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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Sainsbury

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?