Due to the current COVID-19 epidemic, it has not been possible for the consortium to meet recently; however, as many around the world are doing, we are striving to ensure everyone is connected and work stays on track during these unusual times.
Thankfully, partners in the project can contribute actively and, through a series of regular online meetings, work is still advancing as initially planned.
Reflecting on the progress of the last 12 months brings contrasting feelings. On the one hand, the time has flown by, and the 36-month project timescale suddenly seems very short as a third of it has disappeared! However, on the other hand, the collective efforts of the FORMOBILE consortium show real tangible progress.
This article highlights some of the results we can share with the general audience. The technical work packages, which make up a significant aspect of the project, are not described in detail here because of their sensitivity. However, any interested parties who would like to receive updates from a technical standpoint can join the FORMOBILE Network. You can do so in the following ways:
- General Stakeholder - This is the segment that provides the most flexibility to the project team to contact and interact with stakeholders. By completing the registration form, the registrant can specify how they can be involved. Being a 'general stakeholder' automatically adds them to the newsletter subscriber list too.
- Secure Portal - A community for LEAs and public institutions interested in Mobile Forensics. By using the portal, users can interact with each other in a forum environment. Besides, they will also have access to materials produced throughout the project that are too sensitive for the public-facing site.
- FORMOBILE Newsletter- Subscribers will receive a quarterly online newsletter updating them on the latest efforts and milestones of FORMOBILE. (Link at the bottom of the website page)
More information related to the FORMOBILE Database is available here.
The Work Packages in Action
In many ways, the first year of the project was connected to making people aware of the initiative but also for the different work packages to actively engage stakeholders connected to mobile forensics. The goal here was to elicit the requirements and challenges faced by security practitioners across Europe, thus allowing the teams to review the current state of the art and complete the necessary gap analyses.
To support these efforts, a series of online and physical meetings, questionnaires, surveys and interviews were used to gather valuable input from various stakeholders. Below are the highlights of each work package.
Work Package 1:
- A detailed questionnaire to gather input from LEAs on their requirements for mobile forensic improvements
- Preparation and execution of the first ring trial. A series of tests used to review the current capabilities of different LEAs from around Europe
Work Package 2:
- Assisting other work packages to follow all the necessary legal requirements. This has involved the creation of a Data Management Plan along with other WPs, plus various policies for the website and the individual surveys and questionnaires
Work Package 3:
- Gathering information for a report connected to the current standards, policies and guidelines used in mobile forensics across Europe
- Reviewing the gaps and challenges faced in the area of standardisation in mobile forensics
- A CEN Workshop Agreement kick-off meeting in preparation for the new CWA Standard for mobile forensics
Work Package 4 – 6:
- The continuous design, development and testing of 12 tools that will be produced through FORMOBILE (Sensitive information meaning limited information can be shared)
Work Package 7:
- Research and analysis of the current education and training courses available for mobile forensics
- Gathering the requirements from Law Enforcement Officers for future mobile forensic training
- The draft, novel curriculum for mobile forensics. (To be published soon)
Work Package 8:
- Several tasks were completed at the beginning of the project to form a foundation for communication and dissemination activities
Work Package 9:
- Detailed and thorough project management – supporting all other work packages and maintaining consistent communication
Work Package 10:
- Responsible for all ethical matters connected to the project
As a result of the work packages' actions, the consortium has been working to produce reports detailing the respective findings. For the most part, these reports are currently under preparation; however, the available ones can be viewed here. Of course, the team will update this list at the earliest opportunity.
Through each phase of the respective tasks, we have endeavoured to thank participants who have played an active role. However, we would like to stress again that each contribution is invaluable to allow this research and innovation initiative to excel. Likewise, a big thank you to the Practitioners, Researchers, Specialists and Admin staff that have contributed to all the results of FORMOBILE!
If you have any questions about the work of FORMOBILE - please let us know; we are happy to help.