I recently saw an article about if we can trust digital forensics. As someone who is interesting in going into forensics I thought that it was an interesting question. Digital forensic science is a branch of forensic science that investigates digital materials that are recovered. These materials can be used in very serious crimes such as terrorism and murder, but also in other crimes such as cyber bullying or employee misconduct. It is often related to computer crime. The University of New York has done some research on digital forensic science and has suggested that there needs to be work work done to show that digital forensic methods are strong enough to hold up to interrogation in a court of law.
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The University of New York studied labs in England and Wales and are suggesting that the accuracy of digital forensics methods may be missing from the regulatory framework. The framework for digital forensic science was created for calibration and testing labs and are published industry standards. To better understand how the framework was being met across the industry, they compared the way the framework is applied to digital forensic labs and the way it works for calibration and testing labs.
One of the big questions was “How do we show that our tools and methods are correct when we’re trying to recover data from something which we haven’t seen before and where the manufacturer won’t tell us exactly how it works?”. Although digital forensic scientists are confident in their methods, they need to find a way to back up their confidence. The solution to this problem is through accreditation and use of proven tools similar to what we have in DNA analysis evidence. This approach requires a “unified approach from the industry and exploring the possibility of sharing the cost of it rather than individual labs having to pay in excess of £10,000.”. Right now it is possible but not necessary to get accredited in this field and “There’s a lot of work to be done, and the industry needs to take control of it and maintain it to keep pace with new developments.”.