Testing The Forensic Soundness Of Forensic Examination Environments On Bootable Media

Ahmed Fathy Abdul Latif Mohamed, Zayed University
Andrew Marrington, Zayed University
Farkhund Iqbal, Zayed University
Ibrahim Baggili, University of New Haven


In this work we experimentally examine the forensic soundness of the use of forensic bootable CD/DVDs as forensic examination environments. Several Linux distributions with bootable CD/DVDs which are marketed as forensic examination environments are used to perform a forensic analysis of a captured computer system. Before and after the bootable CD/DVD examination, the computer system's hard disk is removed and a forensic image acquired by a second system using a hardware write blocker. The images acquired before and after the bootable CD/DVD examination are hashed and the hash values compared. Where the hash values are inconsistent, a differential analysis is performed on the image files. The differential analysis allows us to quantify and explain the alterations made to the image files by the bootable CD/DVD examination. Our approach can be used to experimentally validate new bootable CD/DVD distributions as forensically sound. (C) 2014 Digital Forensics Research Workshop. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.