Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The EU becomes cyber Sherlock Holmes

27.10.2003


How can you be sure your on-line transactions are secure, and find out if anybody has been siphoning off money from your credit card? The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed a way of handling electronic information to protect the rights of cyberspace users and guard against fraud when buying on the Internet.

The EU Cyber Tools On-Line Search for Evidence (CTOSE) project helps identify, secure, integrate and present electronic evidence on on-line criminal offences. It meets the challenge of clearly establishing what happens during an e-crime, or even a simple on-line transaction. The new approach developed in this project enables investigators to use “computer forensic tools” to gather evidence which will stand up in court or tribunal proceedings throughout Europe. EU researchers, in co-operation with European computer and security specialists, have developed new standardised procedures for this purpose.

“Cybercrime hides behind our computer screen, and in the wires of global communication networks and services,” says European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “Business is a prime target – but public authorities and even individuals are vulnerable, too. Millions of e-mail inboxes and networks have recently been crippled by computer viruses. This innovative methodology, developed by the Commission, will not only help combat cybercrime, it will also increase user confidence in carrying out secure transactions in everyday life.”



Alarming increase in crime

The global information society is rapidly evolving, continually driving the development of new products and services, as well as ways of conducting business and commerce. However, cyberspace has also opened the door to criminals of all sorts.

Vast online information resources, network and user security all need to be protected, or the development opportunities opened up by the Web will be seriously compromised. Fraudulent transactions, computer hacking and viruses, high-tech crime, identity theft and computer fraud have become quite common occurrences, as have disputes over electronic transactions.

Computers not only provide the means of committing crime, they can also provide essential evidence of a crime. Electronic records such as computer network logs, e-mails, word-processing files, and picture files increasingly provide important evidence in criminal cases.

Supporting investigators

Fighting cybercrime is not easy. The EU Cyber Tools On-Line Search for Evidence (CTOSE) project, supported by the Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) programme, has developed a methodology that identifies, secures, integrates and presents electronic evidence. It enables anyone – from system administrators, information technology security staff and computer incident investigators, to police and law-enforcement agencies – to follow consistent and standardised procedures when investigating computer incidents using ‘computer forensic tools’.
The methodology ensures all electronic evidence is legally and properly gathered and preserved, acting as uncontaminated and compelling proof that a crime or fraud has been committed to company management, industrial tribunals, or civil or criminal courts.

Pooling resources to police the digital arena

The CTOSE project, completed on 30 September 2003, combined the expertise of French telecommunications and security specialist, Alcatel, and UK security company, QinetiQ, and three research Institutes: the CRID at the University of Namur (Belgium), the University of St. Andrews (United Kingdom), and the Fraunhofer Institute (IAO)/University of Stuttgart (Germany), together with the JRC’s Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen.

The CTOSE ‘Special Interest Group’ (SIG) made an important contribution to the success of the project. The project brought together some 50 experts in the domain, from Europe and the US, with a wide range of specialist backgrounds, including Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), computer lawyers, computer forensic tool suppliers, high-tech police investigators, and IT security staff from major financial institutions. The project partners and SIG members share a common understanding of the importance of privacy and data protection. They are now drawing up plans to carry forward the results, and ensure widespread deployment of the methodology and tools developed, by means of both a research network and a Foundation.

On-line law enforcement

The project has also developed the Cyber-Crime Advisory Tool (C*CAT), as well as a legal advisor, an expert system which offers advice on the legal aspects of computer investigations, an XML-based specification for electronic evidence, and a demonstrator showing investigations of realistic commercial situations involving simulated attacks – from hacking and website defacement to organised fraud.

The C*CAT tool tells an investigator, at each stage of an investigation, which procedures to carry out and what decisions are required. The “legal advisor” points out the legal requirements to investigators, to ensure that the evidence is admissible, convincing, and legally obtained. The XML specification enables one investigator to package a piece of evidence and hand it over to another, ensuring a safe ‘chain of custody’ for all electronic evidence.

The demonstrator shows what happens in the event of an attack, both on a typical unprotected Website, and on a site which has followed the project’s guidelines on forensic readiness, and which is therefore in a position to investigate and respond to an attack properly. Overall, the tools developed by the project represent the first complete end-to-end methodology to guide investigators through the difficult task of computer forensics.

Berta Duane | European Commission
Further information:
http://www.jrc.cec.eu.int/

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media - Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen
04.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

nachricht High Number of Science Enthusiasts in Switzerland
05.02.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>