Book Image

Big Data Forensics: Learning Hadoop Investigations

Book Image

Big Data Forensics: Learning Hadoop Investigations

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (15 chapters)
Big Data Forensics – Learning Hadoop Investigations
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Chapter 1. Starting Out with Forensic Investigations and Big Data

Big Data forensics is a new type of forensics, just as Big Data is a new way of solving the challenges presented by large, complex data. Thanks to the growth in data and the increased value of storing more data and analyzing it faster—Big Data solutions have become more common and more prominently positioned within organizations. As such, the value of Big Data systems has grown, often storing data used to drive organizational strategy, identify sales, and many different modes of electronic communication. The forensic value of such data is obvious: if the data is useful to an organization, then the data is valuable to an investigation of that organization. The information in a Big Data system is not only inherently valuable, but the data is most likely organized and analyzed in such a way to identify how the organization treated the data.

Big Data forensics is the forensic collection and analysis of Big Data systems. Traditional computer forensics typically focuses on more common sources of data, such as mobile devices and laptops. Big Data forensics is not a replacement for traditional forensics. Instead, Big Data forensics augments the existing forensics body of knowledge to handle the massive, distributed systems that require different forensic tools and techniques.

Traditional forensic tools and methods are not always well-suited for Big Data. The tools and techniques used in traditional forensics are most commonly designed for the collection and analysis of unstructured data (for example, e-mail and document files). Forensics of such data typically hinges on metadata and involves the calculation of an MD5 or SHA-1 checksum. With Big Data systems, the large volume of data and how the data is stored do not lend themselves well to traditional forensics. As such, alternative methods for collecting and analyzing such data are required.

This chapter covers the basics of forensic investigations, Big Data, and how Big Data forensics is unique. Some of the topics that are discussed include the following:

  • Goals of a forensic investigation

  • Forensic investigation methodology

  • Big Data – defined and described

  • Key differences between traditional forensics and Big Data forensics