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New Nist Forensic Tests Help Ensure High-Quality Copies of Digital Evidence


Mobile phones sealed in an evidence bag.

A new set of software tools was designed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to ensure digital evidence holds up in court.

Credit: ErrantX

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a set of software tools designed to ensure digital evidence holds up in court.

The software suite, collectively known as federated testing tools, is designed to help law enforcement and forensic practitioners make copies of the data from a seized electronic device.

The federated testing tools enable authorities to run tests using their digital forensic software before using it on a suspect's personal devices.

NIST developer Barbara Guttman says the suite includes the three most critical tools for evidence acquisition and preservation, each addressing one aspect of the copying process. One tool tests software for copying computer disks, while another tests mobile device data extraction software. The third test examines "write blockers," which are a type of one-way valve for data-copying software.

Guttman notes the NIST software also lets different forensics labs share the results of their tests with each other.

From NIST News
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