Detailed Assignment Description for CMIT 424 Research Paper
The CMIT 424 Research Paper is to be a discussion of why forensic tools need to be validated, how they are evaluated, what information is provided in a tools validation report, and how such reports can be used by forensic examiners and by attorneys (both prosecuting and defense).
You are also required to read and summarize a digital forensics tool validation report, from NIST, for a specific hardware or software product which is used as a digital forensics tool.
Finally, you must analyze and report on how a digital forensics tools validation report could be used to defend or attack the findings from a report of a digital forensics examination.
Here are some useful URLs to help you get started with your forensic tools validation research:
Available Tool Validation Reports (Links to Categories)
If the links above do not work, visit http://www.cftt.nist.gov/Methodology_Overview.htm and then click on a category link on the left hand side of the page. You will be taken to a page which lists the available tool validation reports (“Test Results for <product name>”) for that category of tools.
(a) Why forensic tools need to be validated (10%)
(b) What organizations undertake the validation of forensic tools (who are the trusted sources of tools validation reports) (10%)
(c) The processes and tests used to validate forensic tools (10%)
(d) What information is contained in forensic tool validation reports (10%)
(e) Analysis and discussion of how a forensic tool validation report could be used to defend or attack the findings in a report of a forensic examination (10%)
(f) Summary of the specific information provided in a NIST forensic tool validation report for ONE forensic tool
a. Overview of the tool (what it is, what it does) (10%)
b. How the tool was tested (10%)
c. Results of the testing (10%)
(g) APA format citations and reference list (5%)
(h) Professional Appearance: formatting, organization (5%)
(i) Professional Appearance: grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, etc. (10%)
Your paper should be between 5 and 8 pages in length. Grading is based upon content not page length. See the formatting instructions below for more information about how to write your paper. All papers must be submitted to Turn It In for originality checking.
a. Basic structure requirements are:
(1) title page (separate page)
(2) body of paper using section headings and sub headings (APA Levels 1 & 2) to organize thoughts
(3) Introduction and Summary sections are mandatory
(4) APA formatted reference list (with APA Level 1 heading at top of a separate page)
b. Basic formatting requirements:
(1) black text on white pages
(2) Times New Roman 12
(3) double spaced lines in paragraphs
(4) first line indent by ½ inch for paragraphs
(5) hanging indent by ½ inch for reference list entries
(6) APA Level 1 heading (centered, bold, upper and lower case)
(7) APA Level 2 heading (left justified, bold, upper and lower case)
c. Basic citation requirements:
(1) sources are cited at the point of first use within each paragraph
(2) sources are cited in author/date format (APA style)
(3) page numbers are provided in citations for direct quotes
(4) no more than 20% of the body of the paper (by word count) may be direct quotes
(5) for each source cited in the narrative there is a matching reference list entry (APA style)
Students can find additional information about APA formatting requirements on the UMUC Library’s Web site at http://www.umuc.edu/library/libhow/apa_examples.cfm
d. Writing Style. Students will be evaluated upon the appropriate use of language and voice (college level writing). This means that student research papers are written in a formal voice using the third person (declarative).
(1) Do not use the first person (pronouns such as: I, my, we, our).
(2) Do not directly address the reader using the second person (pronouns such as: you, your).
(3) You are expected to write grammatically correct English in every assignment that you submit for grading. Do not turn in any work without (a) using spell check, (b) using grammar check, (c) verifying that your punctuation is correct and (d) reviewing your work for correct word usage and correctly structured sentences and paragraphs. Together, these items constitute the professionalism category in the assignment grading rubrics (worth 20% of the assignment’s grade).