A forensically-enabled IASS cloud computing architecture

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Edith Cowan University Research institute, Edith Cowan University


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


ECU Security Research Institute




Originally published in the Proceedings of the 12th Australian Digital Forensics Conference. Held on the 1-3 December, 2014 at Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Campus, Perth, Western Australia. Available here


Current cloud architectures do not support digital forensic investigators, nor comply with today’s digital forensics procedures largely due to the dynamic nature of the cloud. Whilst much research has focused upon identifying the problems that are introduced with a cloud-based system, to date there is a significant lack of research on adapting current digital forensic tools and techniques to a cloud environment. Data acquisition is the first and most important process within digital forensics – to ensure data integrity and admissibility. However, access to data and the control of resources in the cloud is still very much provider-dependent and complicated by the very nature of the multi-tenanted operating environment. Thus, investigators have no option but to rely on cloud providers to acquire evidence, assuming they would be willing or are required to by law. Furthermore, the evidence collected by the Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) is still questionable as there is no way to verify the validity of this evidence and whether evidence has already been lost. This paper proposes a forensic acquisition and analysis model that fundamentally shifts responsibility of the data back to the data owner rather than relying upon a third party. In this manner, organisations are free to undertaken investigations at will requiring no intervention or cooperation from the cloud provider. The model aims to provide a richer and complete set of admissible evidence than what current CSPs are able to provide.



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