Key Digital Forensics Challenges to Know in 2023

Enterprise Security Magazine | Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Digital evidence, unlike many other types of physical evidence, is simple to alter, erase, or conceal, potentially without leaving traces that could identify the perpetrator.

FREMONT, CA: The purpose of digital forensics is to identify computer crimes. When it comes to conducting investigations, digital forensics faces a few significant challenges. Within the last decade, computer technologies have developed massively, leading to both good and bad uses of technology. People partly use technology to benefit humankind, but criminals also use it to accomplish their goals. The main challenge is that once there is a technology to identify and investigate criminals, another technique allows criminals to hide. Forensic officers face a huge challenge today. Attackers use this steganography to conceal their concealed data (payloads) within a hacked system.

Attackers use numerous encryption techniques, and investigators must decrypt the encrypted material to make it usable. It is time-consuming for investigators because encrypted data cannot always get decoded. Anti-forensics has become a significant obstacle for digital forensics. When investigating computer crimes, the investigator must identify this concealed data to uncover them for future use. Covert channel in communication protocols enables attackers to conceal data over the network and circumvent intrusion detection measures. A network protocol is selected, and its header is modified to leak messages between attackers by leveraging the fact that few header fields get modified during transmission.

Attackers utilize these covert channels to maintain a concealed link between the attacker and the compromised system. It is less distinctive. Intruders suppress data within storage spaces and render it invisible to standard system commands and programs. It makes the inquiry more difficult and time-consuming, and data can occasionally become damaged. A rootkit is one of the most prevalent methods for concealing data in storage space. Malware developers utilize rootkits to hide malware on the computers of victims. It is exceedingly difficult to recognize rootkits, and most computer users do not know how to remove them.

The case may involve a substantial amount of data. The investigator must examine all obtained data in such a scenario to gather proof. It may take longer to complete the inquiry. Because time is a limiting component, it becomes another significant obstacle in digital forensics. Vulnerable memory forensics involves overwriting user behaviors since data in volatile memory is transient. Investigators can only examine recent material stored in volatile memory, which diminishes the investigational data's forensic usefulness. When gathering data from the source, an investigator must ensure that no data is altered or lost during the inquiry and that the data is adequately protected.

Damaged data sources make it difficult to conduct investigations. It is a significant problem when an investigator discovers a valuable but unusable source. Privacy is also essential for any business or victim. The computer forensics expert may be obliged to divulge data or sacrifice privacy to discover the truth. A private corporation or an individual user's day-to-day activities may generate a substantial amount of confidential data. Requesting an investigator to check their data may expose their privacy.

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