Forensic Applications of Software Analysis

D. Rowley and S. Ramakrishnan (Australia)


Forensic Analysis, V Model, Software Quality


According to the Forensic Engineering Society (a Technical Society of The Institute of Engineers, Australia) [13], forensic engineering is the “recording, analysis and presentation of relevant technical matters in a manner that can be understood by non-technical persons, typically insurance companies, lawyers or courts of law”. The word “foren sic” comes from the Latin word “forensis”, meaning “of the forum”, “relating to legal business”, or “legal” [17]. Moreover, the Latin word “forum” means “market place” or “town square”. In the days of ancient Rome, law courts were held in forums. A significant part of forensic software engineering ef fort pertains to organising and enacting search operations and collecting and preserving evidence of software failures and faults for causal analysis. An objective of this paper is to review traditional crime and accident scene response and evidence collection and preservation guidelines pertaining to the analysis of software-induced accidents and software-facilitated crimes. Moreover, this paper presents and justifies a tactic for performing forensic software analysis through reversed V Model process review and provides recommendations for reporting causal analysis findings using Unified Modelling Language (UML) animations. Essentially, this paper purports that system failure modelling tools that do not rope in mechanisms to dy namise UML models (or other static software behavioural models) are likely to be less effective in communicating software failures to lay audiences. Most importantly, this paper attests that forensic software profiling is facilitated by a top-down approach to quality analysis (or more specifically, verification and validation).

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