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Here Are 3 Tips To Improve Your Digital Image Forensics Skills

Posted by Steven Valverde on October 5, 2022

Digital image forensics is the process of identifying and analyzing digital images for the purpose of providing legal evidence. This process can be used to investigate a wide variety of crimes, including child abuse, identity theft, and copyright infringement. Today’s digital era has caused images and videos to become a source of information and entertainment [1].

Internet and social media apps give users unlimited access to images. These same users then have the ability to download, save, share, and even alter these images making digital image forensics online a necessary investigative tool. 

Digital forensics image analysis gives investigators the ability to analyze the integrity and origin of images. Experts may perform analysis to identify the device that captured the image or to determine which devices it was not captured on. Another method of analysis aims to expose traces of manipulation such as forgeries by studying inconsistencies in natural image statistics [1].

There are many different ways to approach digital image forensics, but there are three main tips that can help you improve your skills in this area:

1. Understand the basics of digital image file formats. 
  • Image file formats are standardized means of organizing and storing digital images. There are many different digital image file formats, but the most common are JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. Being aware of the different formats can help you narrow your search when scanning devices such as cell phones or a computer.
2. Use appropriate software to analyze images.
  • The use of appropriate software is also critical for practical digital image forensics. There are many different software programs that can be used for image analysis. Digital image forensic software should have the ability to scan devices in order to retrieve target evidence. It should also allow investigators to sort digital images accordingly. 
  • Features such as facial analytics and age detection capabilities accelerate the review of images and can aid in speeding up child exploitation and human trafficking investigations. Face analytics include face detection, facial landmark localization, face attribute prediction, facial emotion recognition, and head pose estimation. The proper software can sift through digital images identifying the ones that contain people. 
  • Image recognition is the ability of software to identify objects, places, people, writing, and actions in images [2]. With the help of artificial intelligence image recognition capabilities assists investigators in categorizing images. This filtering process reduces the amount of time spent analyzing digital images. 
3. Understand what types of evidence can be obtained from images.
  • Digital images can be a valuable source of evidence, but it is important to understand what types of evidence can be obtained from them. Images can be used to identify individuals, locations, and objects. This can be especially useful in cases involving child exploitation and human trafficking. They can also be used to determine the time, date, and sequence of events. Additionally, images can be used to identify patterns and trends.

Being equipped with the proper tools and knowledge in digital image forensics can save investigators time and resources. The right software will assist in speeding investigations by sorting and categorizing digital images. Agencies can provide more efficient and expedited services to their community. 

ADF Solutions has built a seamless integration of Suspect Technologies' facial analytic capabilities into their digital forensic software so investigators can quickly find and view images of people by age group when investigating mobile and computer devices. ADF's software also contains digital forensic image recognition and classification capabilities, to help investigators quickly recognize and categorize images, reduce the "noise", and focus their investigation. 

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Topics: Digital Forensics, Photo Forensics, PhotoDNA

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