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The Expanding World of Digital Forensics
Simson L. Garfinkel
Digital forensics is on its way to becoming a mainstream part of computer science. With the right tools, forensic examiners can trace the source and determine the extent of a cyberattack. They can find evidence on a cell phone to help convict a bank robber or pimp. They can pull apart the firmware in cars and embedded devices, finding privacy leaks and security vulnerabilities. To accomplish this wizardry, the field has had to grow beyond its roots of simple data extraction and file system analysis, and now incorporates a wide variety of leading-edge computer science techniques, including big data analytics, visualization, multilingual processing, and program analysis. It’s never been a better time to be a digital forensics researcher—the people who are charged with discovering how to exploit new technologies and building the tools that systemize that knowledge. At the same time, increased technical complexity and diversity is making the job of front-line forensics examiners more challenging every day.