Category Archives: Announcements

Treviso Forensic – a Forensic Engineering Technical Seminar

Come out to the Treviso Forensic seminar to learn from Amped’s CEO, Martino Jerian, on how to analyze, enhance and authenticate images and videos during investigations. Amped will present during the Digital Forensic “e-crime” session on September 27 from 16:10-18:00 in Sala Doge

Treviso Forensic 2018 is the second technical seminar on Forensic Engineering, following the success of the first edition held in September 2016, which saw the participation of more than 600 professionals. The event is scheduled from 26th to 28th of September, 2018 in the stunning location of Villa Braida, Mogliano Veneto, Treviso.

Treviso Forensic is a technical meeting both for professionals who want to learn the basics of the discipline as well as for professionals with vast experience in the field, who want to learn more about the advances of Forensic Engineering.

To learn more about the event: https://trevisoforensic.it/en/929-2/

An exciting first Amped User Day event

Thank you to all the users who spent the day with us in beautiful Bled, Slovenia on Friday, September 21.

We learned a lot from you, and hope you learned from us too! And we hope you also had some fun — we sure did!

A special thank you goes to our users Mario Ruiz Mateos from the Criminalistic Service –  Spanish Guardia Civil, and Tomislav Prijanovič from the National Forensic Laboratory, Slovenia for sharing their interesting cases with us.

See you at our next event!

#ampeduserday

Showcasing our latest technology at Modern Day Marine

Visit Amped Software at Booth 1002 at the Modern Day Marine event from September 25-27 at MCB Quantico, Virginia, USA.

Modern Day Marine is co-sponsored by Marine Corps Base, Quantico, the Exposition’s home base. MCB Quantico, home to the Combat Development Command and the Marine Corps Systems Command, is responsible for setting requirements, developing equipment and systems and purchasing the equipment and systems that the Marine Corps will rely on in the years to come. These vital and unique functions play a large part in positioning Modern Day Marine as the premier military equipment, systems, services and technology exposition. There will be 300+ companies, product demonstrations and industry briefings covering the latest in emerging military equipment, vehicles, technology and training systems.

For more info: https://www.marinemilitaryexpos.com/modern-day-marine/attendee-information/

Come see us in Germany at the FT-Day event

Our autumn road trip continues as Team Amped travels to the FT-Day (Forensic Technology Day) event held in Karlsruhe, Germany from September 25-26. This event, organized by MH Service GmbH, provides an opportunity for experts, investigators, companies and government agencies to meet and discuss trends, developments, and challenges within the IT-forensic industry.

Come meet our newest Team Amped member, Lucy Carey-Shields, as she presents two presentations:

September 25, 10:40-11:10
Advances in Forensic Video Enhancement: What’s new in Amped FIVE

September 25, 14:25-14:55
Advances in Photo Forensics: What’s new in Amped Authenticate

For more info: http://ft-day.de/en/

Bis bald!

We are just days away from our User Day in Bled Slovenia

Team Amped is getting all packed and ready to go to Bled, Slovenia for our first ever Amped User Day event! On Friday, September 21, Amped users will meet the team behind the Amped Software products, exchange ideas, ask questions, discuss product improvements and meet other expert Amped users from around the world.

If you have not registered yet, and just happen to be in the area, contact us to see if we have some last-minute seats available for you.

For more information about our event: https://ampedsoftware.com/amped-user-day-2018

We are so Amped up to see you!

#ampeduserday

Amped at HLS in Indonesia

Together with our partner Omni Integer we are participating in the Homeland Security (HLS) Indonesia event from 19-20 September at the Jakarta Convention Center.

This is an exciting new conference and exhibition covering the full spectrum of homeland security and law enforcement. HLS Indonesia 2018 is projected to attract at least 60 leading exhibitors plus 3000 trade visitors, offering an unparalleled trade and networking platform for the industry to meet officials from the nation’s key security, police, and paramilitary agencies and address their challenges and requirements.

Stop by Booth 312 to see what’s new with Amped Software!

For more info visit: https://www.hlsindonesia.com/

Getting the Result

As a Certified Forensic Video Analyst, one of the hardest calls is stating that nothing can be done. I cannot recover that face, that logo, or that license plate.

I have written many articles, and spoken at conferences, about the challenges with CCTV video evidence, so getting a result from poor footage can be immensely satisfying.

So, what is required then to get the result?

The planets of Evidence, Tool and Competency all need to be aligned.

Continue reading

DVRConv Update 11571: Multiplexed streams, timestamp extraction and more formats now supported

We’ve released another update for Amped DVRConv, one of the fastest ways to cleanly convert video. It is also the simplest; a clean installation tool that allows anyone who works with digital video to drag and drop proprietary video evidence in order to achieve a standard playable file – cutting out the hours, or even days, it takes to locate a proprietary player. Drag and drop – it’s that easy! With DVRConv, alongside Amped FIVE and Amped Authenticate, your workflow from scene to laboratory is completely covered and together they provide great weapons in your forensic video and image analysis arsenal!

Let’s say you regularly process video evidence and, like a lot of technicians and analysts, you are tasked with retrieving video from a scene at a location other than your lab or office. Retrieving CCTV from DVRs at scene can often be laborious, fraught with difficulty and a lot of the time the scenes are a fair distance away from your usual office. One of the most important steps during the recovery of CCTV evidence is checking to see if the download has been successful, which means playback of what is more likely to be proprietary video at scene using only a laptop and your recovery tools.

Saving time at a video recovery scene is crucial and it’s a nightmare having to trawl through hundreds of proprietary players, some of which won’t work on your current operating system or might have different versions of the same type of player. The conversion engine in Amped FIVE would be ideal, but you want something more portable to add to the tools on your retrieval laptop. This is where DVRConv steps in to quickly convert and playback your downloaded files in an easily customisable and cleanly installed package!

Utilising exactly the same conversion engine as FIVE but with twice the portability, you can not only playback and confirm your video files at scene, but have them ready for clarification and enhancement in FIVE for when you return to the office or lab.  Logs are provided for disclosure and the original files are left untouched, maintaining the continuity of your video evidence from the beginning.

Continue reading

Content Triage

Here in the US, we’re hyper-focused on standards and compliance. In the aftermath of the 2009 paper, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, many national and state initiatives were put forward to address the issues raised in the document.

We love checklists. Yes, sometimes there’s a need to stray a bit from the workflow, but checklists help guide the work.

In our classes here, we present the workflow from the standpoint of science and the law. One of the most important steps in the beginning of the workflow is Content Triage.

Content Triage is the process of asking of one’s digital multimedia evidence, “do I have the appropriate quantity/quality of data to answer the questions in my case?”

If you do, great. Proceed with your work. If not, your results will be limited and those limitations should be noted in your report. An example of a limitation can be seen in the many files processed where the target area lacks sufficient resolution.

I’ve got a short video on this topic over on our YouTube page (click here).

I’ve been traveling the country speaking on this topic and its importance in investigations. My next stop will be at the Society for Integrity in Force Investigation and Reporting Annual Conference in Henderson, Nevada. You can get more info on this event over on our Events page. I hope to see you there.

Using Enhanced Images in Court

I recently testified in court as a forensic image and video expert and, as is sometimes the case, the use of some filters to enhance images was questioned. As I have written before, there is some processing that should be entirely avoided, since it lacks accuracy and repeatability. For example, we should avoid techniques which add new information relying on data obtained by a training set, or techniques which have a random component.

Some years ago, there was a school of thought that said, only classical image processing techniques available for the analog photography can be applied to digital photography in the forensic context. What are the risks of applying the wrong processing? We are not interested in having a “pleasant” image, we are concerned about extracting information from it. The risks of wrong processing are:

  • Removing existing information: for example, removing the grain in a dark image can remove also important details.
  • Adding new information: for example, creating or amplifying image artifacts which may be misinterpreted as a real detail.

In this reasoning, we are not referring to details at the pixel level, but at the image semantic content. In general, if I resize an image, I add a lot of new pixels but if the processing is correct I am not adding any new relevant information.

It’s important to understand that most of the image processing techniques present a compromise: I enhance something at the expense of damaging something else. For example, if I lighten an image to show better a dark part, it’s very likely to lose details in the parts of the image that are already bright enough.

For this reason, it’s very difficult, in general, to say which techniques are good and which techniques are bad. Their applicability must be related to the specific case and the parameters used. Filters are just tools, and as such, they can be used in the right way, obtaining better images, or in the wrong way, damaging the image quality or presenting wrong information.

Because of this, it’s important not to blindly apply different enhancement and restoration filters, but to apply them in order to correct a specific defect. Similarly, the tuning of their parameters must be consistent with the amount of defect I want to correct. Abusing the filters can create images which are much worse than the original.

It is therefore important, as I’ve said many times, to work with experts who have specific experience in the forensic image and video analysis field. Who know what to do, and how to identify what has been done incorrectly.

A lot of pressure may be put on the processing done by the experts, but most people ignore that there are many other processing and possible issues happening during the image acquisition and visualization phases.

A lot of processing happens in the camera itself, from CCTV to smartphones. Unless raw image pictures are used, and this is very rare, the value of the pixels in an image are hugely dependent on the processing and encoding which automatically happens inside the device to obtain the ratio between image quality and technical limitations that the producer wished to obtain.

And then, even to simply visualize the image, there’s a lot going on under the hood. Different software can decode the image in a slightly different way which can enormously impact the final result, and a lot of image processing happens on the graphics card of the PC, on the screen, or on a projector. Just play with the brightness of the projector to realize how much the visible information in an image can be impacted by such simple tuning.

There is then the most critical part of the processing: our eyes and our brain. Different people see and want to see different things in the same image. Analyzing things in an objective and unbiased way is often very difficult unless you can measure things numerically. And in fact, avoiding and limiting the various types of biases are one of the most important aspects of forensic science currently studied.

This article, written by Martino Jerian, was originally published in Lawyer Monthly magazine. Click here for the published article.