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Metadata Analysis with E-mail


Metadata Analysis with E-mail

Metadata. From last author to MACE dates, as forensic analysts our lives revolve around metadata. We stake our professional reputations on being able to properly interpret and describe it, we use it to understand relationships and patterns within the data we analyze, and ultimately we rely on its accuracy as a core foundation for our findings. But how often do we take the time to take a deep look at the tools we use and what we are relying on to extract this information, and what happens when we get it wrong? In a recent case, our team was asked to review a few highly relevant emails that had been produced with various, contradictory time stamps. Specifically we needed to know how this could be possible without malicious intent or alteration of the evidence and, more importantly, what the correct time stamps were for these email messages. The emails in question originated from Microsoft Outlook, Exchange and Bloomberg messaging.

We do a fair bit of work with clients where dates and times are important, but in this case the difference of a few hours in receipt of the email could alter the entire trajectory of the case. I’ll leave the legal nuance of the arguments to the lawyers, but suffice it to say, the difference between 10am and 2pm could make a significant difference in the case for our client.

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Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Coming up in Issue 39 on sale from February 2019:


Making Sense of Digital Forensic International Standards

To many the complexity of Standards, their numbering and obscure contents fail to make practical sense and confuse the entry points for effective use. A roadmap is provided in this paper for Standard information access and optimal use. Read More »

Evidentiary Challenges: Social media, the Dark Web, and Admissibility

This article takes a look at two categories of remote evidence: social media, and the dark web. We will also examine two interesting cases: The Target store credit card breach; and the civil case of Fero v Excellus Health Plan, Inc. Read More »

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Vehicle Data Forensics on Unsupported Systems

The article will help readers understand how to approach a vehicle from a digital forensics’ perspective, it will cover a range of infotainment units from popular manufacturers, data extraction methods and examples of data types found which may be considered intelligence and or used as digital evidence. Read More »

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