Uni to develop computer forensics standards to help cops nab crims

Government grant to fund new nation-wide standards

Researchers from the University of South Australia are aiding police in the fight against online crime by developing a set of forensic computing standards.

With the help of an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant to the value of $500 000, Associate Research Professor Jill Slay and two of her PhD students expect to have the criteria set by the end of 2009.

The standards will allow law enforcers to validate evidence gathered from computers. Presently, the lack of standards means that the reliability of software used to draw evidence from a suspect's computer can be questioned in court. "Computer forensics has grown as an art, not a science" Professor Slay said. "It is currently a product, not standards driven area."

Once developed, the computer forensics standards will allow software developers to create their own forensics tools, and by testing them against the criteria, legally demonstrate that the evidence extracted through the tools is reliable.

According to Professor Slay, this means that by following the benchmarks, the police will be able to present files taken from a computer to a court, and demonstrate how the forensic tools used explain how the file got onto the computer. This will help to scientifically separate the genuine claims of Trojan placement of files from a false use of the defence in a manner the courts can accept as reliable.

The idea for the research came into fruition when one of Professor Slay's students needed to test some forensic tools, only to discover there was no point of reference to validate the success of the tools.

Currently there are no similar standards existing elsewhere in the world.

Professor Slay explained that while millions of dollars has been spent on research in the US, American forensics standards are not yet complete. This is despite a great deal of literature on the subject stating the importance of developing standards.

For the research, Professor Slay is working with the National Institute of Forensic Science, the NSW Police State Electronic Evidence Branch, the Australian Federal Police and the South Australian Police. Once finalised, the standards will be used Australia-wide, by both the state and federal police, as well as other bodies with the power to seize computers, such as the Australian Tax Office and Customs.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Sainsbury

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?