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Digital forensics: review of issues in scientific validation of digital evidence

Digital forensics is a vital part of almost every criminal investigation given the amount of information available and the opportunities offered by electronic data to investigate and evidence a crime. However, in criminal justice proceedings, these electronic pieces of evidence are often considered with the utmost suspicion and uncertainty, although, on occasions are justifiable. Presently, the use of scientifically unproven forensic techniques are highly criticized in legal proceedings. Nevertheless, the exceedingly distinct and dynamic characteristics of electronic data, in addition to the current legislation and privacy laws remain as challenging aspects for systematically attesting evidence in a court of law. This article presents a comprehensive study to examine the issues that are considered essential to discuss and resolve, for the proper acceptance of evidence based on scientific grounds. Moreover, the article explains the state of forensics in emerging sub-fields of digital technology such as, cloud computing, social media, and the Internet of Things (IoT), and reviewing the challenges which may complicate the process of systematic validation of electronic evidence...

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