Websites and fitness for purposes tests

Posted on November 2, 2009. Filed under: 1, All, forensic | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Websites : new material on the book website – now up to chapter 6 with the exercises! (bet it’ll take me longer to do the model answers though) – see http://www.digital-forensics.org.uk/
Fitness for pupose tests In the last week or so I’ve been talking to a lot of people about the “fitness for purpose (ffp)” requirement that the regulator’s working group have recommended for the digital evidence standard. We’ve been kicking around ideas about how this can be demonstrated. At one level, the vendors could go for ISO17025 or CESG CTM (CTM) certification themselves – but this only really tests the product “out of the box” as they ship it, with no real accounting for how it is used in the field. This is a particular problem, I think, for anything which includes scripting capabilities as each script will still need to pass the ffp test. It gets worse when we start to think about all the really good open source, non-forensic software and tools produced by small companies without the budget or resources for performing their own ffp testing.

I am more convinced than ever that we need to introduce a national ffp testing service which can deal with the complexities of non-standard hardware and software combinations, in-house developed tools and rapid deployment of vital patches.

It’ll be a heck of challenge to get it right, but you know something ? – I really want to try to make it work!

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A quiet week – but new material on the book website

Posted on October 27, 2009. Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , , , |

A fit of conscience overtook me today – having spent the last couple of weeks working on a contract with the University of Ulster (I’m helping to rewrite their distance learning module on Forensic Science and Crime Scene Science) and negotiating my Visiting Academic title, I suddenly remembered that I’ve been neglecting the book website. A new set of exercises for Chapter 3 is, therefore, online. (See http://www.digital-forensics.org.uk/ for more)

Meanwhile – life as an independent is getting interesting. Planning of training courses has moved on and it looks like November will see the start of the first one (on seizure and handling). Calls about the regulator’s proposals are also arriving and my concerns about how to demonstrate “fitness for purpose” no longer seem to be unique to me. There are ways of doing this, but it will required the industry as a whole to get behind the project and agree the mechanisms properly.

And finally – something I can’t talk about – but it’s an interesting one. When this “secret squirrel” job is over, I might hint at some of the details.

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Book website

Posted on September 28, 2009. Filed under: All, Education, forensic, life | Tags: , , , , , , |

Today has been pretty busy really. Started with a meeting with GT to discuss some project for the future, but most of the day has been taken up with preparing slides for the Investigator magazine’s mobile phone conference tomorrow. My topic is “emerging future challenges” – something that has really encouraged me to think about the directions technology is taking and how it will make life more interesting for investigators.

While thinking about that, I’ve also started work on the website to accompany the book. Going completely against everything I’ve ever taught anyone about website production, I’m cheating – I’m doing it in iWeb just to get the material online in time for the new academic year. Sometime (probably in about 20 years knowing my scheduling), I’ll go back and fix it. Meanwhile – the book site is at http://www.digital-forensics.org.uk/

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    About

    This is the weblog of Angus M. Marshall, forensic scientist, author of Digital Forensics : digital evidence in criminal investigations and MD at n-gate ltd.

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