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ISSC458 - Digital Forensics: Investigating Data and Image Files

Course Details

Course Code: ISSC458 Course ID: 4414 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course is designed to expose the student to the process of detecting attacks and collecting evidence in a forensically sound manner with the intent to report crime and prevent future attacks. Learners are introduced to advanced techniques in computer investigation and analysis with interest in generating potential legal evidence. The course provides a basic understanding of steganography, data acquisition and duplication. It examines how to recover deleted files and partitions and image file forensics.





Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/31/18 - 05/31/19 06/03/19 - 07/28/19 Spring 2019 Session D 8 Week session
01/28/19 - 06/28/19 07/01/19 - 08/25/19 Summer 2019 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/19 - 08/30/19 09/02/19 - 10/27/19 Summer 2019 Session D 8 Week session
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following learning objectives:

  1. Analyze image files using forensic processes
  2. Examine how to recover deleted files and deleted partitions
  3. Apply basic computer investigation processes
  4. Identify steganography and steganography tools
  5. Develop data acquisition and duplication procedures
  6. Create a forensic investigation case

The grading will be based on four assignments, eight weekly Forum postings, five labs, two case studies, and an individual project paper with topic, outline, presentation, and the final paper.

  • There will be four assignments (5% each) counting a total of 20% of the final grade. The assignments will follow each of the major milestones of the course. These assignments will be problems or questions from the text. They are a combination of Lesson Reviews and Lesson Activities and/or Labs. They are selected to provide the student with information to understand the concepts discussed. Assignments should be prepared in Microsoft Word using the following file naming convention: ISSC458_Week#Assignment_First Initial_Last.doc(x) (where the # is the week number) and submit the file in this assignments’ area and uploaded into the student folder by the due date. Any necessary Visio diagrams should be incorporated within the Word document as part of the document. Bulk uploading of assignments is not accepted. This means that you cannot upload more than one assignment at a time unless prior permission is granted.
  • There will be eight weekly Forum postings you will need to respond to.
    1. Answers should be 3-4 paragraphs with a topic sentence that restates the question and supporting sentences using the terms, concepts, and theories from the required readings.
    2. Each answer should be a minimum of 300 words (about 7 good sentences). You may attack, support or supplement other students’ answers using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings.
    3. All responses should be a courteous paragraph that contains a topic sentence with good supporting sentences and should be a minimum of 150 words. You may respond multiple times with a continuous discussion with points and counter points. The key requirement is to express your idea and then support your position using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings to demonstrate to me that you understand the material.
    4. The Forum postings will count as 20% (2.5% for each discussion posting) of the final grade.
    5. Spelling and Grammar will also be checked on all forum postings.
  • There will be a project paper (10%) with topic selection (1%), outline (3%), and presentation (6%), and two case studies (20%) throughout the session, counting as 40% total of the final grade. Please practice using the same file naming convention established in this class for each of these files.
  • There will be five labs (4% each) a total 20% of the final grade. The labs will be online hands-on labs using the necessary tools required in digital forensics.

All assignments, Forum question responses, and the labs are due by 11:55 Eastern Time Sunday of the week assigned.

Project Paper (Topic, Outline, PowerPoint Presentation, and Paper) Topics:


Week 3: Topic selection due

Week 4: Outline due

Week 6: PowerPoint Presentation due

Week 7: Paper due

Project Paper Topic (Due at end of Week 3)

Instructions: Only the topic is due at the end of Week 3. Submit a topic related to data and image file forensic investigation to the Project Paper Topic area in this format:

Name: (enter your name)

Topic: (enter your proposed related topic)

Submission Instructions: You are required to write a 10-page research paper on a topic of your choosing, related to the course concepts. Your topic must be submitted for approval by the end of Week 3. Please submit the topic via Sakai in the assignment section and not email.

Project Paper Outline (Due at end of Week 4)

Instructions: You must submit an outline for my review by the end of Week 4. It must include a detailed outline of topics and subtopics, as well as an annotated bibliography for 5-7 peer-reviewed source references.

Submit your completed outline to the Project Paper Outline Assignment area by 11:55 PM ET Sunday of Week 4.

Submission Instructions: You are required to write a 10-page research paper on a topic of your choosing, related to the course concepts. The annotated bibliography must include at least three of the references you will use in your paper, written in APA style, with each one followed by a brief description of the reference. This assignment is only the Outline portion of the Project.

Project Paper PowerPoint Presentation (Due at end of Week 6)

Instructions: A PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of 10 slides outlining the following:

At a minimum include the following:

  • Detailed description of the area researched
  • Technology involved in the area
  • Future trends in the area
  • Example companies involved in the area
  • Regulatory issues surrounding the area
  • Global implications for the area
  • References (minimum of 4)

Submission Instructions: You are required to write a 10-page research paper on a topic of your choosing, related to the course concepts. The presentation highlights major areas of the paper. Typically the presentation would be a presentation of what you plan to include in the paper project to ‘sell’ the idea to the executive team or the funding team that would make a final decision whether or not to continue with the project. Submit by 11:55 PM ET Sunday of Week 6.

Project Paper (Due at end of Week 7)

Instructions: You are required to write a 10-page research paper on a topic of your choosing, related to the course concepts. Your final draft is due at the end of Week 7.

Submission Instructions: Be sure your paper meets the following requirements:

You will be required to write one research paper this semester. The specifications are as follows:

  1. 10 pages (double-spaced), excluding the title page, the abstract page (if included), and the references pages.
  2. Choose any topic related to the course and write about the latest developments and issues.
  3. Use at least five references outside of your textbook (you may use your textbook too, but are not required to).
  4. In addition to the required number of pages for the assignment, you must also include a reference page (bibliography), written in APA style, and a title page. Be sure to give all of your papers a descriptive title.
  5. You must get your topic approved by the end of Week 3.
  6. You must provide a 1-page outline of your paper by the end of Week 4. Your outline must include citations to three references (other than your textbook) and a brief summary of at least three references that you will use in your paper.
  7. At Week 6 you will be working on a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the key points of the paper you are working on.
  8. Use APA Style formatting in Arial 11 or 12-point font or Times New Roman styles.
  9. Page margins Top, Bottom, Left Side and Right Side = 1 inch, with reasonable accommodation being made for special situations
  10. Your paper must be in your own words, representing original work. Paraphrases of others’ work must include attributions to the authors. Limit quotations to an average of no more than 15% of the paper, and use quotations sparingly!

This assignment has the embedded TurnItIn feature turned on. When you submit the paper, an originality report will be generated. The report must comply with the acceptable originality criteria displayed in the announcements on Academic Honesty in Week 1 of the course.

Originality report requirements:

  1. The originality report must be less than 15% match
  2. No single source shall be above 2%
  3. Limit the quotations to no more than 20% of your paper

If you don't follow these three requirement instructions you will get a 0 for your project paper assignment. I will give you the chance to rework your papers until an acceptable level of match index is achieved. However at the end of the week if the originality report matches more than 40% you may be subject to academic plagiarism reporting. If the level is 60% or above academic reporting is more than likely to automatically happen.

NameGrade %
Assignments 20.00 %
Wk1 Assignment 5.00 %
Wk2 Assignment 5.00 %
Wk4 Assignment 5.00 %
Wk8 Assignment 5.00 %
Forum 20.00 %
Forum 1 2.50 %
Forum 2 2.50 %
Forum 3 2.50 %
Forum 4 2.50 %
Forum 5 2.50 %
Forum 6 2.50 %
Forum 7 2.50 %
Forum 8 2.50 %
Labs 15.00 %
Wk2 Lab 1 3.00 %
Wk3 Lab 2 3.00 %
Wk4 Lab 3 3.00 %
Wk5 Lab 4 3.00 %
Wk6 Lab 5 3.00 %
Project Paper Topic 1.00 %
Wk3 Project Paper Topic 1.00 %
Project Paper Outline 3.00 %
Wk4 Project Paper Outline 3.00 %
Project Powerpoint 6.00 %
Wk6 Project PowerPoint Presentation 6.00 %
Project Paper 10.00 %
Wk7 Project Paper 10.00 %
Case Study 15.00 %
Wk3 Case Study 7.50 %
Wk5 Case Study 7.50 %
Quizzes 10.00 %
Week 7 and 8 Quiz 2.50 %
Week 5 and 6 Quiz 2.50 %
Week 3 and 4 Quiz 2.50 %
Week 1 and 2 Quiz 2.50 %

Online eBook

http://ezproxy.apus.edu/login?url=http://ebooks.apus.edu/ISSC458/EC-Council_2010_Frontmatter.pdf

http://ezproxy.apus.edu/login?url=http://ebooks.apus.edu/ISSC458/EC-Council_2010_Ch01.pdf

http://ezproxy.apus.edu/login?url=http://ebooks.apus.edu/ISSC458/EC-Council_2010_Ch02.pdf

http://ezproxy.apus.edu/login?url=http://ebooks.apus.edu/ISSC458/EC-Council_2010_Ch03.pdf

http://ezproxy.apus.edu/login?url=http://ebooks.apus.edu/ISSC458/EC-Council_2010_Ch04.pdf

http://ezproxy.apus.edu/login?url=http://ebooks.apus.edu/ISSC458/EC-Council_2010_Ch05.pdf

http://ezproxy.apus.edu/login?url=http://ebooks.apus.edu/ISSC458/EC-Council_2010_Backmatter.pdf

For troubleshooting:

Multiple troubleshooting tips are available in the following links: http://apus.libanswers.com/a.php?qid=10718 and http://apus.libanswers.com/a.php?qid=9349

Please report any issues to ECM@apus.edu.

Web-based Readings – if these links are no longer available, conduct a web search on the topics

Craiger, J. P. (2005). Computer forensics procedures and methods. Handbook of Information Security. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from http://ncfs.org/craiger.forensics.methods.procedures.final.pdf

Farid, H. (2008). Digital image forensics. Scientific American, 298(6), 66-71. Retrieved from http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/downloads/tutorials/digitalimageforensics.pdf

NIJ (2010). Digital Evidence Analysis: Steganography Detection. Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov/topics/forensics/evidence/digital/analysis/steganography.htm

Pavlic, T., Slay, J., & Turnbull, B. (2008). Developing a process model for the forensic extraction of information from desktop search applications. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/211207324/fulltext/13B7D51D5196890BE05/

Simmons, M. (2011). Encase Cyber-Security Forensics. Retrieved from http://www.famu.edu/cis/project2_Encase_Report.pdf

Software Requirements

  1. Microsoft Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint)
  2. Adobe Acrobat Reader (Click here for free download)

Selected Bibliography

Computer Forensics: Investigating Data and Image Files (2010). Published by: Cengage Learning. ISBN: 1435483510

FBI. (2012). Computer Intrusions. Retrieved from New York: John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from http://ncfs.org/craiger.forensics.methods.procedures.final.pdf

Farid, H. (2008). Digital image forensics. Scientific American, 298(6), 66-71. Retrieved from http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/downloads/tutorials/digitalimageforensics.pdf

NIJ (2010). Digital Evidence Analysis: Steganography Detection. Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov/topics/forensics/evidence/digital/analysis/steganography.htm

Pavlic, T., Slay, J., & Turnbull, B. (2008). Developing a process model for the forensic extraction of information from desktop search applications. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/docview/211207324/fulltext/13B7D51D5196890BE05/

Simmons, M. (2011). Encase Cyber-Security Forensics. Retrieved from http://www.famu.edu/cis/project2_Encase_Report.pdf

Book Title:Computer Forensics: Investigating Data and Image Files (CHFI), 2nd ed - the VitalSource e-book is provided inside the classroom
ISBN:9781305883499
Publication Info:VS-Cengage
Author:EC-Council
Unit Cost:$69.43
Electronic ISBN:9781337512923
Electronic Unit Cost:$35.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.