WSDF 2021

The 14th International Workshop on Digital Forensics

to be held in conjunction with the 16th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security
(ARES 2021 – )

August 17 – August 20, 2021

Digital forensics is a rapidly evolving field primarily focused on the extraction, preservation and analysis of digital evidence obtained from electronic devices in a manner that is legally acceptable. Research into new methodologies tools and techniques within this domain is necessitated by an ever-increasing dependency on tightly interconnected, complex and pervasive computer systems and networks. The ubiquitous nature of digital devices in modern life presents many avenues for the potential misuse of these devices in crimes that directly involve, or are facilitated by, these technologies. The aim of digital forensics is to produce outputs that can help investigators ascertain the overall state of a system. This includes any events that have occurred within the system and entities that have interacted with that system. Due care has to be taken in the identification, collection, archiving, maintenance, handling and analysis of digital evidence in order to prevent damage to data integrity. Such issues combined with the constant evolution of technology provide a large scope of digital forensic research.

WSDF aims to bring together experts from academia, industry, government and law enforcement who are interested in advancing the state of the art in digital forensics by exchanging their knowledge, results, ideas and experiences. The aim of the workshop is to provide a relaxed atmosphere that promotes discussion and free exchange of ideas while providing a sound academic backing. The focus of this workshop is not only restricted to digital forensics in the investigation of crime. It also addresses security applications such as automated log analysis, forensic aspects of fraud prevention and investigation, policy and governance.

This year, WSDF will recognise its best paper with an award sponsored by the University of Kent’s Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS).

Topics of interest comprise but are not limited to:

Digital Evidence Extraction and Analysis
Network Forensics
Anti-Forensics Techniques
Physical Memory Acquisition and Analysis
Digital Forensic Information Visualisation
Fraud Investigations Involving Technology
Portable Devices
Cyber Terrorism and Warfare
Log Analysis
Incident Response and Management
Investigative Case Studies
Artificial Intelligence in Digital Forensics
Best Practices and Case Studies

Malware Analysis
Novel Data Recovery Techniques
Cyber Criminal Profiling
Big Data in Digital Forensics
Cyber Crime investigation
Cloud Forensics
Mobile & Drones Forensics
Investigative Methodologies and Procedures
Internet of Things (IoT) Forensics
Emerging challenges in Digital Forensics
Investigative OSINT

Submission Deadline May 07, 2021
May 14, 2021
Author Notification May 28, 2021
June 4, 2021
Proceedings Version June 13, 2021
ARES EU Symposium August 17, 2021
All-Digital Conference August 17 – August 20, 2021
Workshop Chairs

Richard Overill
King’s College London, UK

Virginia N. L. Franqueira
University of Kent, UK

Andrew Marrington
Zayed University, UAE

Andrew Jones
University of Hertfordshire, UK

Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo
University of Texas at San Antonio, US

Program Committee

Olga Angelopoulou, University of Warwick, UK
Sandra Avila, University of Campinas (Unicamp), BR
Frank Breitinger, University of Liechtenstein, DE
Aniello Castiglione, University of Naples Parthenope, IT
Kam-Pui Chow, The University of Hong Kong, HK
Jan Collie, The Open University, UK
David Dampier, University of Texas at San Antonio, US
William Glisson, Sam Houston State University, US
George Crispos, University of Nebraka, US
Oren Halvani, Fraunhofer Institute, DE
Chris Hargreaves, University of Oxford, UK
Joshua James, Hallym University, KR
Erisa Karafili, University of Southampton, UK
Simon Lang, Coalfire, UK
Reza Parizi, Kennesaw State University, US
Liliana Pasquale, University College Dublin, IE
Kiran-Kumar Muniswamy-Reddy, Oracle, US
Chiara Pero, University of Salerno, IT
Joseph Remy, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, US
Mark Scanlon, University College Dublin, IE
Simon Tjoa, St. Polten University of Applied Sciences, AT
Benjamin Turnbull, The University of New South Wales, UK
Inna Vogel, Fraunhofer Institute, DE
Adrian Winckles, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
Stefano Zanero, Politecnico di Milano, IT
Jeroen van den Bos, Netherlands Forensic Institute, NL
Harm van-Beek, Netherlands Forensic Institute, NL


ARES 2021 (including workshops) will be published by the International Conference Proceedings Series published by ACM ( ACM ICPS ).

The submission guidelines valid for the workshop are the same as for the ARES conference. It is necessary that all papers submitted to EasyChair are anonymized (no names or affiliations of authors should be visible in the paper) .
They can be found >>here<<.


Towards the use of AI in digital investigation

Hans Henseler, Netherlands Forensic Institute, Netherlands

Abstract: The field of digital forensics is constantly changing due to the rapid evolution of computers, mobile devices, the internet (of things) and social media. Both commercial tool vendors as well as the professional, scientific and open source community are doing their best to keep up with new technical challenges. The importance of digital evidence is rapidly increasing which is reflected by analysts who expect that the global digital forensics market will have a growth rate of nearly 60% over the next 5 years. Despite this growth and innovation, most organizations still operate under the traditional paradigm by which experts in the digital forensic lab examine digital evidence and report results to investigators outside the lab. Organizations are finding that keeping up with new technical challenges in the digital forensic lab is not enough to let investigators benefit from the full potential of digital evidence. This has resulted in the introduction of a new paradigm called Digital Forensics as a Service (DFaaS) in which digital forensic examiners, investigators, innovators and other stakeholders in the investigation and judicial process can collaborate using a single digital forensic data platform. One example of such a DFaaS platform is Hansken, a solution that has been built by the Netherlands Forensic Institute. Today Hansken has been adopted and is being maintained as a closed-source solution by a growing international community of law enforcement and investigating agencies. Using Hansken as an example, I will illustrate why organisations should make the transition to this new paradigm right now and why DFaaS will become essential in the future in order to provide users with intelligent assistance through the use of AI techniques in the extraction, examination, analysis and disclosure of digital evidence.

Professor Hans Henseler is part-time professor of Digital Forensics & E-Discovery at University of Applied Sciences Leiden (The Netherlands) since August 2016. He is also a senior adviser in the Digital and Biometrical Traces division at the Netherlands Forensic Institute, a board member at the Netherlands Register of Court Experts and chair of the board of directors at DFRWS. Hans studied Informatics at Delft University of Technology and obtained his doctorate from Maastricht University, specialising in Artificial Neural Networks. In 1992, he pioneered the field of forensic ICT at the Forensic Laboratory, the forerunner of the Netherlands Forensic Institute, after which he entered the business sector. Since that time, he has worked for a variety of organisations, including the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), ZyLAB, PwC, Fox-IT, Tracks Inspector and Magnet Forensics, gaining a wealth of experience working in software development, leading digital forensic laboratories, managing domestic and international E-Discovery projects and providing consultancy services concerning digital evidence for fraud investigations.