Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 2014

December is as always a busy month at the beginning and then the last part is more quiet, with the holiday season. When I look back on this month, we had a very good meeting in Tallinn, Estonia for our ENFSI IT Working group. Investigation methods on forensic data science as well as methods for digital investigation are worthwhile exploring.

For the journal Digital Investigation we have a new call for paper on big data and intelligent analysis, where Katrin Franke and I are guest editors of this edition.

Special Issue on Big Data and Intelligent Data Analysis

The Journal of Digital Investigation covers cutting edge developments in digital forensics and incident response from around the globe.
We welcome submissions for a special issue on big data and intelligent data analysis.
The issue will focus on the challenges presented to digital forensics and incident response in big data and intelligent data analysis.

We seek submissions including case studies, practitioner reports of what works in practice, survey articles covering state-of-the-art and future needs, objective tool reviews, and relevant legal analysis als on privacy concerns. We are also looking for work that proposes possible normalization and standardization in this area.
Deadline for submissions is 15 March 2015.

Visit the journal page for more information and to contribute to this special issue.

The amount of data in an average case of digital evidence is growing rapidly. When large amounts of data have to be examined, ranging from log files  to huge amounts of multimedia files from servers and other sources such as smart phones, intelligent data analysis is necessary to interpret the data.

This issue will cover big data and intelligent data analysis on :

- Digital evidence examination with big data solutions such as Hadoop
- Analyzing large amounts of log files from botnets

- Interpretation of forensic  data with intelligent data analysis

- Issues and solutions for storing and backups of Petabytes of information
- Methods for faster indexing of huge amounts of data

- Methods for presenting large amounts of data to the court / visualisation methods
- Aspects of privacy protection related to processing big data

In an effort to increase understanding and advance the state of the art, this special issue is dedicated to presenting the varying views regarding big data and intelligent data analysis from a forensic perspective

Submit a case study, survey paper, tool review, or other contribution on big data and intelligent data analysis now.

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 2014

It is a month with some casework, and some new developments. As program manager big data and cyber forensics we see many new challenges coming in. The variety of devices is growing each day, and of course many new forensic products are developed. Also attention on devices such as smart TVs, drones, medical devices even robot vacuum cleaners with many sensors that store data are of interest to the forensic community.

In the week of 18 November we have the yearly ENFSI Forensic IT Working group in Tallinn, Estonia. As chairman of this working group, I am looking forward to the presentations and the collaboration with CEPOL. I hope there will be some results of collaborative exercises also. One of the documents that is of interest how to include Bayesian conclusions in the Forensic IT working group. Discussions include how to determine the Likehood Ratio and how to determine priors in more complex crime scenes.  Validation and testing of forensic software and error, uncertainty and loss in digital evidence remain topics for discussion.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 2014

The words that I use most often in this blog are visualised in this picture

This month the olympic games of forensic sciences as IAFS calls themselves was held in Seoul, Korea. Many good presentations and a good networking opportunity. This time I gave a presentation on forensic multimedia analytics at the AAFS-session. It was very well organized, and of course I used the opportunity to buy a Korean smartphone.

Spui 25 in Amsterdam organized a debate on big data and forensic science (I was one of the persons on the panel), where also the privacy aspects of investigation where discussed with bits of Freedom.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 2014

Some month with casework, planning and several meetings. For the ENFSI Forensic IT Working group we were working on updating the best practice guide. Nice discussions about forensic validation of software. The issue with a generic validation is that it takes a long time since software develops in the mean time, as we can see with the NIST computer forensic tool program, which is very useful for the methodology and results .

For that reason within the quality system to do also a validation per case (and of course methods that NIST uses can be used to assist this). It is also good to see that Digital Evidence in the United States also has a OSAC (Organization of Scientific Area Committee).

For ENFSI I am also looking forward to the meeting in Tallinn in November, partly combined with CEPOL. Also in October the IAFS is having its meeting in Seoul, so I will give a short paper on digital and multimedia sciences.

In the meantime DFRWS EU version in Dublin is approaching, and it is good to see that there appear to be many submissions.

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 2014

Magazine CoverThis month had a wide variety of tasks from casework to administrative tasks. A short vacation and some more work on writing project proposals as well as working on several methods. Just looking to new developments on big data and using real time processing with Hadoop . Of course when talking about big data, privacy issues should also be mentioned. Currently we are working on a call for papers on big data and intelligent data analysis in the journal Digital Investigation.The IEEE Spectrum magazine even has written an article on the collapse of internet privacy.,

Also busy with reviewing best practice guides for ENFSI on Digital Imaging and on Forensic IT. Interesting discussions on validating software in ISO 17025 and testing the software.

New developments for me are that I am appointed per September 1st for one day a week as professor at the University of Amsterdam in Forensic Data Sciences by special appointment at the Informatics Institute. Also I am honored to be nominated as vice president at the American Academy of Forensic Science.

The next DFRWS-EU conference will be held in Dublin from 23 to 26 March 2015, so the call for papers is ready now.

Friday, July 04, 2014

July 2014

It is time to prepare abstracts and workshop proposal for the AAFS meeting in Orlando, since they have to be submitted before August 1st. Several thoughts on forensic science in a few years also with the Theoretical Forensic Science (aka Think Tank) of the Forensic Science Foundation where of course the topics such as nanotechnology, programmable matter, 3D printing, aspects of cybercrime on wearable devices, drone forensics and many opportunities which might impact forensic science as such are discussed and a workshop is proposed. There are several grants, scholarschips and awards available for research in forensic science, within the Forensic Science Foundation, and of course one can also contribute on line.

It appears infographics work much better than words often, so Elice Cooper asked me to include the forensic nursing infographics this time.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 2014

The DFRWS EU  in Amsterdam  was well attended with several excellent presentations and workshops ranging from issues with cybercrime, analysis of big data and intelligent data analysis and new developments for reducing backlogs in digital forensic labs. Also a good networking opportunity. I am looking forward to next years meeting in Dublin.

Furthermore this month I went to a meeting of the project ASSERT on social impact analysis where challenging forensic projects were discussed. Many interesting discussions on ethical and social issues within these projects.

Also I have a guest lecture at the University of Amsterdam, in the track Cybercrime and security, where we also have several projects proposals submitted.  

Sunday, April 06, 2014

April 2014

Within forensic science there is more attention given to errors as such, as was also discussed within the NAS-report on Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States. Currently we see more publications within the forensic literature, for example Christensen urges that forensic scientists clearly communicate the different type of errors in forensic science such as :
- measurement uncertainties
- variations
- interobserver errors
- mistakes

Also different labs report on their website on these errors. Also Ate Kloosterman and colleagues discussed methods of reporting the errors in a workshop at the American Academy of Forensic Science in 2014.

Currently I also have projects that students work on, ranging from forensic implications of 3D-printers, to camera identification, stego-analysis and forensic feet comparison, and of course some casework were I work on. In quiet periods I do most casework, and currently some on camera identification. As program manager of Forensic Big Data and Intelligent Data Analysis it is good to see that much research within this field is going on. We focus on privacy, transparency and security in the design of these systems.

I also went to London for a meeting on updating the Forensic IT Best practice guide, which should also cover issues with cloud computing and cyber crime related investigations.

The First DFWRS EU conference is approaching, I am looking forward to this event in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Forensic investigation of botnets

Currently forensic investigations of cybercrime attacks get more interest, it is expected that more cases are brought to court.  However, they are often difficult to investigate due to their international nature and that they are getting more sophisticated 
A methodology for forensic investigations of botnets

Click image to see a larger versionThe Zombie Computer InfographicThe Zombie Computer Infographic via Bluehost

Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 2014

February is always a nice month, with the conference of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Seattle as one of the main event. With over 3400 participants it was an excellent event. This time I had two presentations in the scientific session, one on camera identification on social networks and one on forensic hand comparison together with my colleagues. Two workshops that I moderated and also two presentations in the workshops on 3D-methods and biometric facial systems.

My colleagues presented on evaluation of errors in DNA analysis. It was interesting to see that human errors in DNA reporting and handling of the evidence contribute to most of the known errors. They also compared it to other labs, however of forensic labs not many publications on this are available yet. Also with many checks in the system, still reporting is one of the important sources of error, so it is always good to keep this in mind and improve the system.

As Trustee of the Forensic Science Foundation, I see that more attention is given to international participants, all of them are open to international participants and there is even the new Henry Lee scholarship especially designed for international participants.

Also forensic cloud computing had many papers this time, and this is certainly good since it requires another methodology for digital evidence.

On 10 February the European Commission a meeting at the European Commission on EC3,‎ the European cybercrime center. Also an event for networking for the ENFSI Forensic IT Working group. It was good to see much interest in the topic here.