Research Topics

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Interested in doing research in computer forensics? Looking for a master's topic, or just some ideas for a research paper? Here is my list. Please feel free to add your own ideas.

Disk Forensics

Stream Forensics

Process the entire disk with one pass, or at most two, to minimize seek time.

Evidence Falsification

Automatically detect falsified digital evidence.


Detect and diagnose sanitization attempts.

AFF Enhancement

  • Replace the AFF "BADFLAG" approach for indicating bad data with a bad sector bitmap.
  • Modify aimage so that it can take a partial disk image and a disk and just image what's missing.
  • Improve the data recovery features of aimage.
  • Replace AFF's current table-of-contents system with one based on B+ Trees.

Timeline Analysis

Write a new timeline viewer that supports:

  • Logfile fusion (with offsets)
  • Logfile correlation


JPEG Validator

Create a JPEG decompresser that supports restarts and checkpointing for use in high-speed carving.

Cell Phone Exploitation


Develop a tool for imaging the contents of a cell phone memory


  • Develop a tool for reassembling information in a cell phone memory

Corpora Development

Realistic Disk Corpora

There is need for realistic corpora that can be freely redistributed but do not contain any confidential personally identifiable information (PII).

These disk images may be either of an external drive or of a system boot drive. The drive images should have signs of wear --- that is, they should have resident files, deleted files, partially overwritten files, contiguous files, and fragmented files.

From DFRWS 2005 Frank Adelstein (ATC-NY), Yun Gao and Golden G. Richard III (University of New Orleans): Automatically Creating Realistic Targets for Digital Forensics Investigation

Realistic Network Traffic

Generating realistic network traffic requires constructing a test network and either recording interactions within the network or with an external network.