• Efficient computation of hashes

      Lopes, Raul; Franqueira, Virginia N. L.; Hobson, Peter; Brunel University; University of Central Lancashire (IOP Publishing Ltd, 2014-06-11)
      The sequential computation of hashes at the core of many distributed storage systems and found, for example, in grid services can hinder efficiency in service quality and even pose security challenges that can only be addressed by the use of parallel hash tree modes. The main contributions of this paper are, first, the identification of several efficiency and security challenges posed by the use of sequential hash computation based on the Merkle-Damgard engine. In addition, alternatives for the parallel computation of hash trees are discussed, and a prototype for a new parallel implementation of the Keccak function, the SHA-3 winner, is introduced.
    • Factors influencing digital forensic investigations: Empirical evaluation of 12 years of Dubai police cases

      Al Awadhi, Ibtesam; Read, Janet C.; Marrington, Andrew; Franqueira, Virginia N. L.; University of Central Lancashire; Zayed University; University of Derby (Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL), 2015)
      In Digital Forensics, person-hours spent on investigation is a key factor which needs to be kept to a minimum whilst also paying close attention to the authenticity of the evidence. The literature describes challenges behind increasing person-hours and identifies several factors which contribute to this phenomenon. This paper reviews these factors and demonstrates that they do not wholly account for increases in investigation time. Using real case records from the Dubai Police, an extensive study explains the contribution of other factors to the increase in person-hours. We conclude this work by emphasizing on several factors affecting the person-hours in contrast to what most of the literature in this area proposes.
    • Forensic investigation of cyberstalking cases using Behavioural Evidence Analysis

      Al Mutawa, Noora; Bryce, Joanne; Marrington, Andrew; Franqueira, Virginia N. L.; University of Central Lancashire; University of Derby; Zayed University (Elsevier, 2016-03-29)
      Behavioural Evidence Analysis (BEA) is, in theory, useful in developing an understanding of the offender, the victim, the crime scene, and the dynamics of the crime. It can add meaning to the evidence obtained through digital forensic techniques and assist investigators with reconstruction of a crime. There is, however, little empirical research examining the application of BEA to actual criminal cases, particularly cyberstalking cases. This study addresses this gap by examining the utility of BEA for such cases in terms of understanding the behavioural and motivational dimensions of offending, and the way in which digital evidence can be interpreted. It reports on the forensic analysis of 20 cyberstalking cases investigated by Dubai Police in the last five years. Results showed that BEA helps to focus an investigation, enables better understanding and interpretation of victim and offender behaviour, and assists in inferring traits of the offender from available digital evidence. These benefits can help investigators to build a stronger case, reduce time wasted to mistakes, and to exclude suspects wrongly accused in cyberstalking cases.
    • Introduction to special issue on risk and trust in embedded critical systems

      Rossebø, Judith E. Y.; Houmb, Siv H.; Georg, Geri; Franqueira, Virginia N. L.; Serpanos, Dimitrios; ABB Corporate Research, Norway; SecureNOK Ltd., Norway; Colorado State University; University of Central Lancashire; QCRI (Association for Computing Machinery, 2014-11)
    • Investigation of indecent images of children cases: Challenges and suggestions collected from the trenches.

      Franqueira, Virginia N. L.; Bryce, Joanne; Al Mutawa, Noora; Marrington, Andrew; University of Derby; University of Central Lancashire; Zayed University (Elsevier, 2017-12-02)
      Previous studies examining the investigative challenges and needs of Digital Forensic (DF) practitioners have typically taken a sector-wide focus. This paper presents the results of a survey which collected text-rich comments about the challenges experienced and related suggestions for improvement in the investigation of Indecent Images of Children (IIOC) cases. The comments were provided by 153 international DF practitioners (28.1% survey response rate) and were processed using Thematic Analysis. This resulted in the identification of 4 IIOC-specific challenge themes, and 6 DF-generic challenges which directly affect IIOC. The paper discusses these identified challenges from a practitioner perspective, and outlines their suggestions for addressing them.
    • Special issue on cyberharassment investigation: Advances and trends

      Bryce, Joanne; Franqueira, Virginia N. L.; Marrington, Andrew; University of Central Lancashire; University of Derby; Zayed University (Digital Commons, 2016-12)
      Empirical and anecdotal evidence indicates that cyberharassment is more prevalent as the use of social media becomes increasingly widespread, making geography and physical proximity irrelevant. Cyberharassment can take different forms (e.g., cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cybertrolling), and be motivated by the objectives of inflicting distress, exercising control, impersonation, and defamation. Little is currently known about the modus operandi of offenders and their psychological characteristics. Investigation of these behaviours is particularly challenging because it involves digital evidence distributed across the devices of both alleged offenders and victims, as well as online service providers, sometimes over an extended period of time. This special issue aims to improve understanding of cyberharassment from a multidisciplinary perspective in order to further develop theoretical knowledge and investigative practice.