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The Use of File Timestamps in Digital Forensics

Koen and Olivier


(Citation)Citation information

R. Koen and M. S. Olivier. “The Use of File Timestamps in Digital Forensics”. In: Proceedings of the ISSA 2008 Innovative Minds Conference. Ed. by H. S. Venter, M. M. Eloff, J. H. P. Eloff, and L. Labuschagne. (Published electronically). Johannesburg, South Africa, July 2008


Digital evidence is not well perceived by the human senses. Crucial pieces of digital evidence may simply be missed by investigators as the forensic significance of seemingly unimportant pieces of collected data may not be fully understood. This paper will discuss how abstract pieces of information may be extracted from seemingly insignificant evidence sources such a file timestamps by making use of correlating evidence sources. The use of file timestamps as a substitute for missing or corrupt log files as well as the information deficiency problem surrounding the use of timestamps will be discussed in detail. A prototype was developed to help investigators to determine the course of event as they occurred according to file timestamps. The prototype results that were obtained as well as prototype flaws will also be addressed.

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(BibTeX record)BibTeX reference

author={Renico Koen and Martin S Olivier},
title={The Use of File Timestamps in Digital Forensics},
booktitle={Proceedings of the ISSA 2008 Innovative Minds Conference},
editor={Hein S Venter and Mariki M Eloff and Jan H P Eloff and Les Labuschagne},
address={Johannesburg, South Africa},
note={(Published electronically)} )