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The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

The Center for Education and Research in
Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS)

Simson Garfinkel - Harvard University

Students: Spring 2022, unless noted otherwise, sessions will be virtual on Zoom.

Cross-Drive Forensic Analysis

Jan 11, 2006

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This talk introduces cross-drive analysis (CDA), a new approach for performing
analysis of forensic data sets that are too large or complex to be analyzed with
today's existing tools. CDA works by performing systematic information
extraction and cross-correlation across an entire data set.
CDA was used to analyze 182 disk drives acquired on the secondary market; it automatically
identified drives containing a high concentration of
confidential financial records and three pairs of drives, each previously
used by the same organization. CDA shows strong
promise in allowing forensic examiners to prioritize their work and
in automatically identifying members of preexisting social networks.

About the Speaker

Simson L. Garfinkel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research on Computation at Society at Harvard University and an instructor at the Harvard Extension School, where he teaches courses on computer security and application design.

He is also a founder of Sandstorm Enterprises, a computer security firm that develops advanced computer forensic tools used by businesses and governments to audit their systems.

Dr. Garfinkel has research interests in computer forensics, the emerging field of usability and security, and in personal information management. He is also interested in information policy and terrorism, and has actively published and researched in these areas since the late 1980s.

Garfinkel writes a monthly column for CSO Magazine, for which he was awarded both the 2004 and the 2005 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award for Best Regularly Featured Department or Column. He wrote a weekly column for The Boston Globe between 1996 and 2000 and for Technology Review Magazine between 1998 and 2004. He was a founding contributor of Wired Magazine, and still writes for Wired on an occasional basis. Overall, Garfinkel\'s popular articles have appeared in more than 70 publications around the world.

Garfinkel is the author or co-author of fourteen books on computing, published by Addison-Wesley, IDG Books, MIT Press, O\'Reilly and Associates, and Springer-Verlag. He is perhaps best known for his book Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. Garfinkel\'s most successful book, Practical UNIX and Internet Security (co-authored with Gene Spafford), has sold more than 250,000 copies in more than a dozen languages since the first edition was published in 1991.

Garfinkel received three Bachelor of Science degrees from MIT in 1987, a master\'s of science in journalism from Columbia University in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT in 2005.

Garfinkel\'s CV is located on the Internet at

Garfinkel lives in Belmont with his wife and three children.

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