Technology is constantly evolving. New technologies are invented and existing technologies are renewed. They are used and embedded in society ever faster. The safety and investigation aspects, however, need more time. The Lectorate Digital Forensics & E-discovery of the Leiden University of Applied Sciences therefore conducts applied research in this area in the IoT Forensic Lab, together with security services and industry.
Smart cities, smart buildings; everything becomes smart and interconnected. What implications does this have for ensuring safety? What new forms of crime are emerging? And how can these be investigated? Questions to which applied research is performed at the IoT Forensic Lab. This research will then provide education for students and the professional field. This teaches them how to deal with new technologies and be better equipped for digital forensic investigation and e-discovery.
Digital forensics is engaged in research in digital environments for the benefit of the judicial process. Everything that has a digital component is investigated. This can range from a small IoT device to a large airplane. The purpose is to find evidence for criminal law cases, but also for administrative law and civil law cases. E-discovery looks at the available data as a whole in order to structure and streamline it. This allows research to be conducted quickly. Large accountancy firms, for instance, use this technique in audits, and investigative services use it to detect fraud. Students carry out research using these techniques at the request of companies. Companies are also allowed to use the IoT Forensic Lab themselves, provided that they share the knowledge gained.
The IoT Forensic Lab focuses on three main areas:
- IoT digital forensics
An increasing number of devices is connected to the Internet. What traces can be found on them that serve as digital evidence? This doesn’t just concern the device itself, such as a kettle, but also the device to which it is connected, like a smartphone. New technologies are investigated for their usability. Students investigate, for instance, whether the HoloLens has added value at a crime scene. Students also explore IoT networks, so criminal networks can be tapped and disrupted, and test the security of new IoT devices.
- Open-Source Intelligence
Open sources provide a wealth of information. The collection, structuring, visualisation and analysis of open data are being innovated.
In this vast amount of data, finding evidence is a meticulous process. Time for research is often limited. Students research and develop detection strategies and tactics that enable them to quickly find relevant data. They make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, among other things, to achieve this.
The IoT Lab is sponsored by companies. They pay a fee, or sponsor hardware, software or knowledge. Sponsors are allowed to outsource assignments, have two students at their disposal per year and have priority when filling in internships. They are also allowed to use a workplace in the lab for their own research, based on fair use. To a limited extent, companies and organisations that are not sponsors can have students conduct research assignments in consultation with the professorship. HSD partners have an additional advantage because the IoT Lab is located on the HSD Campus and is emphatically looking for cooperation. Lessons learned are actively shared through symposia, private meetings, workshops, papers and other suitable ways.
The IoT Lab is an open learning environment, where students, companies and organisations meet and conduct joint research. The Lectorate Digital Forensics & E-discovery is always looking for new sponsors and research assignments. A condition is that they are active in this field, or can demonstrate they share common ground with the field. They are also expected to share knowledge. In certain cases, deviations from these conditions are allowed.
The partners in the IoT Lab include: National Police, Secura, Tesorion, IFFC, Stellar Data Recovery, NFI, DataExpert and the Ministry of Defence.
IoT Forensic Lab
Jos Griffioen, Education manager
Leiden University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science & Technology
Computer Science Training
T: +31 71 5188 397
M: +31 6 481 33 972