Toward Understanding the Challenges and Countermeasures in Computer Anti-Forensics

Toward Understanding the Challenges and Countermeasures in Computer Anti-Forensics

Kamal Dahbur (New York Institute of Technology, Jordan) and Bassil Mohammad (New York Institute of Technology, Jordan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1879-4.ch013
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The term computer anti-forensics (CAF) generally refers to a set of tactical and technical measures intended to circumvent the efforts and objectives of the field of computer and network forensics (CF). Many scientific techniques, procedures, and technological tools have evolved and effectively applied in the field of CF to assist scientists and investigators in acquiring and analyzing digital evidence for the purpose of solving cases that involve the use or misuse of computer systems. CAF has emerged as a CF counterpart that plants obstacles throughout the path of computer investigations. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges introduced by anti-forensics, explore various CAF mechanisms, tools, and techniques, provide a coherent classification for them, and discuss their effectiveness. Moreover, the authors discuss the challenges in implementing effective countermeasures against these techniques. A set of recommendations are presented with future research opportunities.
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The Problem Space

Rapid changes and advances in technology are impacting every aspect of our lives because of our increased dependence on such systems to perform many of our daily tasks. The achievements in the area of computers technology in terms of increased capabilities of machines, high speeds communication channels, and reduced costs resulted in making it attainable by the public. The popularity of the Internet, and consequently the technology associated with it, has skyrocketed in the last decade (Table 1 and Figure 1). Internet usage statistics for 2010 clearly show the huge increase in Internet users who may not necessary be computer experts or even technology savvy (Thuen, 2007).

Table 1.
World Internet usage – 2010 (adapted from Thuen, 2007)
World RegionsPopulation
(2010 Est.)
Internet Users
Dec. 31, 2000
Internet Users
Latest Data
Africa     1,013,779,050     4,514,400110,931,700     2357%
Asia     3,834,792,852     114,304,000825,094,396     622%
Europe     813,319,511     105,096,093475,069,448     352%
Middle East     212,336,924     3,284,80063,240,946     1825%
North America     344,124,450     108,096,800266,224,500     146%
Latin America/ Caribbean     592,556,972     18,068,919204,689,836     1033%
Oceania/Australia     34,700,201     7,620,48021,263,990     179%
WORLD TOTAL6,845,609,960360,985,4921,966,514,816445%

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