Category Archives: Press

Altered images: The challenge of identifying fake photographs

Fake photographs have been around for almost as long as the camera, but in a digital age of photography, the ability to alter images has never been easier. EU Forensic Video Expert David Spreadborough examines the current challenges surrounding authenticating images.

Thanks to the latest administration in the USA, the term ‘fake news’ has become a popular method of explanation to an event created within social media. The problem is that news agencies and websites find these invented stories and then republish, therefore causing the spread and proliferation of the fake story.

You may have seen this image recently during the G20 meeting of world leaders. Looks like a serious conversation. It may have been, but Putin was never there. Find a picture, create a story, ‘Photoshop’ the picture, then tweet it. The fake news cycle then starts. The more relevant the story, the quicker the spread.

The modification of images to tell a different story is nothing new, it’s been happening since the early days of photography. A popular myth is that it’s a problem caused by the digital age. An example is the photo of The Cottingley Fairies. Although I accept that digitisation has made things a lot easier and a lot more convincing.

Over the past few months, entwined between the ‘fake news’ stories have been several reports of manipulated images appearing in academic studies. It is easy to understand how people can be swayed to change a couple of images to validate a piece of research if it assists in the success of a financial grant. Images in documents used to prove qualifications and images proving the existence of large, wild cats in southern England have also all recently been found to be fake, or maliciously manipulated. When someone fakes an image, it is simply to present an event in a different way than the original moment in time. Continue reading

Amped featured in Fraud Intelligence

Alan Osborn, from Fraud Intelligence, writes about the strong interest shown at the Forensics Europe Expo, by the Trieste, Italy-based company Amped Software, whose technology enables the analysis, enhancement, and authentication of images and video. Amped told FI how it’s very easy to alter an image and change the context and the meaning of that image, but hiding the artifacts that are left behind is much harder.

Click here for the PDF version of the published article.

CSI effect: the role of a forensic video analyst is a little more than just special Hollywood effects

“Often seen but rarely understood, the role of a forensic video analyst is a little more than just special effects”. David Spreadborough, Amped’s International Trainer and Forensic Video Analyst, explains what forensic video analysis actually entails.

Read the full article published in Safety & Security International magazine

Police Oracle interviews Amped to discuss how imaging software can help growing ‘question’ of authenticity

David Spreadborough, Amped’s international trainer and ex-officer at Cheshire Police for 24 years, tells Police Oracle how Amped Authenticate is designed to help law enforcement underpin the veracity of images submitted to them externally, allowing officers to apply the appropriate level of ‘weight’ to evidence.

Read the article on Police Oracle or click here.

Mediafax Reports on How Amped FIVE is Used in Romania

Mediafax posted a nice article about our software, but since it is in Romanian, we have translated it in English for you. You can find the original here.

mediafax

Cluj Police Can Identify Criminals Caught on Camera Easier with Amped Software

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Cluj County Police Department, Romania uses Amped FIVE, allowing them to identify criminals or motor-vehicle license plates, in video, captured from surveillance cameras easily and quickly. Amped software is used by police officers from 50 countries, from Europe to the US.
Cluj County Police Inspectorate (IPJ)  displayed the software at Cluj Napoca City Hall, after Mayor Emil Boc said the software has made processing images from surveillance cameras and identifying criminals or licence plates, easier and faster in Romania. 

The software, developed by an Italian company, is now used by police officers from more than 50 countries in Europe and the US. Before purchasing the new software, Cluj forensics were working with a system that was adapted to improve videos, but only for simple corrections such as brightness, contrast and color.  One of Cluj police criminalist experts explained to Mediafax how the new software works and what results can be achieved.

Continue reading

Forensic Focus: The Complete Workflow of Forensic Image and Video Analysis

One of our articles has just been posted on Forensic Focus. This is just the introduction.

In this article we’ll describe the complete workflow for image and video forensics. In fact, just like computer forensics is not only simply copying and looking at files, forensic video analysis is broad and complex and there are many steps that are commonly missed and rarely taken into account. It can be quite overwhelming if we think of all the tasks related to analysis. As a forensic video analyst, it is important to be aware of all the possible steps needed for a really complete analysis. This way, you can stay organized and minimize the possibility of skipping or missing steps. Also, if you do have to go to court, you have an outline that serves as the basis of your presentation.

It is important to remember that the job of a forensic video analyst does not start and end with viewing and enhancing a video. It’s more complex than that. You must identify the data, decode it properly, document the process, compare it with other material, and then go to court.  Since digital data is really just a collection of bits, below is an outline of a process around working with these bits what you need to do with the bits.

Read the full article on Forensic Focus.