Law Enforcement Technology

JUL 2015

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www.officer.com July 2015 Law Enforcement Technology 43 image," says Grier. The resulting image is shorter, smaller and quicker…but looks just like the regular disc image. This "sifting collector" (a work- ing title) looks into user-created files: documents, images, movies, spread- sheets, etc. created by various programs. This method of forensic acquisition sifts through a compressed disc image (which Novak says will be compatible with existing forensic tools) in place of a standard disc image. He mentioned Grier is currently working with the Louisiana Chapter of the U.S. Secret Service Cybercrime Task Force and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff 's Department to test the model. "We encourage all of our grantees to work with a state and local partner of some kind… [so] they're not working in a vacuum; they're getting feedback during the development process from law enforce- ment practitioners, which makes it a better tool in the long-run," says Novak. The sifting collector was tested in a sample case which included a forensic investigation into an (ex)employee viewing NSFW content at the office. The real-life case involved three hard drives. "I would estimate it took about nine hours to produce the image and we got one of the drives reduced by a factor of 2.9 and another of 9.2. In one case we were able to get 100 per- cent of the NSFW images; there were thousands of them…our goal is to get everything," says Grier. Likewise, Rand Corp. is doing work in parallel processing. Meaning, they are developing a forensic computer cluster using open source software that lets many key tasks be executed at the same time, on many contributing nodes. Novak feels this type of work could mark a significant paradigm shift in policing. "Up until now standard practice has been to image everything. We're beginning to realize you don't necessarily need to image everything to demonstrate a commission of crime. And in terms of Rand's work, we're real- ly looking at speeding up the analysis phase…the processing of data." Grier says if everything comes Circle 59 on Reader Service Card together as expected it will be very easy for law enforcement to use this product without having to learn anything new. He and Novak anticipate these tools could reach the hands of law enforce- ment in a year, or even sooner. Streamlining data much, much COMPANY READER SERVICE NUMBER Grier Forensics 81 RAND Corp. 82 Circle the number on the Reader Service Card M O R E I N F O R M A T I O N faster, but maintaining accuracy that will hold up in court. This is the future of police investigations. ■

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