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
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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Book website & academia rears its ugly ugly head again

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: Education, forensic, life | Tags: |

Never put off till tomorrow what you can leave to next week – seems to have been my mantra as far as the book website ( ) is concerned. However, now I have iWeb on the Macbook, progress is being made rapidly. Exercises for chapters 1 and 2 are already up and I’ll probably have something for Chapter 3 done within the next hour. Those who’ve sat through my lectures or conference presentations on the topics may find some of the example familiar, but I’m bringing them up to date with some stuff based on real casework.

iWeb is proving to be a really nice bit of software to work with, not least because the HTML it generates actually passes W3C validation at the first attempt. The automatic build of the navigation menu is a nice touch too. OK, so it’s still producing simple basic websites without much backend structure – but as a tool to get content online in a clean and usable form in a hurry it scores 9/10 in my book (nothing ever gets 1o/10 btw. – well maybe once in a lifetime)

Latest news : It looks like I’ll be retaining my links with academia as I am in the process of discussing a visiting lectureship with another University. It’s an unpaid post, but allows to me use the title when it is beneficial for research/funding and similar projects.

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The Internet as it was meant to be ;)

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: All | Tags: , , |

The really interesting bit about this is not the technology, but the business model behind it. The newspaper rep. admits that they don’t expect to make any money at all from it – how times change…

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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

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    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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