Title: Towards automated SCADA forensic investigation: challenges, opportunities and promising paradigms

Authors: Mohamed Elhoseny; Hosny Abbas

Addresses: Faculty of Computers and Information, Mansoura University, Egypt ' Department of Electrical Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; R&D at Qena Paper, Qena, Egypt

Abstract: Modern supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks represent a challenging domain for forensic investigators who have the responsibility to determine the main causes of the catastrophic incidents that could happen in SCADA systems and to provide precise and logical evidences supported with comprehensive technical reports to the legal organisations. They are characterised to be complex, large-scale, and highly distributed systems comprising diversities of proprietary components such as field devices, embedded control systems, computers, communication networks, etc. Providing forensic investigators with fully or partially automated forensic investigation can be an effective solution against the challenging nature of modern SCADA networks. This review paper discusses the challenges and opportunities towards achieving that goal and highlights the emerging technological paradigms that can be considered as promising in the realisation of such a framework. Finally, this paper proposes a conceptual framework for automated forensic investigation in modern SCADA networks accompanied with a possible realisation architecture based on the multi-agent systems and wireless sensor networks promising technological paradigms.

Keywords: digital forensic investigation; automated forensic investigation; industrial environments; SCADA systems; SCADA forensics; conceptual framework.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICS.2020.109477

International Journal of Information and Computer Security, 2020 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.268 - 288

Received: 06 Feb 2017
Accepted: 24 Feb 2018

Published online: 10 Sep 2020 *

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