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This assessment item relates to the course learning outcome 1 to 9 as stated on page 1 of the course profile.


Enabling Objectives


  1. Apply the digital forensics methodologies.
  2. Write an analysis of a case study.
  3. Prepare an outline of a professional digital forensic plan.



The Case – A Digital Forensic Investigation Plan




Building Finance Pty Ltd is a leading consumer finance company in Australia. Building Finance employs more than 1,000 employees and the company serves more than 3 million customers in Australia. The company offers a range of services including personal loans, car loans, credit cards, personal insurance, and interest-free retail finance.


Building Finance has invested heavily in information technology for supporting its business operations and achieving competitive advantages over its competitors. Major investments were made by the company in the early 2000s but management has lost focus in updating the networks and application infrastructure that supports the business operation in recent years. The network environment between all of Building Finance offices is flat and relatively unrestricted. Users from one office can access systems and servers from another office. Workstations and servers are typically Microsoft Windows-based. Firewalls and network segmentation are implemented poorly throughout the environment. Intrusion detection and logging exist on systems but they are not effectively used.


Last night, a team leader from Brisbane office has contacted the Information Security Office urgently at Building Finance head office with some concerns regarding the office computer system. He suspects that someone has compromised a few computers in the office building including his computer.


He noted that a few new features of finance management software have been introduced to the computer system. In addition, several files containing customer personal information have been modified from some of the office computers.


Information security and specifically investigative and forensic capabilities are housed at the head office in Sydney and are responsible for issues at all offices. The Information Security Office takes this suspicion seriously. A team of auditors is formed to investigate this suspicion at the Brisbane office. Apart from reviewing paper based company documents, the auditing team is tasked to undertake digital forensic analysis of the computer systems at the Brisbane office. This involves gathering digital evidence from relevant desktop PC’s and e-mail accounts. Some examples of the type of files that may be collected include MS - Word documents, spreadsheets, MS-Outlook and deleted files.




As part of the auditing team in capacity of a Digital Forensics expert, your task is to prepare digital forensics investigative plan to enable a systematic collection of evidence and subsequent forensic analysis of the electronic and digital data. Assuming all systems are Windows based, this plan should detail following:


  • justify why use of the digital forensic methodology and approach is warranted including appropriate procedures for corporate investigation.
  • describe the resources required to conduct a digital forensic investigation, including skill sets and required tools of the team members.
  • outline an approach for data/evidence identification and acquisition that would occur in order to prepare the auditors for review of the digital evidence.
  • outline an approach and steps to be taken during the analysis phase making the assumption the computer system is a Microsoft Windows-based computer.
  • develop relevant security policies for the company.
  • provide recommendations to the company for dealing with the problem.
  • create a table of contents for the investigative plan describing what the primary focus of the report would be.

Tips for preparing your digital forensics investigative plan


In writing the digital forensics investigative plan, students need to address following points. Do note that points listed below are not exhaustive and need to be considered as helpful tips.


  • Justify a need for digital forensics methodology and consider scope of the case including nature of alleged misconduct leading to consideration of how electronic and digital evidence may support the investigation. The plan should consider how digital forensics differs from other techniques (such as network forensics, data recovery) and detail the overall steps for the systematic digital forensics approach.
  • Consider the required resources and include details regarding preparation plan for evidence gathering (such as evidence forms, types, storage media and containers), forensics workstation and peripherals needed, software/tools for analysis depending on the type of evidence to be gathered including rationale for selected tools, and consideration of team member skills in digital analysis (such as OS knowledge, skills for interviewing, consultation, working as per the needs of the auditing team and understanding of law and corporate policies).
  • Detail the approach for data acquisition including the different types of evidence that can be gathered and their source depending upon the nature of the case and scope of investigation, develop a plan for data acquisition including rationale for selected plan and contingency planning, detail type of data acquisition tools needed including rationale and an outline for the data validation & verification procedures.
  • Provide an outline of the forensic analysis procedures/steps depending upon the nature of evidence to be collected, and detail the validation approach. This can include techniques to counter data hiding, recovering deleted files, procedures for network and e-mail analysis.
  • Develop suitable security policies for the company.
  • Provide appropriate recommendations to the company for dealing with the problem.
  • Table of contents for the investigative plan should consider what to include in report, structure of report, focus or scope of the report including supporting material to be provided and references. This table of contents should include headings and sub-headings pertaining to the aspects addressed in the above dot points.  
  • Prepare a professional report with an Executive Summary, a Word generated table of contents, an Introduction, a body of report with proper headings and sub-headings, and a Conclusion.


Assessment Criteria

COIT20267 Assessment item 3 – Case study


Performance levels












Justification – Is the justification of “why use of the digital forensic methodology and approach is warranted” sound?







Resources – Are the resources required to conduct a digital forensic investigation completely listed?







Approach – Is the approach for evidence identification and acquisition reasonable?







Steps – Are steps to be taken during the analysis phase reasonable?







Policies – Are they suitable for the company?







Recommendations – Are they appropriate?







Table of contents – Is the table of contents for the investigative report complete? Can this refect the student’s understanding of forensic principles?







Recommendations – Are they appropriate?







Formatting and readability – Is the paper consistently formatted with balanced structure? Are the references correctly cited?
























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