Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Bojan Cukic.


Traditionally, a chain of evidence or chain of custody refers to the chronological documentation, or paper trail, showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of evidence, physical or electronic. Whether in the criminal justice system, military applications, or natural disasters, ensuring the accuracy and integrity of such chains is of paramount importance. Intentional or unintentional alteration, tampering, or fabrication of digital evidence can lead to undesirable effects. We find despite the consequences at stake, historically, no unique protocol or standardized procedure exists for establishing such chains. Current practices rely on traditional paper trails and handwritten signatures as the foundation of chains of evidence.;Copying, fabricating or deleting electronic data is easier than ever and establishing equivalent digital chains of evidence has become both necessary and desirable. We propose to consider a chain of digital evidence as a multi-component validation problem. It ensures the security of access control, confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation of origin. Our framework, includes techniques from cryptography, keystroke analysis, digital watermarking, and hardware source identification. The work offers contributions to many of the fields used in the formation of the framework. Related to biometric watermarking, we provide a means for watermarking iris images without significantly impacting biometric performance. Specific to hardware fingerprinting, we establish the ability to verify the source of an image captured by biometric sensing devices such as fingerprint sensors and iris cameras. Related to keystroke dynamics, we establish that user stimulus familiarity is a driver of classification performance. Finally, example applications of the framework are demonstrated with data collected in crime scene investigations, people screening activities at port of entries, naval maritime interdiction operations, and mass fatality incident disaster responses.