16 Forensic Magazine | www.forensicmag.com SEPTEMBER 2018
An investigator gets a lead about a potential online predator in her area. She learns from the Child Rescue Coalition’s Child Protection System (CPS) database a number of usernames and file identifi- ers associated with the illicit online activity, and a search is made of the suspect’s home, where police
seize several digital devices.
The digital forensics examiner discovers tens of thousands of files between the devices, and wants to know
if, somewhere within the countless bytes of information, the identifiers from the CPS database match what is
on the suspect’s machines.
With digital devices now holding more data than ever before, these searches have become much more
complex, and take up more time that could be spent protecting and rescuing more children.
A new partnership between the nonprofit Child Rescue Coalition (CRC) and digital forensics company
Magnet Forensics seeks to make this type of investigation more efficient, with CPS and Magnet’s AXIOM
forensic tool coming together to automatically compare the suspect’s data with the CPS report of online
“What I’m hoping is that by us partnering together and increasing that efficiency, that it’s going to give
back to law enforcement some of the time that they’ve lost because of this explosion in storage capacity,” said
William Wiltse, president of CRC.
A natural partnership
CRC’s CPS is free for law enforcement to use, and compiles millions of records about child sexual abuse
material and the perpetrators who distribute it. It provides investigators with leads about potential offenders
in their jurisdiction.
Magnet’s AXIOM tool helps examiners extract, analyze and visualize forensic data from a wide variety
of sources including computers, phones, Io T devices and cloud services. In addition to helping integrate
AXIOM with CPS, Magnet will be making a multi-year donation to the Florida-based nonprofit, the two
organizations announced in April.
Although the CRC-Magnet partnership was officiated this year, following recommendations from national
police in the United Kingdom and Canada, the two organizations have long been connected by the shared
goal of targeting perpetrators through technology. Wiltse and Magnet founder and CTO Jad Saliba have
similar backgrounds, both having served as police officers and digital evidence examiners. Each said they
were familiar with the other’s organization prior to their meeting, even having used each other’s technology
for their own investigations.
“It’s been a really natural thing, and a really complementary partnership, and certainly a cause we are very
proud to be supporting and working closer with the folks at CRC,” said Saliba.
Wiltse described CRC and Magnet as being on “opposite end(s) of the investigative spectrum,” with CRC
often starting off an investigation by identifying a potential perpetrator, and Magnet coming into play once
a search warrant has already been served and devices seized. A central goal of the partnership, he said, is
tightening up the “back and forth between two systems,” integrating them so that the evidence found on the
devices can be easily tied back to the CPS leads.
“It really is all about helping law enforcement become more efficient, because digital devices are just getting bigger, and it’s becoming a much more complex landscape for them,” Wiltse said. “Anything we can do
to help them become more efficient, they’re going to be very eager for that to happen.”
Laura French, Associate Editor