Thursday 18 November 2010


In my conclusion, I wrote the following:
VeRa, as a software application, meets all the original design and functionality requirements stated at the start of the project. It is capable of parsing complex data structures by following both original and reverse-engineered specifications, with code written from scratch.

To demonstrate the viability of VeRa as a platform, it builds on groundwork laid by Olsson and Boldt’s Timeline Visualisation Tool and that application’s own predecessors, with additional usage of design guidelines provided by Tufte. Its output is graphical, and the end product is a data exchange format that extends and improves previous work in the forensics field.

VeRa is not the first application capable of visualising data. It is also not the first application that can take an image and display its location on a map; similar functions exist within other systems such as the iPhone ‘Phone Map’ application or the Flickr Map .

Instead, its originality comes in the form of being a hosting environment for forensic plug-ins. It allows a developer interested in just one element, for example a new visualisation, to focus on just that one part and leverage the existing code. This then decreases the time between initial concept and completion of implementation, and thus can speed up the overall investigation process.
The final software fulfilled every objective originally set out; I believed that that, together with the depth and breadth of the project, would be sufficient to pass and therefore be awarded my MSc.

On Monday, 15th November 2010, I discovered that the project had been awarded an overall mark of 71%, a distinction. This follows on from distinctions in five taught modules and a merit in the sixth. As a result, on Friday, 17th December 2010 I will be graduating from the University of Glamorgan with an overall Distinction, with an MSc in Information Security and Computer Crime.

This blog is, in theory, at an end. However, it may continue with a focus on security and forensics issues instead, or even further updates to the VeRa software if it becomes possible to turn it into a professional packaged product.

Thank you for reading.