Universal Peer-to-Peer Network Investigation Framework
Authors: Scanlon, Mark and Kechadi, M-Tahar
Publication Date: September 2013
Publication Name: Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES), 2013 Eighth International Conference on,
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking has fast become a useful technological advancement for a vast range of cybercriminal activities. Cybercrimes from copyright infringement and spamming, to serious, high financial impact crimes, such as fraud, distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) and phishing can all be aided by applications and systems based on the technology. The requirement for investigating P2P based systems is not limited to the more well known cybercrimes listed above, as many more legitimate P2P based applications may also be pertinent to a digital forensic investigation, e.g, VoIP and instant messaging communications, etc. Investigating these networks has become increasingly difficult due to the broad range of network topologies and the ever increasing and evolving range of P2P based applications. This paper introduces the Universal Peer-to-Peer Network Investigation Framework (UP2PNIF); a framework which enables significantly faster and less labour intensive investigation of newly discovered P2P networks through the exploitation of the commonalities in network functionality. In combination with a reference database of known network protocols and characteristics, it is envisioned that any known P2P network can be instantly investigated using the framework. The framework can intelligently determine the best methodology dependant on the focus of the investigation resulting in a significantly expedited evidence gathering process.