Instant messaging (IM) has changed the way people communicate with each other. However, the interactive and instant nature of these applications (apps) made them an attractive choice for malicious cyber activities such as phishing. The forensic examination of IM apps for modern Windows 8.1 (or later) has been largely unexplored, as the platform is relatively new. In this paper, we seek to determine the data remnants from the use of two popular Windows Store application software for instant messaging, namely Facebook and Skype on a Windows 8.1 client machine. This research contributes to an in-depth understanding of the types of terrestrial artefacts that are likely to remain after the use of instant messaging services and application software on a contemporary Windows operating system. Potential artefacts detected during the research include data relating to the installation or uninstallation of the instant messaging application software, log-in and log-off information, contact lists, conversations, and transferred files.
Network forensics enables investigation and identification of network attacks through the retrieved digital content. The proliferation of smartphones and the cost-effective universal data access through cloud has made Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) a congenital target for network attacks. However, confines in carrying out forensics in MCC is interrelated with the autonomous cloud hosting companies and their policies for restricted access to the digital content in the back-end cloud platforms. It implies that existing Network Forensic Frameworks (NFFs) have limited impact in the MCC paradigm. To this end, we qualitatively analyze the adaptability of existing NFFs when applied to the MCC. Explicitly, the fundamental mechanisms of NFFs are highlighted and then analyzed using the most relevant parameters. A classification is proposed to help understand the anatomy of existing NFFs. Subsequently, a comparison is given that explores the functional similarities and deviations among NFFs. The paper concludes by discussing research challenges for progressive network forensics in MCC.
This study reviews forensic entomological specimens analysed by the Department of Parasitology & Medical Entomology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for the year 2004. A total of 10 cases (6 males and 4 females) were observed for the entomological specimens. Various types of death scenes were obtained including indoor and outdoor area such as bushes field, rubbish dumping site, and aquatic areas. Identified fly species collected from the death sites were blow flies, Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya rufifacies and Lucilia cuprina and unknown sarcophagid larvae, with Ch. megacephala being the most common species found in the ecologically varied death scene habitats. The post-mortem interval (PMI) estimation ranged from one to five days, based on the entomological specimens collected.
With the rapid development of technology, mobile phones have become an essential tool in terms of crime fighting and criminal investigation. However, many mobile forensics investigators face difficulties with the investigation process in their domain. These difficulties are due to the heavy reliance of the forensics field on knowledge which, although a valuable resource, is scattered and widely dispersed. The wide dispersion of mobile forensics knowledge not only makes investigation difficult for new investigators, resulting in substantial waste of time, but also leads to ambiguity in the concepts and terminologies of the mobile forensics domain. This paper developed an approach for mobile forensics domain based on metamodeling. The developed approach contributes to identify common concepts of mobile forensics through a development of the Mobile Forensics Metamodel (MFM). In addion, it contributes to simplifying the investigation process and enables investigation teams to capture and reuse specialized forensic knowledge, thereby supporting the training and knowledge management activities. Furthermore, it reduces the difficulty and ambiguity in the mobile forensics domain. A validation process was performed to ensure the completeness and correctness of the MFM. The validation was conducted using two techniques for improvements and adjustments to the metamodel. The last version of the adjusted metamodel was named MFM 1.2.
Forensic odontology has been an interdisciplinary part of forensic science for many years. In Malaysia, this forensic discipline has been practiced for more than two decades however it is still considered a new discipline as there are a limited number of specialists. To date, there are less than ten practicing forensic odontologists in Malaysia. Many dentists do not have a clear perception of this field, thus forensic odontology rarely becomes a career of choice. The purpose of this article is to highlight the attributes of a competent forensic odontologist and encourage dentists towards this challenging career path.
Wherever an impact mark is found, either on the surface or on the recovered projectile, it is important for forensic investigators to extract useful information in solving shooting-related cases. This article reviews a collection of works on examination of impact marks upon striking of projectiles on inanimate objects, emphasizing on the retrievable information from a shooting scene and their forensic significance in shooting event reconstruction. Literature suggested that impact marks on target surfaces and the degree of deformation on striking projectiles vary according to different combinations of ammunition and surface materials. It was noted that conditions in real-case scenarios further differed unpredictably in comparison with controlled studies, where forensic investigation should be treated as case-specific basis. Furthermore, the way forensic science is researched and applied operationally has to be reconsidered to reduce the gap via translational approach for more effective use of forensic evidence.
Uniqueness being unprovable, it has recently been argued that individualization in forensic science is irrelevant and, probability, as applied for DNA profiles, should be applied for all identifications. Critiques against uniqueness have omitted physical matching, a realistic and tangible individualization that supports uniqueness. Describing case examples illustrating pattern matches including physical matching, it is indicated that individualizations are practically relevant for forensic science as they establish facts on a definitive basis providing firm leads benefitting criminal investigation. As a tenet of forensic identification, uniqueness forms a fundamental paradigm relevant for individualization. Evidence on the indeterministic and stochastic causal pathways of characteristics in patterns available in the related fields of science sufficiently supports the proposition of uniqueness. Characteristics involved in physical matching and matching achieved in patterned evidence existing in the state of nature are not events amenable for counting; instead these are ensemble of visible units occupying the entire pattern area stretching the probability of re-occurrence of a verisimilitude pattern into infinity offering epistemic support to uniqueness. Observational methods are as respectable as instrumental or statistical methods since they are capable of generating results that are tangible and obviously valid as in physical matching. Applying the probabilistic interpretation used for DNA profiles to the other patterns would be unbefitting since these two are disparate, the causal pathways of the events, the loci, in the manipulated DNA profiles being determinable. While uniqueness enables individualizations, it does not vouch for eliminating errors. Instead of dismissing uniqueness and individualization, accepting errors as human or system failures and seeking remedial measures would benefit forensic science practice and criminal investigation.
Evidence in crime scenes available in the form of biological stains which cannot be visualized during naked eye examination can be detected by imaging their fluorescence using a combination of excitation lights and suitable filters. These combinations selectively allow the passage of fluorescence light emitted from the targeted stains. However, interference from the fluorescence generated by many of the surface materials bearing the stains often renders it difficult to visualize the stains during forensic photography. This report describes the use of background correction algorithm (BCA) to enhance the visibility of seminal stain, a biological evidence that fluoresces. While earlier reports described the use of narrow band-pass filters for other fluorescing evidences, here, we utilize BCA to enhance images captured using commonly available colour filters, yellow, orange and red. Mean-based contrast adjustment was incorporated into BCA to adjust the background brightness for achieving similarity of images' background appearance, a crucial step for ensuring success while implementing BCA. Experiment results demonstrated the effectiveness of our proposed colour filters' approach using the improved BCA in enhancing the visibility of seminal stains in varying dilutions on selected surfaces.
In forensic entomology, larval rearing usually includes the presence of biological contaminants including scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae). Scuttle flies are recognized as forensically important insects and have been reported causing nuisance and contamination in laboratory environments. This paper reports for the first time the finding of multiple scuttle fly species affecting colonies of third instar larvae of the Oriental latrine blowfly, Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), reared indoors at the Forensic Science Simulation Site, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Adult scuttle flies were discovered inside a rearing container after the emergence of adult C. megacephala., The scuttle fly species are Megaselia scalaris (Loew), M. spiracularis Schmitz and Puliciphora borinquenensis (Wheeler). Notes on the life history and biology of these species are discussed herein.
Hypopygiopsis violacea, a species of fly of forensic importance, was recovered from a corpse and described for the first time. The morphological structures of the second and third instar larvae of four specimens were examined using light microscope. Observations were focused on three main morphological characters: cephalopharyngeal skeleton, anterior and posterior spiracles. Cephalopharyngeal skeleton of second instar larva is darkly pigmented and without accessory sclerite below the mouth hook. The anterior spiracles of second and third instar larvae have 8-9 papillae each, arranged in a single row. The posterior spiracle of second instar larva has two spiracular slits with no thickening of peritreme. This differentiates it from the third instar, whereby the latter has three slits for each posterior spiracle. Cephalopharyngeal skeleton of third instar larva is heavily pigmented. An accessory sclerite is found below the hook part of third instar larva but is absent in second instar. Peritreme of the posterior spiracle of third instar larva is thick almost complete encircling a button. The intersegmental spines of the cuticular surface are dome-shaped and unicuspid. Third instar larva of this species is large with size approximately 15 mm long. These findings provide important identification features of immature stages of Hy. violacea which could be useful in forensic entomology.
Signal fly, Scholastes sp. (Diptera: Platystomatidae) was observed associated with animal carcasses in Malaysia. The first observation was on a monkey carcass, which was killed by using a handgun and immediately placed in a forested area in Gombak, Selangor while the second observation was on a pig that died of natural causes and whose carcass was placed in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor. Both animal carcasses were visited by Scholastes sp. flies during the fresh decomposition period. However, the role Scholastes flies in the decomposition process remains unknown. In this paper, we report the occurrence of Scholastes sp. on animal carcasses in Malaysia for the first time.
A forensic entomological study conducted in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia on 3 August 2007 revealed that a housefly, Musca domestica Linnaeus oviposited its eggs on a freshly dead pig. This finding indicated that housefly might play an important role in forensic investigation in determining post-mortem interval (PMI), although it was not yet found in human corpses or any animal carrion. This preliminary paper presented a first record of Musca domestica eggs found on animal carcass in the country.
Questioned document examination becomes a great interest and one of the broad fields in forensic science. It involves the analysis of ink, handwriting and signature examination, paper’s physical structure analysis and the ageing of a document. Ink analysis in forensic document examination is a challenging process. Questioned documents examiners are dealing with unknown source of ink and minute sample size. Ink extraction needs to be done before the ink analysis. 17 gel pen ink samples were chosen in this study. Solubility test has been done to determine the degree of solubility of ink in a variety of organic solvents. Extraction solvent optimization is a process to evaluate the efficiency of organic solvents to extract ink samples. Ethanoic acid showed the ability to dissolve most of the ink samples and displayed maximum absorbance of UV-Vis spectra.
Fannia prisca Stein, 1918 is newly recorded from peninsular Malaysia. This record is based on 4 male specimens from Mount Berembun, Brinchang, Cameron Highland, Pahang state, peninsular Malaysia. It is previously recorded from China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Bonin Island, Thailand and oriental region. The male of Fannia prisca can be differentiated from male Fannia scalaris by the following features: for F. prisca, mid-coxa without spine; mid-tibia normal or without stout triangular ventral projection; and hind tibia usually with 2 av, while F. scalaris has several stout hook-like spines on the anterior margin; mid-tibia with stout triangular ventral projection and hind tibia usually with 3 av. Both F. prisca and F. scalaris can be differentiated from Fannia leucosticta by looking at its hind tibia, which only has 1 av.
There is accumulating evidence that criminals wrap dead bodies in an attempt to conceal evidence. To anticipate the forensic implications of this phenomenon, we examined whether flies that are naturally associated with cadavers exhibit a delay in attendance or differ in species composition and abundance patterns because of the presence of wrapping material. Wrapped and exposed carcasses of dead monkeys placed in an oil plantation in Kedah, Malaysia, were visited over 50 d. On daily visits to each of the six carcasses, visiting adult flies were sampled using hand nets. Flies of 12 families were encountered. Calliphoridae (Chrysomya rufifacies Macquart and C. megacephala (F.) was the most prevalent family, followed by Sphaeroceridae. Some families tended to be more abundant in WRCs (i.e., Calliphoridae, Muscidae, and Phoridae), whereas others (i.e., Piophilidae, Sepsidae, and Psychodidae) were more prevalent in exposed carcasses. Wrapping delayed the arrival of all fly species encountered, with delays varying from 1 to 13 d depending on species. Wrapping did not affect species composition of flies, but prolong the occurrence of some species. The results of the current study emphasize the need to take into consideration the presence of a wrap when estimating postmortem interval.
BACKGROUND: Age estimation is of prime importance in forensic science and clinical dentistry. Age estimation based on teeth development is one reliable approach. Many radiographic methods are proposed on the Western population for estimating dental age, and a similar assessment was found to be inadequate in Malaysian population. Hence, this study aims at formulating a regression model for dental age estimation in Malaysian children population using Cameriere's method.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Orthopantomographs of 421 Malaysian children aged between 5 and 16 years involving all the three ethnic origins were digitalized and analyzed using Cameriere's method of age estimation. The subjects' age was modeled as a function of the morphological variables, gender (g), ethnicity, sum of normalized open apices (s), number of tooth with completed root formation (N0) and the first-order interaction between s and N0.
RESULTS: The variables that contributed significantly to the fit were included in the regression model, yielding the following formula: Age = 11.368-0.345g + 0.553No -1.096s - 0.380s.No, where g is a variable, 1 for males and 2 for females. The equation explained 87.1% of total deviance.
CONCLUSION: The results obtained insist on reframing the original Cameriere's formula to suit the population of the nation specifically. Further studies are to be conducted to evaluate the applicability of this formula on a larger sample size.
KEYWORDS: Age estimation; Cameriere's method; dental age; forensic odontology
Partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) is a versatile algorithm that can be used for predictive and descriptive modelling as well as for discriminative variable selection. However, versatility is both a blessing and a curse and the user needs to optimize a wealth of parameters before reaching reliable and valid outcomes. Over the past two decades, PLS-DA has demonstrated great success in modelling high-dimensional datasets for diverse purposes, e.g. product authentication in food analysis, diseases classification in medical diagnosis, and evidence analysis in forensic science. Despite that, in practice, many users have yet to grasp the essence of constructing a valid and reliable PLS-DA model. As the technology progresses, across every discipline, datasets are evolving into a more complex form, i.e. multi-class, imbalanced and colossal. Indeed, the community is welcoming a new era called big data. In this context, the aim of the article is two-fold: (a) to review, outline and describe the contemporary PLS-DA modelling practice strategies, and (b) to critically discuss the respective knowledge gaps that have emerged in response to the present big data era. This work could complement other available reviews or tutorials on PLS-DA, to provide a timely and user-friendly guide to researchers, especially those working in applied research.
In a forensic acarology study, conducted in a secondary forest of Forensic Science Simulation Site, Universiti Kebangsaan
Malaysia (UKM) in Bangi, Selangor, six carcasses consisted of three monkeys and three rabbits were placed individually
in steel enclosures and observed for 35 days. The carcasses, the soil beneath them and pitfall traps were checked daily
for insects and mites. A species of mesostigmatid mite, Macrocheles scutatiformis was discovered and this is a first time
reported in Malaysia. There are about 94.0% of Macrocheles present inside the cages of the monkey and rabbit carcasses.
Most mites in this study were collected from soil beneath the carcasses, on a dung beetle and a Chrysomya rufifacies
larva. Our findings showed that M. scutatiformis have a potential role in forensic investigation involving dead animals
perhaps corpses especially during the dry stage of decomposition.
A study on insect succession of monkey carcass in a forested area in Ulu Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia was conducted from 9 May to 18 June 2007. The third instar of the housefly, Musca domestica (Linnaeus) (Diptera: Muscidae) were only found on dry stage of a decomposed (Day-33) monkey carcass (Macaca fascicularis Raffles). This observation revealed that M. domestica maggots were found together with other muscid fly maggots, Hydrotaea (=Ophyra) spinigera (Stein) (Diptera: Muscidae) on dry stage of a carcass. However, the role of M. domestica on forensic entomological study remains unknown. This study recorded the first finding of M. domestica maggots on primate carcass in Malaysia.