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screenshot as evidence

Posted on 2014-01-17
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Last Modified: 2014-01-19
How can we detect if a screen shot has been edited?
Must it be of certain format (jpg, png, PDF, ...) ?
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Question by:sunhux
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 100 total points
ID: 39790246
PCs normally create JPgs, Macs create PNGs, I don't know what Linux GUI will create.  You would have to look for something that doesn't match what a known screenshot will show.  It could be very difficult to tell whether it has been edited.  One possible clue could be that the screenshot is not the same size as the screen it is supposed to be showing.  That would indicate that it has been cropped or resized.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 39790253
With a skilled editor you won't see any difference even at high magnification (zoom in).  Date Time stamps can be altered. You need to have the complete chain of evidence .  From the time the screenshot is taken until it is presented as evidence. A forensic search of the hard drive that it was originally saved on can reveal older versions.  Computer graphics do not stand up well in court these days.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39790314
Right, the screen shots are needed as evidence to auditors that
certain accounts have been deleted as of a certain date/time:
my plan was to have the date+time displayed at the bottom
right corner with Windows "Users" management listed, then
take a screen shot but I was asked how do I know the screen
shots have not been altered/rigged?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 39790325
Take the screen shots yourself then sign a declaration is about all you can do.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39790407
Thought a video shot of, say, a crime taking place (say theft in a shop)
could stand in a court, or couldn't it?

Actually those screen shots are not taken by me, rather by my
Wintel colleague from a different group.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39790409
Perhaps could ask my colleague to use his iPhone to take
a very short video of his screen?
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by:sunhux
ID: 39790413
I was tasked to front the auditors
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 39791540
Actually those screen shots are not taken by me, rather by my
Wintel colleague from a different group.


Print the screenshot and have him sign it
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 39791544
A CCTV used as evidence the video is removed from the scene and a strict chain of custody is enforced.  A video of unknown parentage is unacceptable  i.e. using a green screen I can put anyone anywhere.
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