Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 2011

The month started at a very nice organized cybercrime conference in London also forensic aspects, and in depth on Scada and mobile systems.

In December I just had a week vacation in Gibraltar/Spain, since most often we go in vacation in winter and not in summer due to the climate in the Netherlands. It is very amazing to see that the airport runway is crossing the regular road.

Also I had to do internal examination and defend six reports with an external expert, and passed that. As each exam it always takes preparation time, however it good to have discussion about reports that have been written.

In the last week of this year I finally have some time to clean my desk, and preparing presentations which I have not covered already, as well as time time to finalize reports and reviews.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Conference in Chongqing

Bit Forensic conference in Chongqing

Posted by PicasaIt was the second conference on forensic science, many good speakers from Europe, Australia, Asia and the North America, and very good to see that the government of Chongqing is investing very much in Forensic Science in collaboration with Universities in the United States.

November 2011

On forensic science many resources are available on the internet, one resource that I saw lately, is a good overview for people that are interested in a carreer in forensic science, or . The specialized universities that have course in forensic science, are numerous. One issue is however that there are many more students in forensic science, compared to the number of jobs available in the field. So often I have students that work on a project for a while, and then later on, of course they will do some other work, related to forensic science, or perhaps something completely different.

This is different for students that specialize in forensic ICT, and currently it is difficult to attract people to these jobs since not many students appear to chose ICT. Also the number of people that are requested in cybersecurity related areas are very many. We see that law enforcement in many countries is expanding in many countries, since we become aware that since many processes are linked to internet, with software and hardware that are mostly not very transparant in how they exactly work. Also we see that systems are updated regularly, due to the complexity of the software and hardware solutions, this remains also a challenge even if the source code is available. Reverse engineering is often work that takes a lot of patience and time, and with the development cycles of products become shorter, it means also that with new versions of software and hardware, only a part can be used again.

Malware developers are also changing there software often, and it is unknown how many systems have been infected, however the number of reports of botnets are huge and develop malware. So either way, there is a lot in forensic ICT to develop, investigate and finally learn from these in making systems more secure.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

October 2011

The month is with relatively many conferences, so one week I am in Montreal, Canada at the Colloquium IT Security Cyber Forensics and Combatting Cybercrime. Much nice forensic research on different aspects on cybercrime analysis and attacks. Also excellent for networking. I also gave an invited talk there, and it is an excellent venue, and also good to practice French language, although there was parrallel translation. The advantage of conferences is also that I have time to review proposals, write some text and look to planning. Also interesting to see that the costs of cybercrime is difficult to estimate, since much is not seen by governments.

Two weeks for casework, and looking for results from experiments of students on different topics as camera identification, enf and iris scanners. Also nice opportunities for European projects in the field.

Then one week at the lab, and the next week to ChongQing, China for the 2nd BIT Forensic Conference. Last year it was very nice, and I am looking forward to be there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September (2) 2011

Sometimes things do not work as planned due to circumstances. I should leave to Riga as chairman for the ENFSI Forensic IT Working group meeting, however was in bad luck, due to an accute appidendicitis, and I had surgery for that. So unfortunately no visit to Riga for me this time, with the nice ENFSI group. However since the conference is very well organized and the steering committee is there, I am sure it will be a nice event.

However I hope the plans next week will work better, and as long as the complications are not too severe, it should work. Also the IAFS conference is this week, so I know many people that go to Madeira.

However many things work well, some projects got approved, and of course some interesting casework.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

September 2011

As usual it is busy in September after the vacation. I had a phone conference call with the Board of Directors of the AAFS at 2 am in the morning. I am getting used to it, however it takes always some time to get back to sleep afterwards, it is good to see the next call is earlier.

The ENFSI Forensic IT Working group meeting in Riga is approaching, as well as other meetings which I have to prepare. Currently also new students come in for projects on biometric devices and PRNU as well as heart beat. In October I have a meeting in Montreal were I am invited speaker and a meeting in China. Later on I have a week vacation, so lots of travelling in the meantime.

Also I was asked for a forensic cruise, and I was wondering what happens there. People seem to enjoy forensic topics on cruises, so who knows perhaps I might join such a cruise as invited speaker in future.

Monday, August 01, 2011

August 2011

August is always the time for writing articles and papers, and working on backlogs and doing new proposals for projects etc. Just finished submitting abstracts to the AAFS conference in Atlanta in 2012 . Also preparing our ENFSI FIT Working group meeting Forensic IT in Riga .

I am working on a paper for an encyclopedia on identity fraud, and of course the forensic invesigation of this topic. In the past we worked on issues around identity issues with biometric systems and spoofing etc within FIDIS.

Currently also the financial situation in Europe is getting more troublesome, so I expect more government cuts in future. It is always good to be prepared for this, and hopefully forensic science will not be hurt too much. Unfortunately we saw already in the United Kingdom that the government shut down the Forensic Science Service, the largest forensic science lab in Europe at the beginning of this year.

Also interested to see how the CSI effect will evolve, sometimes I get called to court with questions concerning image processing in CSI and why we can not do the same. Perhaps the expectations will go to the regular level again, since nowadays there are many students in forensic science, however it is not easy to get a job, since in general there are not that many vacancies. This is different for forensic ICT where we see that it is more difficult to have vacancies fulfilled in informatics and related areas, since it is expected that casework in cybercrime and related areas will grow.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July 2011

In June organized an event on video investigation with the police in the Netherlands, also with a BBQ, since it is our tradition. Of course it is somewhat warmer in the summer.

Also preparing some papers for the AAFS, since August 1st is approaching soon, and some other deadlines for papers and reviewing activities. This month I had to limit the number of review requests, since otherwise I could not fetch deadlines. It is often that requests for reviews arrive before the summer, and often it has to be done in a short time.

I also went to Salvador, Brazil, to the conference ICT in forensics. It was an international conference with participants from Europe, US and Asia. I was invited to give a course on some aspects on forensic ICT, especially handling images and video. It was a nice event, and I organized some hands on workshop, and it the day went very fast to me. Doing these events is also good to present and discuss on forensic issues, and widen the view on interpretation of evidence. In this conference besides forensic scientist also prosecutors and attorneys were present, so it was a good audience.

Also our paper on likelihood ratios in cameras was published in law probablity and risk, so it was good to see.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

June 2011

This month finally some time to think and work on the blog again (too much casework last month), at the University of Warwick, where I am in the Scarman House with a fast internet connection. I am working on a presentation for the FP7 Divefor project of the developments at the NFI, such as defraser. It appears that also others are developing plugins with the software, so this is nice for an open source product. The software is used for analysing and repairing video files in a forensic proper way and is interactive. Currently we are developing the H264 further, however that plugin might not be open source anymore, since the return on investment is low otherwise. Which is an issue with open source, unless there is a smarter business model behind it.

It appears that last month I had most reviews ever in a month. Reviewing papers is always good to do, since it makes you reading papers better then otherwise, and good papers always give you new insights. This time I also had several proposals from the NIJ to review.

At the end of this month I will go to Salvador, Brasil, since I was invited to give a short course there at ICT in Forensics. I am looking forward to this meeting, since it might give another view on new developments and bring me new ideas. Currently I am also updating my site at , since I had some backlog in updating links.

Also the program of our ENFSI Forensic IT Working group meeting in Riga in September is progressing, I already saw some interesting abstracts.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 2011

The month started with a week vacation, and then I had time to read and review. Of course it was also a busy month with casework, and we appeared to receive more cases then predicted, so there was not much time for other things. I also had time for several reviews this month, and was also invited for two keynote talks.

Within the Digital Imaging School at the NFI, I gave a course on Photo Response Non Uniformity and using this in practical cases. I tried to have much interaction, so it appeared to work. Also I went to Riga, Latvia for the preparation of our Forensic IT Working group meeting of ENFSI in September. We try to keep the costs low this time, since many government labs have budget cuts. Air fares to Riga tend to be low due several low cost airlines, and the hotels are not expensive. Of course the challenge is to get most of the meeting in collaboration and new projects, so we will have several workshops, and of course also on developments such as forensic examination of cloud computing and updating our best practice documents.

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 2011

This month I was busy since I had a knee surgery, which went well. So before this date I waited for the urgent issues and casework that had to be handled before deadlines. The recovery period of this knee operation is about two weeks, and it feels like being repaired now.

It appears I am on a list of forensics degree , and there is a wide variety of blogs available on forensic science, such as Cyber Forensics Blog by DMS member Marcus Rogers
has a few recent posts. the Windows Incident Response Blog by one of our newest DMS
members, Harlan Carvey, is at: Always good to see some discussions on digital and multimedia sciences.

Currently we see more interest also in Nucleair forensics, which is important to handle in specialized labs as such and is important in analysing disasters as in Japan.

Also there is an interesting article in Spectrum of IEEE on the law of Moore, where the author claims the growth of speed of super computers will slow down. It is also nice to read that in 10 years the fastest super computer in 1997 has the same speed as a game console in 2006. However perhaps new architectures and other means will also keep us up with the Moores law.

With my knee surgery I now have some time to read and do some reviews. So I collected all tasks which can be done from home untill this date. Obviously I can not work on casework at home, however writing articles and reading the current state of the art in depth is important to keep up with developments.

Monday, February 28, 2011

February 2011 (2)

The AAFS conference in Chicago was very well organized with aproximately 3500 persons there. As member of the Board of Director some interesting meetings, as well as seeing good developments in the field. The use of Likelihood Ratios is more often presented, as well as all considerations in the NAS report. Also our workshop Forensic Multimedia was very well attended. As usual the networking during the conference was excellent, and it is good for discussion on the different topics of research.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

February 2011

This month will be busy, since there are several deadlines, and of course the conference of the AAFS in Chicago, where I will organize the Forensic Multimedia workshop and give one paper. It is always an excellent event, with good networking and discussion with other forensic scientists.

Last month I received a question for making tweets on forensics, and some people thought I was discussing actual casework. I will never discuss on the blog or anyware in public on casework were I or any of my colleagues am working on, and which are still in the court, without prior permission. Only forensic meetings and events that are public will be discussed, and of course R&D which is open. The advantage of a blog compared to a tweet is that you can add more text to it, so this kind of misunderstanding are less likely to happen here.

On the forens-l list that I host there are some discussions on the NAS report, and it is good to see that many issues are handled there. Since I moderate the list, the posting improve. In the past I started hosting this unmoderated list, and then it appeared that some discussions did not go well. So I started some moderation, and it appears to work better.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 2011

At the beginning of January I went to Tunesia for one week, since the Sahara climate works well against my astma, which is worst in winter. It was the first time that I experienced employees of the hotel striking and demonstrating for the hotel, against goverment. Later on when visiting the Medina in Sousse and Tunis, we saw some riots, so it appeared the start of the election of a new president and government appeared this week. I hope there will be peace again, and perhaps they can use parts of the Sahara for energy production with solar panels in the future, if possible of course.

Also the start of a new year, gives also new experiences. We had a kaizen meeting from lean six sigma for making our work more efficient. So first we are analysing the process. It appears to work well in forensic laboratories to have less backlog, of course in combination with a Service Level Agreement.

Of course also working on some cases, and it appeared I had a backlog in reviewing papers, so I had to do some work on this. Also new year celebrations of my work, and of course new planning and new ideas.

In February I will attend the American Academy of Forensic Science meeting in Chicago, and chair a workshop, give a presentation, and also be in meetings for the Forensic Science Foundation, and to meetings as Director of the Digital and Multimedia Sciences Section. So also some preparations for this event.