Marshall professor writes digital forensics book

By Kyla Asbury | Dec 16, 2011


HUNTINGTON – A Marshall University professor of computer and information technology has written a book about digital forensics in order to provide a foundation in the digital forensics field.

John Sammons, who is also the director and Digital Forensics Chair of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence, said the book is a broad overview of digital forensics for those who are new to the field.

"The intent was to write it in a way for everyone to understand it in a non-threatening way," Sammons said. "It is more for introduction classes and covered some of the bigger issues with digital forensics."

The book, titled "The Basics of Digital Forensics: The Primer for Getting Started in Digital Forensics," comes out Feb. 29, 2012, and is published by Syngress. It is part of the publisher's Basics series.

Sammons said Syngress first came to him and asked if he was interested in contributing to a chapter of a larger book, but the project was later shelved, so he was asked to write an introduction book instead.

"In the future I would like to write more books," Sammons said. "I would like to write more in-depth stuff, maybe in bigger books later on."

Sammons said the book cover topics such as key technical concepts, labs and tools, collecting evidence, Windows artifacts, anti-forensics, the Internet and e-mail, network forensics, mobile devices and future trends and issues.

"The book provides a foundation for people who are new to the digital forensics field," Sammons said. "It teaches how to conduct examinations by discussing what digital forensics is, what methods are used and the tools needed to perform examinations."

Sammons said future trends and issues in the book include game-changing things, such as solid state hard drives and clouds.

"Solid state hard drives and clouds are big problems in digital forensics," Sammons said. "Solid state hard drives have no deleted data, unlike a normal hard drive, so you cannot go back and retrieve the data after it has been deleted. With clouds, the data could be anywhere, and you have to deal with jurisdiction problems in retrieving it."

Sammons said when data in on a cloud, you do not know how secure your privacy or data is, because you do not know exactly where that data is being held.

While Sammons wrote the book, Jennifer Rehme, who is a graduate student in forensics, helped with research, and Jonathan Sisson, who is an undergraduate senior in digital forensics, did the graphics for the book.

Sammons said the book can be used in introductory-type classes.

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