The world of digital forensics involves the use of a very diverse array of tools, some highly specialized and technical and others pretty simple, as we all know, and these tools are constantly evolving as the digital landscape itself changes and becomes more complex (and more defensive if we’re also talking about those who try to cause harm or conceal their digital footprints). One of the latest of these tools to enter the market and become useful to analysts, educators and students of the computer forensics industry has been none other than the now famous Google Glass.
These voice controlled glasses, which basically act as a sort of very sophisticated wearable computer, with its own applications and OS interface, can be worn and used in any place with a wireless connection of some kind. Users can integrate their glass with their personal preferences in their Google accounts, use them to find directions, look at interactive maps and access a wide assortment of online information about the physical world that’s actually around them at any time.
In essence, the vast amount of data access available thanks to the Google Glass interface makes them an excellent tools for technical work of any kind and especially powerful tools for those working or studying in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Additionally this same quality, amongst others, makes Google Glass a potentially powerful tool when it comes to digital security in the private, government and corporate sectors. Here are a few reasons why.
Prospective students of forensics are faced with the moderate but constant dilemma of absorbing theory and technical educational materials on data protection and recovery while then having to apply them in the real world in a way that fluidly flows off from what they’ve learned.
Google Glass by its very nature makes this process capable of being run much more smoothly and efficiently than ever before.
A student of computer science and forensics in particular can perform field training on damaged or compromised machines and breached corporate networks while simultaneously being able to capture photos of everything he does, take screen shots of his investigative probing work and then share all of this information with colleagues and instructors in real time over social media and cloud sharing platforms.
Furthermore, if stumped on a certain aspect of field training or data analytics, the ability to access online resources and previously downloaded instruction materials would let someone in training much more quickly resolve their problem.
As a basic example: Imagine a police forensics trainee with low level experience sent in to capture as much data from some captured laptops that have just been shut down: the drives themselves are covered by full AES encryption systems but there is a chance of recovering the passwords and other crucial data by performing techniques such as those explained here. By being armed with Google Glass, the trainee could deal with this odd sort of scenario much more effectively while keeping their hands free to work; they could examine research material such as the content of the above article, contact a more experienced instructor and directly get instructions on techniques such as flash freezing the RAM card with compressed air as soon as possible, and at the same time they could contact their lab and notify that a memory that needs to be kept cool until analyzed will be coming in.
General Forensic Documentation
We’ve just gone over the benefits of on the fly advice consultation and documentation of work for digital forensics students, but the same capacities apply to any other IT and digital security professional moving through a complex investigative or work environment.
Imagine being able to walk into a data security crime scene at a corporate office or some other large space with numerous pieces of evidence which need to be collected for collation and later scrutiny. The hassle of multiple pieces of equipment, such as scanning devices and disk imagers will be an inevitable part of your work, yes, but with voice and eye operated power of Google Glass on your face, a lot of your image and video capture needs will be enormously simplified. While imaging a drive or running queries on network servers’ code, you can capture constant video or photo evidence as you work in real time and without interrupting anything you’re doing with your hands. This is where Google Glass has a lot of potential as a major forensic workplace stress reliever.
Stephan Jukic writes for LWGConsulting, a global leader in forensic engineering & recovery solutions.