Dark clouds on the horizon : the challenge of cloud forensics

Ferguson, R. Ian and Renaud, Karen and Irons, Alastair; Duncan, Bob and Lee, Yong Woo and Olmsted, Aspen, eds. (2018) Dark clouds on the horizon : the challenge of cloud forensics. In: Proceedings the Ninth International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization. International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA), ESP. ISBN 9781612086071

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    We introduce the challenges to digital forensics introduced by the advent and adoption of technologies, such as encryption, secure networking, secure processors and anonymous routing. All potentially render current approaches to digital forensic investigation unusable. We explain how the Cloud, due to its global distribution and multi-jurisdictional nature, exacerbates these challenges. The latest developments in the computing milieu threaten a complete “evidence blackout” with severe implications for the detection, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime. In this paper, we review the current landscape of cloud-based forensics investigations. We posit a number of potential solutions. Cloud forensic difficulties can only be addressed if we acknowledge its socio-technological nature, and design solutions that address both human and technological dimensions. No firm conclusion is drawn; rather the objective is to present a position paper, which will stimulate debate in the area and move the discipline of digital cloud forensics forward. Thus, the paper concludes with an invitation to further informed debate on this issue.