Towards Increasing Trust In Expert Evidence Derived From Malware Forensic Tools

Kennedy, Ian; Bandara, Arosha and Price, Blaine (2020). Towards Increasing Trust In Expert Evidence Derived From Malware Forensic Tools. Journal of Digital Forensics Security and Law, 15(2), article no. 3.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15394/jdfsl.2020.1691

Abstract

Following a series of high profile miscarriages of justice in the UK linked to questionable expert evidence, the post of the Forensic Science Regulator was created in 2008. The main objective of this role is to improve the standard of practitioner competences and forensic procedures. One of the key strategies deployed to achieve this is the push to incorporate a greater level of scientific conduct in the various fields of forensic practice. Currently there is no statutory requirement for practitioners to become accredited to continue working with the Criminal Justice System of England and Wales. However, the Forensic Science Regulator is lobbying the UK Government to make this mandatory. This paper focuses upon the challenge of incorporating a scientific methodology to digital forensic investigations where malicious software (‘malware’) has been identified. One aspect of such a methodology is the approach followed to both select and evaluate the tools used to perform dynamic malware analysis during an investigation. Based on the literature, legal, regulatory and practical needs we derive a set of requirements to address this challenge. We present a framework, called the ‘Malware Analysis Tool Evaluation Framework’ (MATEF), to address this lack of methodology to evaluate software tools used to perform dynamic malware analysis during investigations involving malware and discuss how it meets the derived requirements.

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