established from articles by var... (more)

The Impact of the Cloud on Digital Forensics - Part 2

As mentioned in  Part 1 of this article, one of my functions is to research current and up and coming solutions within the technology realm, particularly that of distributed computing and cloud computing. It is a strong possibility that malicious users will eventually identify and exploit potential flaws within the cloud computing model. CSPs, in their pursuit to secure market share may have underestimated the possibilities of attack and misuse of their cloud resources by a malicious user or users. The likelihood that the creation, storage, processing and distribution of illicit ... (more)