Dealing with temporal inconsistency in automated computer forensic profiling

Marrington, Andrew, Mohay, George M., Clark, Andrew J., & Morarji, Hasmukh L. (2009) Dealing with temporal inconsistency in automated computer forensic profiling. [Working Paper] (Unpublished)


Computer profiling is the automated forensic examination of a computer system in order to provide a human investigator with a characterisation of the activities that have taken place on that system. As part of this process, the logical components of the computer system – components such as users, files and applications - are enumerated and the relationships between them discovered and reported. This information is enriched with traces of historical activity drawn from system logs and from evidence of events found in the computer file system. A potential problem with the use of such information is that some of it may be inconsistent and contradictory thus compromising its value. This work examines the impact of temporal inconsistency in such information and discusses two types of temporal inconsistency that may arise – inconsistency arising out of the normal errant behaviour of a computer system, and inconsistency arising out of deliberate tampering by a suspect – and techniques for dealing with inconsistencies of the latter kind. We examine the impact of deliberate tampering through experiments conducted with prototype computer profiling software. Based on the results of these experiments, we discuss techniques which can be employed in computer profiling to deal with such temporal inconsistencies.

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ID Code: 34329
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: computer profiling, digital forensics, digital evidence, event correlation, precondition event, happened-before
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300) > Computer System Security (080303)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 please contact the authors
Deposited On: 02 Sep 2010 23:33
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2010 23:33

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