Results and Evaluation
The sample size of the sample population for the study is n = 100 and n – 1 = 99. The age distribution is asymmetric with 49% of respondents between the age of 18-25 and 2% between the age of 50 and 57. 51% of respondents are aged between 26 years and 49 years. 66% of the respondents are male and 34% are female which is skewed toward male bias. Windows and Macintosh are the primary Operating Systems OS familiar and used by the respondents.
The Operating System selected by respondents as a function of age is Windows OS with 18-25 year olds selecting Windows 29%, 26-33 year olds selecting Windows 13%, 34-41 year olds selecting Windows 15%, 42-49 year olds selecting Windows 14%, and 50+ year olds selecting Windows 10%. Mack was selected by 18-25 year olds 17% and Linux by 18-25 year olds 3%. Of Mac, Linux, and Other OS among the 26 year old through the 50+ year old demographic, use of these platforms no more than 1%.
Respondents selected the tools used to investigate crime scenes which included an array of choices including FTK, Encase, Hex Editor, Imaging Tools, Sleuthkit, Isobuster, Password Crackers, and Web Analysis Tools. The respondents selected FTK equally to Imaging Tools with a response score of 88. Hex Editor selected the least with a response score of 8 lag behind Password Crackers and Encase with a response score of 15 and 18, respectively. The categories where the tools were used include Industry, Glamorgan, Bristol, and Newport. FTK is most associated with the categories of Glamorgan 38% and Bristol 23%. Encase is most associated with Newport 26% and Bristol 24%. Sleuth is most associated with Industry 12% and Hex is most associated with Industry 9%.
Confidence measurements with regard to the confidence level in the use of tools for crime scene investigation exceedingly selected ‘No Confidence’ with 68% of the response score. Little Confidence follows at 12%, Quite Confident at 10%, Confident at 5% and Very Confident at 5% for a total of 100%. Additionally, the response for the digital image exercise which is the ISO image exercise produced an acceptance score of 78% and a rejection score of 10% with 12% remaining unsure. The digital image exercise has exhibited training value and interest among the respondent sample.
The respondents noted their experience in Linux with 65% of the respondents selecting having ‘none’ or no experience with Linux OS. 22% of respondents selected Basic experience along with 10% of respondents selecting Intermediate and 3% of respondents selecting Advanced. Experienced gained in Linux, the respondents overwhelmingly selected ‘Not Applicable’ with a selection rate of 65%. 0% selected school, which is any school not considered a college or university. 10% selected college while 13% selected university which account for the greatest percentage of exposure to Linux. Industry accounted for 12% of experience gained according to the respondents.
Life after graduation provided a scattered response from the respondents as 31% selected to seek an alternative job to the CF job while 17% selected to seek a CF job. 28% selected ‘Further Education in Another Subject with 15% selecting to seek ‘Further Education in CF’. Programming or command line education in school evoked the most ‘no’ responses by the 18-25 year old respondents. The other age groups did not respond with the same high percentage as did the respondent group aged 18-25 years.
The category locations where respondents received their computer forensic education / training is spread out between largest to smallest, Glamorgan, Newport, Bristol, and Industry, keeping in mind that 68% of respondents have no confidence in graduate employability. The employability confidence by gender as indicated by the respondents points to females exhibiting a greater percentage of a lack of confidence regarding employability. More males are ‘quite confident, confident, and very confident’ in comparison to females.
Newport and Bristol produced the respondents that answered the most questions correctly. Industry did train respondents with 12 correct responses but also produced the least amount of respondents that answered 11 correctly which equaled Glamorgan. The training overall seems to be competitive with no clear advantage between Industry, Glamorgan, Bristol, and Newport. The Linux experience among the category locations favor Industry with just over 70% of the respondents selecting Intermediate and just over 20% of respondents selecting Advanced knowledge of Linux. Bristol was next in training effectiveness with just over 40% of respondents selecting Basic knowledge of Linux, followed by Newport with just over 30% of respondents selecting Basic knowledge of Linux. Glamorgan was last with respondents claiming basic competency with Linux at just over 20% response rate.
The categorical use of FTK is primarily within Glamorgan with a response score of 38. The next after FTK in Glamorgan is Bristol with a response score of 23. Encase has less total responses than FTK and the distribution yield has Newport 26% and Bristol 24% as the top two categorical locations of training for Linux. Sleuth and Hex are the final two OS with Industry training 12 in Sleuth, Industry trained the most in Sleuth compared to all other languages taught by Industry. Bristol trained 9 in Hex and Industry trained 9 in Hex.