Tuesday 10 November 2009


The project plan has been submitted, with the software that will come out of it being given the name 'Virtualisation Environment for Resource Analysis', or VeRa; as an individual's name this can also have the meaning 'truth'.

The research areas of the project are:
  • XML data formats for import and export, covering DEB, XIRAF and DEX;
  • File system analysis:
    • Being able to analyse an image file and determine the overall partition structure as well as the filetypes of the individual partitions.
    • Ability to extract at will the file structure and even individual files from an image;
  • Visualisation of data
The eventual application, which will form a core part of the eventual thesis, will be capable of:
  • Utilising plug-ins for the majority of its analysis functionality;
  • Reading directory structures in from a variety of resources:
    • Disk images (via ‘Data Capture’ implementations);
    • DEX-format evidence bags; or,
    • Locally attached storage.
  • Passing data through ‘Data Analysis’ tools to the registered ‘Data Visualisation’ tool.
  • Outputting data to DEX-format evidence bags.
The analysis and visualisation sections will be designed specifically to encourage others to develop plug-ins; it is possible that those could act as 'mini-projects' for individuals on other (BSc or MSc) courses. Sample plug-ins will be developed in order to show the application's functionality, but will be fully replaceable.

The application will be developed in C# to run under Microsoft Windows; as a result, any plug-ins will also need to be developed in a language compatible with the .net framework, although it is possible that the application as a whole may run under Novell's Mono.

Development will be in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, provided through their DreamSpark programme. I will also use Buzan Online's iMindMap to scope out the project itself, and Microsoft Expression for software and interface design and prototyping.

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