- Clara Colombini
External researcher at University of Milan Milan, Italy
- Antonio Colella
Italian Army Rome, Italy
Digital scene of crime: technique of profiling users
Nowadays the investigations are becoming more difficult than in the past due to the complexity of the scene of crime and the implication that the technology has in this new environment. This article describes a new technique called “Digital Profiling”. The technique is an investigative method of computer forensics that offers a new prospective for analyzing digital memories of electronic devices. It works applying the traditional techniques of Criminal Profiling and Intelligence to the electronic devices in order to obtain information for reconstructing the users’ identity. The process starts by researching and analyzing the information gathered from the “digital footprints of users” discovered on the device (for example a personal computer). Actually, although a computer is a machine, its user is an human being that customizes all the environment around her or him. Moreover, the user cannot avoid to leave on the device, even unconsciously, some evidence that can be detected, recognized and compared. The method applied by the Digital Profiling is based on a mathematical principle: the Set Theory, and can be addressed to any electronic device, such as personal computers, mobile phones, storage areas, and so forth. This particular type of analysis may be very helpful in various investigative fields, related to crimes that involve a device in which it is necessary to analyze a digital memory in order to identify a potential criminal. It is possible to reach positive results through this technique especially in operations against organized crime, anti-terrorism and intelligence operations.