Cryptography for the Forensics Investigator

Cryptography for the Forensics Investigator

Thomas Martin (Khalifa University, UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4030-6.ch003
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Abstract

There are many challenges for a forensic investigator when it comes to digital evidence. These include the constantly changing technology that may store evidence, the vast amounts of data that is stored, and the increasing use of cryptography. This last problem can prevent any useful information being retrieved and is encountered in the use of communication protocols, whole-disk encryption, and individual applications. Cryptography is a field of great depth and breadth, encompassing both complex mathematics and cutting-edge technology. A forensics investigator does not need to be aware of all aspects of this field, but there are certain areas that are vital. The knowledge described in this chapter can assist an investigator in obtaining information that may otherwise be obscured, and also prepare them to defend the integrity of any evidence obtained.
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Fundamentals

Forensics investigators require at least a superficial knowledge of cryptography. In this section we will describe the specific objectives of integrity and confidentiality aspired for in cryptography. We will briefly cover some of the algorithms currently used to achieve these objectives. We will also mention some of the upcoming advances in cryptography (fully homomorphic encryption, quantum computers) and the impacts they will have.

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