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On determining the age of questioned digital documents



(Citation)Citation information

M. S. Olivier. “On determining the age of questioned digital documents”. In: Advances in Digital Forensics XX. Ed. by E Kurkowski and S Shenoi. Advances in Information and Communication Technology. In press. Springer, 2024


The determination of the age of a document is often of paramount importance when questioned documents are examined. In a physical setting, such age determination may be based on static and/or dynamic principles. Dynamic principles are based on the manner in which documents change over time. Such aging has no equivalent in the digital domain. The static methods are based on the introduction date of ink, paper and other writing materials. Digital documents are based on artefacts that were often introduced on known dates; the static methods to date document therefore have digital equivalents. The paper introduces two principles that are used as a basis for determining the age of a document. The paper uses these principles to determine a temporal creation window for a document, in a manner that makes it possible to speak about the confidence in such a window. In those cases where a creation window can be shown to pre-date or postdate a purported creation time or other critical event, it follows that the document cannot be authentic.

(BibTeX record)BibTeX reference

author={Martin S Olivier},
title={On determining the age of questioned digital documents},
editor={E Kurkowski and S Shenoi},
booktitle={Advances in Digital Forensics {XX}},
series={Advances in Information and Communication Technology}, year=2024,
note={In press} )