Call for Paper - January 2024 Edition
IJCA solicits original research papers for the January 2024 Edition. Last date of manuscript submission is December 20, 2023. Read More

Review on Cloud Forensics: An Open Discussion on Challenges and Capabilities

International Journal of Computer Applications
Foundation of Computer Science (FCS), NY, USA
Year of Publication: 2016
Suchana Datta, Koushik Majumder, Debashis De

Suchana Datta, Koushik Majumder and Debashis De. Review on Cloud Forensics: An Open Discussion on Challenges and Capabilities. International Journal of Computer Applications 145(1):1-8, July 2016. BibTeX

	author = {Suchana Datta and Koushik Majumder and Debashis De},
	title = {Review on Cloud Forensics: An Open Discussion on Challenges and Capabilities},
	journal = {International Journal of Computer Applications},
	issue_date = {July 2016},
	volume = {145},
	number = {1},
	month = {Jul},
	year = {2016},
	issn = {0975-8887},
	pages = {1-8},
	numpages = {8},
	url = {},
	doi = {10.5120/ijca2016910521},
	publisher = {Foundation of Computer Science (FCS), NY, USA},
	address = {New York, USA}


Amongst all recently emerging research paradigms, Cloud Computing is very much significant due to its utility services provisioning with shared and virtualized resources. Cloud is going to provide Everything-as-a-Service (EaaS) in very near future because all the services (Infrastructure, Platform, Software) will be made available as and when required and that too with high flexibility and low cost. Consumers can avail all the services without investing for infrastructures. There lies the spark of it which attracts the cloud attackers to get indulged in malicious activities and this creates a threat for this technology. Cloud Forensics is a new outlook introduced to identify, analyze and investigate these security threats. This paper insights a better awareness about cloud forensics illustrating all its related technical aspects, few of the suggested architectures and thus it identifies the major research scopes and challenges as well so that Cloud technology can be made secure from various threats and attacks.


  1. Accorsi, Rafael, and KeyunRuan. "Challenges of cloud forensics: A survey of the missing capabilities." ERCIM News 2012, no. 90 (2012).
  2. Morioka, Emi,and Mehrdad S. Sharbaf. "Cloud Computing: Digital Forensic Solutions." In Information Technology-New Generations (ITNG), 2015 12th International Conference on, pp. 589-594.IEEE, 2015.
  3. Simou, Stavros, Christos Kalloniatis, EvangeliaKavakli, and StefanosGritzalis. "Cloud forensics: identifying the major issues and challenges." In Advanced Information Systems Engineering, pp. 271-284. Springer International Publishing, 2014.
  4. Beebe, Nicole. "Digital forensic research: The good, the bad and the unaddressed." In Advances in digital forensics V, pp. 17-36.Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009.
  5. Marangos, N., PanagiotisRizomiliotis, and LilianMitrou. "Digital forensics in the cloud computing era." In Globecom Workshops (GC Wkshps), 2012 IEEE, pp. 775-780. IEEE, 2012.
  6. Damshenas, Mohsen, Ali Dehghantanha, Ramlan Mahmoud, and Solahuddin Bin Shamsuddin. "Forensics investigation challenges in cloud computing environments." In Cyber Security, Cyber Warfare and Digital Forensic (CyberSec), 2012 International Conference on, pp. 190-194. IEEE, 2012.
  7. Guo, Hong, Bo Jin, and Ting Shang. "Forensic investigations in cloud environments." In Computer Science and Information Processing (CSIP), 2012 International Conference on, pp. 248-251. IEEE, 2012.
  8. Almulla, Sameera, Youssef Iraqi, and Andrew Jones. "Cloud forensics: A research perspective."In Innovations in Information Technology (IIT), 2013 9th International Conference on, pp. 66-71.IEEE, 2013.
  9. Grispos, George, Tim Storer, and William Bradley Glisson. "Calm before the storm: the challenges of cloud." Emerging Digital Forensics Applications for Crime Detection, Prevention, and Security 4 (2013): 28-48.
  10. Ruan, Keyun, Joe Carthy, TaharKechadi, and Mark Crosbie. "Cloud forensics."In Advances in digital forensics VII, pp. 35-46.Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011.
  11. Shah, J. J., and Latesh G. Malik. "Cloud Forensics: Issues and Challenges." In Emerging Trends in Engineering and Technology (ICETET), 2013 6th International Conference on, pp. 138-139.IEEE, 2013.
  12. Mishra, Anand Kumar, PriyaMatta, Emmanuel S. Pilli, and R. C. Joshi. "Cloud forensics: State-of-the-art and research challenges." In Cloud and Services Computing (ISCOS), 2012 International Symposium on, pp. 164-170. IEEE, 2012.
  13. Zargari, Shahrzad, and David Benford. "Cloud forensics: Concepts, issues, and challenges." In Emerging Intelligent Data and Web Technologies (EIDWT), 2012 Third International Conference on, pp. 236-243. IEEE, 2012.
  14. Brunette, Glenn, and Rich Mogull. "Security guidance for critical areas of focus in cloud computing v2. 1." Cloud Security Alliance (2009): 1-76.
  15. Amazon, E. B. S. "Amazon Elastic Block Store." (2010).
  16. Shah, J. J., and Latesh G. Malik. "An approach towards digital forensic framework for cloud."In Advance Computing Conference (IACC), 2014 IEEE International, pp. 798-801.IEEE, 2014.
  17. Chen, Guangxuan, Yanhui Du, Panke Qin, and Jin Du. "Suggestions to digital forensics in Cloud computing ERA." In Network Infrastructure and Digital Content (IC-NIDC), 2012 3rd IEEE International Conference on, pp. 540-544. IEEE, 2012.
  18. Rani, DeeviRadha, and G. Geethakumari. "An efficient approach to forensic investigation in cloud using VM snapshots." In Pervasive Computing (ICPC), 2015 International Conference on, pp. 1-5. IEEE, 2015.
  19. Hay, Brian, and Kara Nance. "Forensics examination of volatile system data using virtual introspection." ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review 42, no. 3 (2008): 74-82.
  20. Thomas, Paula, Paul Owen, and Duncan McPhee. "An analysis of the digital forensic examination of mobile phones."In Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies (NGMAST), 2010 Fourth International Conference on, pp. 25-29.IEEE, 2010.
  21. [Accessed 04 /2012]
  22. Modi, Chirag, Dhiren Patel, BhaveshBorisaniya, Hiren Patel, Avi Patel, and MuttukrishnanRajarajan. "A survey of intrusion detection techniques in cloud." Journal of Network and Computer Applications 36, no. 1 (2013): 42-57.
  23. Belorkar, Abha, and G. Geethakumari. "Regeneration of events using system snapshots for cloud forensic analysis."In India Conference (INDICON), 2011 Annual IEEE, pp. 1-4.IEEE, 2011.
  24. Reilly, Denis, Chris Wren, and Tom Berry. "Cloud computing: Pros and cons for computer forensic investigations." International Journal Multimedia and Image Processing (IJMIP) 1, no. 1 (2011): 26-34.
  25. Raghavan, Sriram, and S. V. Raghavan. "Eliciting file relationships using metadata based associations for digital forensics." CSI transactions on ICT 2, no. 1 (2014): 49-64.
  26. George Sibiya, Thomas Fogwill and H.S. Venter.”Selection and ranking of remote hosts for Digital Forensic investigation in a Cloud environment.” Information Security for South Africa, (2013): 1 – 5. IEEE, 14-16 Aug.
  27. Anwar, Faiza, and Zahid Anwar. "Digital forensics for eucalyptus."In Frontiers of Information Technology (FIT), 2011, pp. 110-116.IEEE, 2011.
  28. Halboob, Waleed, Haider Abbas, Muhammad Khurram Khan, FarrukhAslam Khan, and Maruf Pasha. "A framework to address inconstant user requirements in cloud SLAs management." Cluster Computing 18, no. 1 (2015): 123-133.
  29. Biggs, Stephen, and StilianosVidalis. "Cloud computing: The impact on digital forensic investigations."In Internet Technology and Secured Transactions, 2009.ICITST 2009. International Conference for, pp. 1-6. IEEE, 2009.
  30. Thorpe, Sean, Indrajit Ray, Tyrone Grandison, AbbieBarbir, and Robert France. "Hypervisor event logs as a source of consistent virtual machine evidence for forensic cloud investigations." In Data and Applications Security and Privacy XXVII, pp. 97-112. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.
  31. Kang, Jungin, Sangwook Lee, and Heejo Lee. "A Digital Forensic Framework for Automated User Activity Reconstruction." In Information Security Practice and Experience, pp. 263-277. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.
  32. Holz, Ralph, Thomas Riedmaier, Nils Kammenhuber, and Georg Carle. "X. 509 Forensics: Detecting and Localising the SSL/TLS Men-in-the-middle." In Computer Security–ESORICS 2012, pp. 217-234.Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012.
  33. Zhong, Xianming, Chengcheng Xiang, Miao Yu, Zhengwei Qi, and Haibing Guan. "A virtualization based monitoring system for mini-intrusive live forensics." International Journal of Parallel Programming 43, no. 3 (2015): 455-471.
  34. Deng, Hua, Qianhong Wu, Bo Qin, Jian Mao, Xiao Liu, Lei Zhang, and Wenchang Shi. "Who is touching my cloud." In Computer Security-ESORICS 2014, pp. 362-379.Springer International Publishing, 2014.
  35. Jiang, Tao, Xiaofeng Chen, Jin Li, Duncan S. Wong, Jianfeng Ma, and Joseph K. Liu. "TIMER: Secure and Reliable Cloud Storage against Data Re-outsourcing." In ISPEC, pp. 346-358. 2014.
  36. Kumar Alluri, B.K.S.P, Geethakumari, G.” A Digital Forensic Model for Introspection of Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing.” Signal Processing, Informatics, Communication and Energy Systems (SPICES) (2015): 1 – 5. IEEE, 19-21 Feb.
  37. Reichert, Zachary, Katarina Richards, and Kenji Yoshigoe. "Automated Forensic Data Acquisition in the Cloud." In Mobile Ad Hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS), 2014 IEEE 11th International Conference on, pp. 725-730. IEEE, 2014.
  38. Trojahn, Matthias, Lei Pan, and Fabian Schmidt. Developing a cloud computing based approach for forensic analysis using ocr." In IT Security Incident Management and IT Forensics (IMF), 2013 Seventh International Conference on, pp. 59-68. IEEE, 2013.
  39. Sharma, Harshit, and NitishSabharwal. "Investigating the implications of virtual forensics."In Advances in Engineering, Science and Management (ICAESM), 2012 International Conference on, pp. 617-620.IEEE, 2012.
  40. Srivastava, Abhinav, Himanshu Raj, Jonathon Giffin, and Paul England. "Trusted VM snapshots in untrusted cloud infrastructures." In Research in Attacks, Intrusions, and Defenses, pp. 1-21. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012.
  41. Gan, Hui, and Long Chen. "An Efficient Data Integrity Verification and Fault-Tolerant Scheme."In communication Systems and Network Technologies (CSNT), 2014 Fourth International Conference on, pp. 1157-1160.IEEE, 2014.
  42. Chen, Long, and Hongbo Chen. "Ensuring Dynamic Data Integrity with Public Auditability for Cloud Storage." In Computer Science & Service System (CSSS), 2012 International Conference on, pp. 711-714. IEEE, 2012.
  43. Xu, Zhen, Cong Wang, KuiRen, Lingyu Wang, and Bingsheng Zhang. "Proof-carrying cloud computation: The case of convex optimization." Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Transactions on 9, no. 11 (2014): 1790-1803.
  44. Lim, Kyung-Soo, and Changhoon Lee. "A framework for unified digital evidence management in security convergence." Electronic Commerce Research 13, no. 3 (2013): 379-398.
  45. Delport, Waldo, and Martin S. Olivier. Cloud Separation: Stuck Inside the Cloud. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012.
  46. Rajalakshmi, J. Ramya, M. Rathinraj, and M. Braveen. "Anonymizing log management process for secure logging in the cloud."In Circuit, Power and Computing Technologies (ICCPCT), 2014 International Conference on, pp. 1559-1564.IEEE, 2014.
  47. Dykstra, Josiah, and Alan T. Sherman. "Design and implementation of FROST: Digital forensic tools for the OpenStack cloud computing platform." Digital Investigation 10 (2013): S87-S95.
  48. Saibharath, S., and G. Geethakumari. "Design and Implementation of a forensic framework for Cloud in OpenStack cloud platform." In Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics (ICACCI, 2014 International Conference on, pp. 645-650.IEEE, 2014.
  49. Han, Fuye, Zhen Chen, HongFengXu, and Yong Liang. "Garlic: A distributed botnets suppression system." In Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW), 2012 32nd International Conference on, pp. 634-639.IEEE, 2012.
  50. Li, Tianyang, Fuye Han, Shuai Ding, and Zhen Chen. "Larx: large-scale anti-phishing by retrospective data-exploring based on a cloud computing platform." In Proceedings of 20th International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN), 2011, pp. 1-5.IEEE, 2011.
  51. Roussev, Vassil, Liqiang Wang, Golden Richard, and LodovicoMarziale. "A cloud computing platform for large-scale forensic computing."In Advances in Digital Forensics V, pp. 201-214.Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009.
  52. Qi, Man. "Digital forensics and NoSQL databases." In Fuzzy Systems and Knowledge Discovery (FSKD), 2014 11th International Conference on, pp. 734-739. IEEE, 2014.
  53. Graziano, Mariano, Andrea Lanzi, and DavideBalzarotti. "Hypervisor memory forensics." In Research in Attacks, Intrusions, and Defenses, pp. 21-40. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.
  54. Pavlou, Kyriacos E., and Richard T. Snodgrass. "Achieving database information accountability in the cloud."In Data Engineering Workshops (ICDEW), 2012 IEEE 28th International Conference on, pp. 147-150.IEEE, 2012.
  55. Thorpe, Sean, Tyrone Grandison, Indrajit Ray, and AbbieBarbir. "Towards Enabling Behavioral Trust among Participating Cloud Forensic Data Center Agencies." In Secure Data Management, pp. 156-161. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012.
  56. Martini, Ben, and Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo. "An integrated conceptual digital forensic framework for cloud computing." Digital Investigation 9, no. 2 (2012): 71-80.


Digital forensics; cloud computing; cloud forensics; SaaS; PaaS; IaaS; virtualization;