Erwin van Eijk

Digital forensics in the real world

Digital forensics plays a major role in any crime investigation, from fraud to involuntary deaths. Its role is most prominent in cases where child abuse is photographed or videotaped and subsequently distributed to the internet, because the only traces that are noticed are on the internet. The traces (e.g. from the images, chat sessions etc.) surrounding the photographs and videos are used to find the source of the abuse, the victim and the abuser. Managing the pieces of evidence seized and the traces they contain has become a daunting task, which needs special hardware and software in order to be processed. This presentation will introduce the concepts surrounding digital forensic investigations, the traces that are usually processed and recent research that will enhance the ability to sift through the data more quickly. Because the value of the recovered traces is determined by social interaction in networks of on-line users, some patterns we've noticed in recent cases will be discussed as well.


Erwin J. van Eijk works in the Department of Digital Technology and Biometrics at the Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague. He specialized in the analysis of all types of digital evidence, e.g. from hard drives, the internet or mobile telephones. The analysis needs to be automated and when not handling cases, he is researching new methods of improving the analysis of digital evidence. He has been involved in the investigation on the creation and distribution of the images of child abuse since 1998.