Digital Forensics: Review of Issues in Scientific Validation of Digital Evidence

Humaira Arshad, Aman Bin Jantan and Oludare Isaac Abiodun
Volume: 14, No: 2, Page: 346 ~ 376, Year: 2018
Keywords: Criminal Investigation, Data, Digital Forensics, Electronic Evidence, Reliability, Validation, Verification
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Digital forensics is a vital part of almost every criminal investigation given the amount of information available and the opportunities offered by electronic data to investigate and evidence a crime. However, in criminal justice proceedings, these electronic pieces of evidence are often considered with the utmost suspicion and uncertainty, although, on occasions are justifiable. Presently, the use of scientifically unproven forensic techniques are highly criticized in legal proceedings. Nevertheless, the exceedingly distinct and dynamic characteristics of electronic data, in addition to the current legislation and privacy laws remain as challenging aspects for systematically attesting evidence in a court of law. This article presents a comprehensive study to examine the issues that are considered essential to discuss and resolve, for the proper acceptance of evidence based on scientific grounds. Moreover, the article explains the state of forensics in emerging sub-fields of digital technology such as, cloud computing, social media, and the Internet of Things (IoT), and reviewing the challenges which may complicate the process of systematic validation of electronic evidence. The study further explores various solutions previously proposed, by researchers and academics, regarding their appropriateness based on their experimental evaluation. Additionally, this article suggests open research areas, highlighting many of the issues and problems associated with the empirical evaluation of these solutions for immediate attention by researchers and practitioners. Notably, academics must react to these challenges with appropriate emphasis on methodical verification. Therefore, for this purpose, the issues in the experiential validation of practices currently available are reviewed in this study. The review also discusses the struggle involved in demonstrating the reliability and validity of these approaches with contemporary evaluation methods. Furthermore, the development of best practices, reliable tools and the formulation of formal testing methods for digital forensic techniques are highlighted which could be extremely useful and of immense value to improve the trustworthiness of electronic evidence in legal proceedings.

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Cite this article
IEEE Style
H. Arshad, A. B. Jantan and O. I. Abiodun, "Digital Forensics: Review of Issues in Scientific Validation of Digital Evidence ," Journal of Information Processing Systems, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 346~376, 2018. DOI: 10.3745/JIPS.03.0095.

ACM Style
Humaira Arshad, Aman Bin Jantan, and Oludare Isaac Abiodun . 2018. Digital Forensics: Review of Issues in Scientific Validation of Digital Evidence , Journal of Information Processing Systems, 14, 2, (2018), 346~376. DOI: 10.3745/JIPS.03.0095.