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Software tools designed for disk analysis play a critical role today in digital forensics investigations. However, these digital forensics tools are often difficult to use, usually task specific, and generally require professionally trained users with IT backgrounds. The relevant tools are also often open source requiring additional technical knowledge and proper configuration. This makes it difficult for investigators without some computer science background to easily conduct the needed disk analysis. In this dissertation, we present AUDIT, a novel automated disk investigation toolkit that supports investigations conducted by non-expert (in IT and disk technology) and expert investigators. Our system design and implementation of AUDIT intelligently integrates open source tools and guides non-IT professionals while requiring minimal technical knowledge about the disk structures and file systems of the target disk image. We also present a new hierarchical disk investigation model which leads AUDIT to systematically examine the disk in its totality based on its physical and logical structures. AUDIT's capabilities as an intelligent digital assistant are evaluated through a series of experiments comparing it with a human investigator as well as against standard benchmark disk images.
Digital Forensics, Disk Forensics, Expert Systems, Forensic Investigation, Forensic Tools
Date of Defense
July 13, 2015.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Computer Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Sudhir Aggarwal, Professor Directing Dissertation; Simon Foo, University Representative; Zhenhai Duan, Committee Member; Xiuwen Liu, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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