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Survey Explores Legal and Technical Ramifications of Digital Forensics across Networks, Devices and into the Cloud

  • Bethesda, MD
  • April 24, 2013

With digital investigations evolving to include numerous devices, applications and mediums, the SANS Institute is embarking on a new survey about modern-day digital forensics investigations. The survey is being sponsored by Guidance Software, Bit9, Cellebrite, and FireEye.

"Today's investigations involve more than just clients, servers, networks and the Internet. For example, the evidence that's recoverable from mobile devices is revolutionizing the dynamics and outcome of digital investigations," says SANS forensics and virtualization instructor, Paul A. Henry, who is co-authoring the survey report to be released during a SANS webcast July 18, 2013 at 1 PM EDT.

Ben Wright, a SANS legal security instructor and cyber attorney who is also co-author of the report, adds "information such as the device's location, for example, can be tracked and used as evidence. It is no longer simply where you are, but perhaps who you are that can be surmised. Knowing a user's location over time can provide insight into where a user has been and perhaps what that user values. Values can reveal intention and motivation."

The survey's goal is to find out how organizations and enforcement agencies go about conducting digital investigations that traverse various devices and networks, and how well their tools and processes are working out, including from a legal and regulatory perspective.

For example, how are organizations managing investigations that take them into the public cloud, social networks and collaborative applications such as DropBox?

"Many of the organizations I work with adopted a strategy of 'ignore it and

maybe it will go away' with regards to cloud forensics," explains Jacob Williams, a forensics consultant and SANS co-instructor. "When hackers launched the Sony Playstation network attacks from the AWS cloud, these attitudes changed overnight."

By taking the survey you may also enter to win a $400 American Express Gift Card.

Follow this link to take the survey:

Results released in association with the SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response Summit in Austin, July 10, with an associated webcast providing the results.

Attend the following for survey results: SANS Forensics for the Cloud age webcast scheduled for July 18 at 1 pm EDT. Registration for the webcast is open now. Those who register for the webcast will also receive an advanced copy of the published paper.

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The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 60 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates a practitioner's qualifications via over 30 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master's degrees in cyber security. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system--the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community. (