Attack Outline for Corporations Law

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					Digital Forensics

  Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham
The University of Texas at Dallas


        October 25, 2007
Outline

  Introduction
  Applications
    - Law enforcement, Human resources, Other
  Services
  Benefits
  Using the evidence
  Conclusion
Digital Forensics

  Digital forensics is about the investigation of crime including
   using digital/computer methods
  More formally: “Digital forensics, also known as computer
   forensics, involved the preservation, identification, extraction,
   and documentation of computer evidence stored as data or
   magnetically encoded information”, by John Vacca
  Digital evidence may be used to analyze cyber crime (e.g.
   Worms and virus), physical crime (e.g., homicide) or crime
   committed through the use of computers (e.g., child
   pornography)
Relationship to Intrusion Detection, Firewalls,
Honeypots

  They all work together with Digital forensics techniques
  Intrusion detection
    - Techniques to detect network and host intrusions
  Firewalls
    - Monitors traffic going to and from and organization
  Honeypots
    - Set up to attract the hacker or enemy; Trap
  Digital forensics
    - Once the attack has occurred or crime committed need to
      decide who committed the crime
Computer Crime

  Computers are attacked – Cyber crime
    - Computer Virus
  Computers are used to commit a crime
    - E.g., child predators, Embezzlement, Fraud
  Computers are used to solve a crime
  FBI’s workload: Recent survey
    - 74% of their efforts on white collar crimes such as
        healthcare fraud, financial fraud etc.
    -   Remaining 26% of efforts spread across all other areas
        such as murder and child pornography
    -   Source: 2003 Computer Crime and Security Survey, FBI
Objective and Priority

  Objective of Computer Forensics
    - To recovery, analyze and present computer based
       material in such a way that is it usable as evidence in a
       court of law
    -  Note that the definition is the following: “computer
       forensics, involves the preservation, identification,
       extraction, and documentation of computer evidence
       stored as data or magnetically encoded information”, by
       John Vacca
  Priority
    -  Main priority is with forensics procedures, rules of
       evidence and legal processes; computers are secondary
     - Therefore accuracy is crucial
Accuracy vs Speed

  Tradeoffs between accuracy and speed
    - E.g., Taking 4 courses in a semester vs. 2 courses; more
      likely to get Bs and not As
    - Writing a report in a hurry means likely less accurate
  Accuracy: Integrity and Security of the evidence is crucial
    - No shortcuts, need to maintain high standards
  Speed may have to be sacrificed for accuracy.
    - But try to do it as fast as you can provided you do not
      compromise accuracy
The Job of a Forensics Specialist

  Determine the systems from which evidence is collected
  Protect the systems from which evidence is collected
  Discover the files and recover the data
  Get the data ready for analysis
  Carry out an analysis of the data
  Produce a report
  Provide expert consultation and/or testimony?
Applications: Law Enforcement

  Important for the evidence to be handled by a forensic expert;
   else it may get tainted
  Need to choose an expert carefully
     - What is his/her previous experience? Has he/she worked
       on prior cases? Has he/she testified in court? What is
       his/her training? Is he CISSP certified?
  Forensic expert will be scrutinized/cross examined by the
   defense lawyers
  Defense lawyers may have their own possibly highly paid
   experts?
Applications: Human Resources

  To help the employer
    - What web sites visited?
    - What files downloaded
    - Have attempts been made to conceal the evidence or
      fabricate the evidence
    - Emails sent/received
  To help the employee
    - Emails sent by employer – harassment
    - Notes on discrimination
    - Deleted files by employer
Applications: Other

  Supporting criminals
    - Gangs using computer forensics to find out about
      members and subsequently determine their whereabouts
  Support rogue governments and terrorists
    - Terrorists using computer forensics to find out about
      what we (the good guys) are doing
  We and the law enforcement have to be one step ahead of the
   bad guys
  Understand the mind of the criminal
Services

  Data Services
    - Seizure, Duplication and preservation, recovery
  Document and Media
    - Document searched, Media conversion
  Expert witness
  Service options
  Other services
Data Services

  Data Seizure
    - The expert should assist the law enforcement official in
      collecting the data.
    - Need to identify the disks that contain the data
  Data Duplication and Preservation
    - Data absolutely cannot be contaminated
    - Copy of the data has to be made and need to work with
      the copy and keep the original in a safe place
  Data Recovery
    - Once the device is seized (either local or remote) need to
      use appropriate tools to recover the data
Data Services: Finding Hidden Data

  When files are deleted, usually they can be recovered
  The files are marked as deleted, but they are still residing in
   the disk until they are overwritten
  Files may also be hidden in different parts of the disk
  The challenge is to piece the different part of the file together
   to recover the original file
  There is research on using statistical methods for file
   recovery
  http://www.cramsession.com/articles/files/finding-hidden-
   data---how-9172003-1401.asp
  http://www.devtarget.org/downloads/ca616-seufert-
   wolfgarten-assignment2.pdf
Document and Media Services

  Document Searches
    - Efficient search of numerous documents
    - Check for keywords and correlations
  Media Conversion
    - Legacy devices may contain unreadable data. This data
        ahs to be converted using appropriate conversion tools
    -   Should be placed in appropriate storage for analysis
Expert Witness Services

  Expert should explain computer terms and complicated processes in
   an easy to understand manner to law enforcement, lawyers, judges
   and jury
     - Computer technologists and lawyers speak different languages
  Expertise
     - Computer knowledge and expertise in computer systems,
       storage
     - Knowledge on interacting with lawyers, criminology
     - Domain knowledge such as embezzlement, child exploitation
  Should the expert witness and the forencis specialist be one and the
   same?
Service Options

  Should provide various types of services
    - Standard, Emergency, Priority, Weekend After hours
      services
  Onsite/Offsite services
  Cost and risks – major consideration
  Example: Computer Forensics Services Corporation
    - http://www.computer-forensic.com/
    - As stated in the above web site, this company provides
      “expert, court approved, High Tech Investigations,
      litigation support and IT Consulting.” They also
      "Preserve, identify, extract, document and interpret
      computer data. It is often more of an art than a science,
      but as in any discipline, computer forensic specialists
      follow clear, well-defined methodologies and procedures.”
Other Services

  Computer forensics data analysis for criminal and civil
   investigations/litigations
  Analysis of company computers to determine employee
   activity
    -  If he/she conducting his own business and/or
       downloading pornography
     - Surveillance for suspicious event detection
  Produce timely reports
Benefits of using Professional services

   Protecting the evidence
     - Should prevent from damage and corruption
   Secure the evidence
     - Store in a secure place, also use encryption technologies
        such as public/private keys
   Ensure that the evidence is not harmed by virus
   Document clearly who handled the data and when - auditing
   Cleint/Attoney privilege
   Freeze the scene of the crime – do not contaminate or change
Using the Evidence:
Criminal and Civil Proceedings
  Criminal prosecutors
  Civil litigation attorneys – harassment, discrimination,
   embezzlement, divorce
  Insurance companies
  Computer forensics specialists to help corporations and
   lawyers
  Law enforcement officials
  Individuals to sue a company
  Also defense attorneys, and “the bad guys”
Issues and Problems that could occur

  Computer Evidence MUST be
    - Authentic: not tampered with
    - Accurate: have high integrity
    - Complete: no missing points
    - Convincing: no holes
    - Conform: rules and regulations
    - Handle change: data may be volatile and time sensitive
    - Handle technology changes: tapes to disks; MAC to PC
    - Human readable: Binary to words
Legal tests

   Countries with a common law tradition
     - UK, US, Possibly Canada, Australia, New Zealand
   Real evidence
     - Comes from an inanimate object and can be examined by
        the court
   Testimonial evidence
      - Live witness when cross examined
   Hearsay
     -  Wiki entry “Hearsay in English law and Hearsay in United
        States law, a legal principle concerning the admission of
        evidence through repetition of out-of-court statements”
   Are the following admissible in court?
      - Data mining results, emails, printed documents
Traditional Forensics vs Computer Forensics

  Traditional Forensics
    - Materials tested and testing methods usually do not
      change rapidly
    - Blood, DNA, Drug, Explosive, Fabric
  Computer Forensics
    - Material tested and testing methods may change rapidly
    - We did not have web logs in back in 1990
    - We did not have RAID storage in 1980
Conclusion

  Important to have experts for computer forensics evidence
   gathering and analysis
  Important to secure the evidence: authenticity, completeness,
   integrity
  Important to have the proper tools for analysis
  Important to apply the correct legal tests
  Computer forencis can be used to benefit both the “good and
   bad guys”
  Need to be several steps smarter than the enemy

				
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