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Cosmic rays: A neglected potential threat to evidential integrity in digital forensic investigations?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2020
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 13th Workshop on Digital Forensics
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450388337
DOIs
Published25 Aug 2020
Event15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2020 - Virtual, Online, Ireland
Duration: 25 Aug 202028 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2020
CountryIreland
CityVirtual, Online
Period25/08/202028/08/2020

Documents

King's Authors

Abstract

When evidence is recovered from a suspected crime scene and a criminal prosecution is mounted, the defence team may attempt to formulate an alternative non-criminal explanation for the existence of that evidence. Examples from the digital realm include the "Trojan Horse Defence" and the "Inadvertent Download Defence" against the charge of possession of child pornography, both of which have previously been analysed quantitatively. In this paper, another putative defence for the existence of forensically recovered data and/or meta-data from a seized digital device is described. The potential plausibility of this "Cosmic Ray Defence" under various memory protection conditions is estimated numerically as a function of its associated soft error rate (SER), thus enabling an evaluation to be made of its potential utility as part of a criminal defence strategy, as well as highlighting its possible significance for the conduct of digital forensic investigations. It is based on the invited keynote lecture at the 10th International Workshop on Digital Forensics (WSDF 2017), Reggio Calabria, Italy, 29 August - 1 September 2017.

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