Aim and Objectives

The overall aim is to develop, deploy, and evaluate a suite of practical tools for supporting the entire workflow of image forensic required in tackling sexual exploitation of children online. This aim will be achieved through close collaboration with relevant law enforcement agencies (end users), as well as with research scientists (academia) and developers (industry) in the area of digital forensic in general and image forensic in particular, as well as with computer security and usability experts.

To meet this aim, several concrete objectives have been defined:

To extend the features of currently available forensic tools to cover the whole workflow of image forensics, from recovering digital data from storage devices to supporting the tools’ users in:

  • Improving evidence recovery tools in terms of user-friendliness, speed and effectiveness
  • Verifying the authenticity of an image, e.g. detecting that the image had been doctored
  • Uniquely tracking and identifying the source of the image using sensor dust traces and pixel noise present in images taken with DSLR camera. These traces provide unique patterns (or “fingerprints”) that can be used in identifying the camera used for taking the image, and this method will be robust to geometrical distortions and transformations
  • Correlating the image with other images to ascertain that they were generated from the same device, using the camera “fingerprints”
  • Improving speed and accuracy of searching for a matching image against a database of images based on the camera “fingerprints” that are unique but may contain random errors
  • Correlating the actual images with contextual digital evidence sourced from the 'scene', e.g. device log file activity, traces of instant messaging, SMS/MMS via a mobile phone so that the confidence in the overall analysis increases

To carry out comprehensive usability study of representative tools in the field and the tools developed in this project, and to define general guidelines for designing such usable tools

 To refine the developed tools based on the usability study so that these tools can be used effectively by the appropriate law enforcement agencies