Digital forensics: an integrated approach for the investigation of cyber/computer related crimes
AuthorsHewling, Moniphia Orlease
SubjectsG900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
computer related crime
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractDigital forensics has become a predominant field in recent times and courts have had to deal with an influx of related cases over the past decade. As computer/cyber related criminal attacks become more predominant in today’s technologically driven society the need for and use of, digital evidence in courts has increased. There is the urgent need to hold perpetrators of such crimes accountable and successfully prosecuting them. The process used to acquire this digital evidence (to be used in cases in courts) is digital forensics. The procedures currently used in the digital forensic process were developed focusing on particular areas of the digital evidence acquisition process. This has resulted in very little regard being made for the core components of the digital forensics field, for example the legal and ethical along with other integral aspects of investigations as a whole. These core facets are important for a number of reasons including the fact that other forensic sciences have included them, and to survive as a true forensics discipline digital forensics must ensure that they are accounted for. This is because, digital forensics like other forensics disciplines must ensure that the evidence (digital evidence) produced from the process is able to withstand the rigors of a courtroom. Digital forensics is a new and developing field still in its infancy when compared to traditional forensics fields such as botany or anthropology. Over the years development in the field has been tool centered, being driven by commercial developers of the tools used in the digital investigative process. This, along with having no set standards to guide digital forensics practitioners operating in the field has led to issues regarding the reliability, verifiability and consistency of digital evidence when presented in court cases. Additionally some developers have neglected the fact that the mere mention of the word forensics suggests courts of law, and thus legal practitioners will be intimately involved. Such omissions have resulted in the digital evidence being acquired for use in various investigations facing major challenges when presented in a number of cases. Mitigation of such issues is possible with the development of a standard set of methodologies flexible enough to accommodate the intricacies of all fields to be considered when dealing with digital evidence. This thesis addresses issues regarding digital forensics frameworks, methods, methodologies and standards for acquiring digital evidence using the grounded theory approach. Data was gathered using literature surveys, questionnaires and interviews electronically. Collecting data using electronic means proved useful when there is need to collect data from different jurisdictions worldwide. Initial surveys indicated that there were no existing standards in place and that the terms models/frameworks and methodologies were used interchangeably to refer to methodologies. A framework and methodology have been developed to address the identified issues and represent the major contribution of this research. The dissertation outlines solutions to the identified issues and presents the 2IR Framework of standards which governs the 2IR Methodology supported by a mobile application and a curriculum of studies. These designs were developed using an integrated approach incorporating all four core facets of the digital forensics field. This research lays the foundation for a single integrated approach to digital forensics and can be further developed to ensure the robustness of process and procedures used by digital forensics practitioners worldwide.
CitationHewling, M.O. (2013) 'Digital forensics: an integrated approach for the investigation of cyber/computer related crimes'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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