Forensic Technology Center of Excellence


Network Forensics: Challenges and Tools

Network Forensics: Challenges and Tools

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:00:00 PM ET
Duration: 1 hour(s)

In response to criminal investigations involving digital evidence, law enforcement needs forensically sound tools to acquire, evaluate, process, and present the data to the court. In the case of network forensics, challenges arise when the evidence is buried in large volumes of data.

The financial burdens of purchasing and licensing proprietary tools are not sustainable for law enforcement. This webinar reviewed a set of open-source tools, including snort, pcap, TcpDump, wireshark, and NetworkMiner. It highlighted a recent open-source toolkit, FileTSAR, developed by Purdue University. This user-friendly toolkit can extract digital evidence from large amounts of network traffic and reconstruct unencrypted files, web pages, emails, and VOIP. FileTSAR achieves great performance by leveraging Spark, ElasticSearch, Kafka, and Kibana.

Since existing tools all have their own limitations, the presenters also discussed the challenges in network forensics. Potential workarounds were given for law enforcement and future work was identified for researchers in the field.

Detailed Learning Objectives:

1) Definition and value of network forensics

2) Challenges in network forensics for researchers and law enforcement

3) Network forensics tools, limitations, and workarounds

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.



Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar
Dr. Baijian “Justin” Yang



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