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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
 
Cyber sleuths

The cyber forensic experts at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) here are developing software tools for gathering digital evidence from electronic devices such as personal digital assistants and portable media players.

The CDAC’s national resource centre for cyber forensics here was in national news recently after its software tools were successfully used for retrieving evidence from the personal computer of a Bangalore-based suspect in the London-Glasgow bombing.

C-DAC has pieced together the new versions of its software tools, "TRUEBACK'' and "CYBERCHECK,'' which would help investigators of cyber offences to seize as well as analyse digital evidence from a scene of crime, which could range from hacking of a security system to faking of currency. Each phase of the project is being overseen by a high-power steering committee of experts from across the country.

The centre has already devised a set of tools for extracting digital evidence from mobile telephones. The use of digital devices for criminal purposes has been on the increase in the country.

For instance, cell phones are often used for taking photographs, recording personal conversations, or even recording videos on the sly. Pranksters could capture the video image of an unsuspecting person using digitally alter it, add pornographic content and use it for maligning the individual. The State police are currently investigating several complaints of such nature.

CDAC’s prime role is to enable law-enforcement agencies tackle such crimes by developing tools that would help gather digital evidence against cyber law-breakers.

Recently, the researchers at the centre located servers used by hackers for posting slanderous material on the official website of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan. The mischief makers had taken control of servers in certain universities in China and Russia for mounting the attack on the Government website. In another case, the Karnataka police sought CDAC’s expertise to gather digital evidence against an online lottery fraudster.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently using CDAC’s cyber forensic tools for training investigators at its academy in Ghaziabad.

The centre has developed special digital surveillance software for Central security agencies. Six forensic laboratories in the country are currently using CDAC’s tools. CDAC is also helping the State police set up a cyber forensic laboratory at the State Forensic Sciences Laboratory here.

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