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Improving Chain of Custody in Forensic Investigation of Electronic Digital Systems


Giuliano Giova


Vol. 11  No. 1  pp. 1-9


Forensic investigators should acquire and analyze large amount of digital evidence and submit to the court the technical truth about facts in virtual worlds. Since digital evidence is complex, diffuse, volatile and can be accidentally or improperly modified after acquired, the chain of custody must ensure that collected evidence can be accepted as truthful by the court. In this scenario, traditional paper-based chain of custody is inefficient and cannot guarantee that the forensic processes follow legal and technical principles in an electronic society. Computer forensics practitioners use forensic software to acquire copies or images from electronic devices and register associated metadata, like computer hard disk serial number and practitioner name. Usually, chain of custody software and data are insufficient to guarantee to the court the quality of forensic images, or guarantee that only the right person had access to the evidence or even guarantee that copies and analysis only were made by authorized manipulations and in the acceptable addresses. Recent developments in forensic software make possible to collect in multiple locations and analysis in distributed environments. In this work we propose the use of the new network facilities existing in Advanced Forensic Format (AFF), an open and extensible format designed for forensic tolls, to increase the quality of electronic chain of custody.


Computer forensics, network forensics, chain of custody, distributed evidence management system