Finding and Rating Personal Names on Drives for Forensic Needs
Rowe, Neil C.
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Personal names found on drives provide forensically valuable information about users of systems. This work reports on the design and engineering of tools to mine them from disk images, bootstrapping on output of the Bulk Extractor tool. However, most potential names found are either uninteresting sales and help contacts or are not being used as names, so we developed methods to rate name-candidate value by an analysis of the clues that they and their context provide. We used an empirically based approach with statistics from a large corpus from which we extracted 303 million email addresses and 74 million phone numbers, and then found 302 million personal names. We tested three machine-learning approaches and Naïve Bayes performed the best. Cross-modal clues from nearby email addresses improved performance still further. This approach eliminated from consideration 71.3% of the addresses found in our corpus with an estimated 67.4% F-score, a potential 3.5 times reduction in the name workload of most forensic investigations.