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Digital Forensics Framework in Cloud Computing Service SaaS


Arwa Almohammdi, Nermin Hamza, Shireen Saifuddin


Vol. 22  No. 11  pp. 543-552


Nowadays, cloud computing has become a prominent, widespread and popular technology as a convenient and cost-effective computing paradigm. Nevertheless, the architecture of cloud computing lacks support for investigations of forensic and security. Due to the virtual and distributed cloud nature, malicious activities can be carried out very easily and at the same time, it is so hard to investigate. Recently, cloud forensic investigators have encountered several problems, such as the lack of forensic techniques and tools in the cloud environment. This highlights the need to develop a new cloud forensics framework aimed at mitigating the challenges. This paper presents a framework for digital forensics in software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud environments. It simulated the framework on Nextcloud that uses client-server software for file hosting services as a case study. The proposed framework has been assessed by validating it against the published report of the National Institute of Standards and Technology on the Forensic Challenges of Cloud Computing (NISTIR 8006). Further, it has been validated by two criminal cases. The investigational results proved that the proposed system could assist digital investigators in their mission of investigating cybercrimes in the cloud in a proficient manner and mitigate many challenges, such as the dependency on cloud service providers and collecting deleted data from the cloud section.


Digital Forensics, Cloud Computing, Cloud Forensics, SaaS, Investigation.