Digital forensics and data recovery firm Vogon has updated its investigation technology to keep pace with legislation on evidence gathering and the increasing volumes of data it needs to sift through.
Designed to be used largely by law enforcement agencies such as the National Hi-Tech Crime Squad or Customs and Excise, the VBus pod is a 32-bit imaging system that allows users to investigate a computer without breaking the legislative rules on gathering evidence.
These rules can be crucial to the success of both criminal and civil cases, and the key to this is relevance testing, according to Clive Carmichael-Jones, operations director at Vogon.
"Data protection policy ensures that an investigator can only look at relevant material," he said. "Investigators must ensure that they do not engage in general data trawls but focus on genuinely likely sources of evidence."
A preview method on the pod allows a disk drive to be interrogated on-site, whatever the operating system. This could result in a suspect being formally charged on the basis of the preview material, rather than being released while a more detailed interrogation is carried out.
Write-blocking technology also ensures that no data is actually written to the suspect drive and that all investigation work is carried out on the image.
"Without write blocking, an investigator could be accused of tampering with the evidence. It would be like trampling all over a crime scene," said Carmichael-Jones. "As it stands, our technology and imaging process is recognised in court."
He said that the main problems faced in digital forensics were not just with legislation but with technology, as the amount of data to sift rises as storage systems become more common.
"Speed was the reason we decided to move to 32-bit to keep pace with the technology, and then we introduced write blocker to keep up with legislation," he added.
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