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Using Network Intrusion Detection Systems to Acquire Evidence


Using Network Intrusion Detection Systems to Acquire Evidence

An important digital forensics process related to security hacking incidents is to collect information from log meta data that are stored in network firewalls, network intrusion detection systems (NIDS), databases, web servers and operation systems. However, the main problem with these logs is that they are designed for debugging systems and that they are often lacking capability for forensics purposes. This leads to the collection of incomplete information about the attack and the attacker for further investigation. The problem is further compounded by the inability of NIDS to collect complete data sets when workloads increase. Our research assessed the value of NIDS for evidential purposes in different environments and with different NIDS products. We concluded that there are complexities that require management and technical capabilities that require improvement before a NIDS can provide adequate evidence for legal purposes. Many current uses of NIDS result in incremental changes in security systems but often fall short of tracking offenders and retaining robust evidence. Therefore, there is a need for new techniques to help address the problem and to improve the quality and efficiency of the evidence collection.




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Scott C. Zimmerman is a CISSP qualified Information Security consultant and presenter

 

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