There’s More to an Image than Meets the Eye

When using an image as evidence during a court case, the point of view it represents acquires a resonance much stronger than the testimony of a witness. With video, this is even more true, as we may understand the dynamics even from the frames and any additional information which may be gleaned from the audio track.

Nowadays, there are many free and easy tools which can be used to modify pictures with ease, and thus the authentication of images is of paramount importance. But even more importantly, we need to understand how much data there is in an image, in addition to what we can already see.

Read the full article published in Lawyer Monthly.

Identify Social Media Files with Amped Authenticate

Amped Authenticate Update 10641 introduced the new Social Media Identification filter. It can be found in the File Analysis filter group.

The filters in the File Analysis group are generally looking at the file’s container to return relevant information about the file. The Social Media Identification filter examines the file for traces of information that may indicate the file’s social media source. The key word here is “may.”

The workflow that I will explain here is typical in the US and Canada. Take from it what you need in order to apply it to your country’s legal system.

Let’s begin.

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Come Meet Us in Florence and Bern!

We are on the road again next week to go meet customers, partners, and friends. Come see us in Bern, Switzerland at the IT Forensic Investigator Conference, and in Florence, Italy at the DFRWS EU Conference. We also have a workshop at each event, so don’t miss those! Read below for details on each event.


IT Forensic Investigator Conference

When: March 21, 2018

Where: Stade de Suisse, Papiermühlestrasse 71,3014 Bern, Switzerland

Why: This event is organized by the Swiss Federal Police and Arina AG for all government IT-Forensic Investigators in Switzerland.

Workshop: 

The Proper Use of Images and Videos as Evidence

Presenter: Stefano Bianchi

March 21, 14:15 – 15:00, Raum 3 Sky Lounge vorne (4. OG)

Photos and videos have always been valuable sources of evidence. Images from CCTV, body-worn cameras, dash cams and mobile devices can now be easily acquired and enhanced, but also manipulated. This can lead to breaks in the chain of custody or questions surrounding the admissibility. Relying on tools that follow a scientific methodology ensures the integrity of the digital evidence through the use of forensic workflows starting from the acquisition, to the restoration, enhancement, and the writing of the report for use in the courtroom. During this workshop, you will learn about some of these workflows, using Amped FIVE, a software for forensic image and video enhancement, identifying their compatibility within the image and video forensic community.


 DFRWS EU 2018

When: March 21-23, 2018

Where: Convito Della Calza – Oltrarno Meeting Center, Florence, Italy

Why: Amped Software is a proud sponsor of this event that fosters transdisciplinary approaches to address emerging challenges in digital forensics by bringing together innovative researchers, developers, and practitioners from around the globe.

Workshop

Image and Video Forensics: Enhancement and Analysis

Presenter: Martino Jerian (Amped Software) and Sebastiano Battiato (University of Catania)

March 21, 21:30 – 12:30, Room B

Video analysis is one of the most fascinating fields of digital and media forensics, but there’s much more to it than simply enhancing a picture. This workshop will introduce the attendees to the field of forensic image and video analysis and will provide a summary of all the steps needed to get evidence out of the source (typically a digital video recorder or a digital camera), extract parts of interest, properly enhance them, take measurements, and prepare the results for presentation in the courtroom. The attendees of the workshop will learn how to enhance and analyze images with the software Amped FIVE, using it on some practical cases. The argument of image authenticity will be briefly introduced at the end of the session with a few practical examples with the software Amped Authenticate. Requirements: Attendees of the workshop must bring their own computers for the hands-on practical exercises. A Windows system, either native or virtualized, must be available. The instructors will provide fully functional versions of the software and casework examples on USB drives.

Digital images – trust must be earned

The science behind forensic image analysis is growing fast and constantly evolving. Even within the last 5 years, the ability to take a photo, manipulate it to tell a different story, and circulate the misinformation online has become infinitely easier. The advent of smartphones, convenient digital image manipulation software and easy dissemination of information are throwing up new challenges that investigators and forensic technicians must adapt to.

Unfortunately, it is too risky to simply take digital images at face value. Instead, we must ask and have the tools to query, such as “Where did the image or video originate from?”; “Who provided it and is there any reason they might have modified it?”; “Is it a camera-original?”; and “Do I believe this is a true and accurate representation of events?”

To give a practical example, back in the summer of 2017, two images featured prominently in the initial reporting of Hurricane Harvey. The first was of a shark swimming along the Houston freeway. The second showed several aeroplanes virtually underwater at what was claimed to be Houston airport. These iconic images were circulated widely on Twitter and were featured on mainstream national media such as Fox News. There was just one small problem. Neither situation had actually occurred!

If this behaviour is widespread on social and traditional media, then why shouldn’t we believe it is also impacting police and legal investigations? After all, if members of the public are prepared to manipulate images for the sake of a few likes and retweets, what will they be prepared to resort to when the stakes are much higher?

Read the full article published in eForensics Magazine.

 

Amped Authenticate & Griffeye Analyze DI Pro: a synergy that empowers forensic analysts!

The partnership between Amped Software and Griffeye keeps growing and so does the integration between Griffeye Analyze DI Pro and Amped Authenticate. Analyze DI Pro is a media investigation software for handling large volumes of images and videos, filter irrelevant digital files, prioritize, correlate and identify the most pertinent material in investigations. It will let you scan and import data from a device or from a folder on your workstation. Once the import is complete, you can easily browse and intelligently sort/filter media.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what Griffeye Analyze DI Pro enables you to do when linked with the Amped Authenticate plugins. Let’s create a case and import a folder containing a few JPEG files.

Analyze DI Pro lets you look at image metadata, and Amped Authenticate users know how interesting they are, but, we also know that a single image may contain hundreds of Exif metadata, and reading all of them is quite a boring job. Luckily, from the very same panel above we can call in Amped Authenticate File Format Analysis to automatically spot suspicious metadata. Once you installed Authenticate and the corresponding plugin in Analyze DI Pro, this is just as simple as right-clicking on one or all the images and then hit the “Plugin” voice and select “Amped Authenticate – File Format Analysis” from the pop-up list as shown below.

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Come Meet Us in the UK!

The Amped team will be in the UK next week at these events. Come meet us at the Amped Software booth for a personal demo of our industry-leading products or contact us to set up a one-to-one meeting.

Forensics Europe Expo, Olympia, London

March 6-7

This event provides a definitive source of education, best practice, training, and networking. Essential for any forensics professional, Forensics Europe Expo is the must-attend event to learn about the very latest technology and connect with leading suppliers.

Come see us at Booth 1-D21 and attend our workshops presented by David Spreadborough, our Forensic Expert and International Trainer.

Workshop Schedule:

How to Save Time, Money and Effort when Dealing with the Complex Evidence of Videos and Images

March 6, 15:20 – 15:45, Seminar Theatre

The software that redefined forensic image restoration has evolved into the single, most powerful, application in a Forensic Video Analyst’s toolbox.

From a single image taken on a smartphone, to proprietary video from surveillance systems, Amped FIVE is there to manage, analyse, interpret, restore, enhance, present, disclose and report your visual evidence.

With the new ‘Assistant’ module, teams can create their own dedicated workflows to support and aid tasks, ensuring total compliance with ISO Standard Operating Procedures.

David will lead you through several cases, highlighting how Amped FIVE will save you time, money and effort when dealing with the complex evidence of videos and images.

Trust in an Image Goes Beyond Reading the Metadata

March 7, 14:10 – 14:35, Seminar Theatre

Amped Authenticate is the only application available that integrates every aspect of image authentication into a single, easy to use package.

Trust in an image now goes beyond reading the metadata. To rely on an image in court, the question of authenticity must be asked. Does the data compare with the story being told? Was the image taken by that device? Was it taken at a specific location? Has it been ‘photoshopped’?

The once dark art of image authenticity analysis is unravelled during a walkthrough of the software, highlighting how thousands of images can be analysed, sorted, and then compared to identify inconsistencies, before examining individual images for signs of manipulation.

With the functionality of automated scanning and reporting, you will quickly see why Amped Authenticate is becoming a must-have addition to Forensic Image Units worldwide.

For more info: https://www.forensicseuropeexpo.com/

Security & Policing, Farnborough

March 6-8

This official Government event is a world-class opportunity to meet, network and discuss the latest advances in delivering national security and resilience with UK suppliers, colleagues, and government officials. The event brings together visitors who have specific operational needs with exhibitors who have the relevant solutions, all within a secure environment. The unique three-day event also incorporates live demonstrations and immersive experiences providing the ideal setting for testing and collaborative showcasing.

Come see us at Booth D22 and have a chat with our CEO and Founder, Martino Jerian.

For more info: https://www.securityandpolicing.co.uk/

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Amped Authenticate Update 10641: Social Media Identification, Griffeye Integration & Many New Filter Options

Hi everyone!

David Spreadborough here, the International Trainer at Amped Software. It’s great to be back writing a blog post. The past few months have been very busy at Amped and our image authentication software, Amped Authenticate, has become the ‘go-to’ tool for many requiring an image’s history or to identify signs of manipulation. Helped maybe by the huge amounts of press detailing fake stories and images.

In this crazy world of multimedia forensics, we cannot stand still. The tech wizards at Amped HQ have been hard at work integrating new filters and tools to assist you further. So, let’s dive in and take a look!

Social Media Identification Filter

Under the File Analysis category, you will find this new filter.

Its purpose is to detect traces in the file formats left on images by social media platforms. As most of you probably already know, it is very easy to save other people’s images from sharing sites. With a simple right-click, you can save the displayed image to your computer.

An image from someone’s Facebook timeline

This filter now enables you to identify if the images you are examining originate from a Social Media Platform.

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Fraud in Science: the Bigger Picture

Cases of fraud within published scientific research are on the rise, with several recent cases involving the falsification of images.

Scientists are subjected to exactly the same pressures and temptations that drive people to commit fraud in all manner of environments and for various reasons. Sometimes the motivation is commercial; perhaps to obtain a research grant or to enhance the profile of the institution and attract more applications. In others it might be professional; to get published in a prestigious Journal or simply to save face after an experiment has failed to deliver the desired
results.

Regardless of the justification, when these actions have legal consequences it is important to have the tools to detect when such fraud occurs. And more importantly to have the ability
to scientifically prove this in a court of law.

Multimedia forensics is invaluable within cases of research fraud, both for presenting a case or defending the accused. However, it’s not good enough to simply bring in an expert witness and have them confidently present their case. Tools exist to carry out the analysis in line with the scientific methodology, giving the judge and in some cases the jury, a basis upon which to evaluate the full weight of the evidence. Consider it ironic, but if the right software is adopted within the legal system then the scientific method may just prove to be the answer to the current crisis facing scientific integrity.

Read the full article published in The Barrister.

Amped DVRConv for transcription?

In our most recent update of Amped DVRConv, we added the ability to separate the audio and video streams in your DME files – to save the audio as a separate file. For some, this functionality went unnoticed. For others, it was a huge deal.

Two very specific use cases required this functionality. You asked. We delivered.

Case #1 – Child Exploitation/Human Trafficking

Agencies responsible for investigating cases of child exploitation/human trafficking were spending a lot of time redacting video files (blurring faces and other sensitive information) in order to send files off for audio transcription. The distribution of files in child exploitation cases (files that can be considered child pornography) for transcription is now made a lot easier with DVRConv. All of the evidentiary videos can be loaded into the tool and processed without having to view the footage. DVRConv helps to dramatically speed up the process of getting files to transcription whilst protecting identities and shielding staff from the harmful psychological and legal effects of viewing/distributing such material.

Case #2 – Police Generated Video

Agencies that have deployed body worn/vehicle-based cameras or have interview room recorders often have to send the resulting video files to outside companies for transcription. Like the case above, they are faced with having to redact the visual information prior to releasing the files to their contractor. Even if the agency has chosen a CJIS compliant transcription contractor, they may have agency policies that require the redaction of the visual information prior to release. DVRConv eliminates the need to perform a visual redaction ahead of such a release of files. Having this ability is already saving agencies a tremendous amount of time/money.

Users of DVRConv do not require specialized training. The tool can be used by anyone. It’s drag-drop easy. Plus, the settings can be configured so that the resulting audio file meets the requirements of your transcription vendor.

If you’d like to know more about Amped DVRConv, or any of our other Amped Software products and training options, contact us today.

Experience Amped products at Marine West 2018

Marine West is co-sponsored by and held at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. Marine commands throughout Southern California send delegations to visit this annual exposition. Marine West showcases the latest technology and prototypes aimed at preparing today’s Marines for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.  Amped Software supports the mission of the Marines and other NATO forces.

When: February 7-8, 2018

Where: Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, Area 22.  View map

Visit Amped Software at Booth #510 to learn more about us and our innovative products for forensics, ISR, UAS post-mission analysis, and SSE. Continue reading